Which is Better: Online Shopping or Shopping in Person?

Written by on December 2, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


An increasing number of people are turning to online shopping for their day-to-day needs and for major purchases such as holidays.  Those people must have their reasons for shopping via computer rather than going out and choosing their purchases in person.  In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of shopping online and shopping in person.

Online Shopping


  • It is easy to compare prices across different websites.
  • If you cannot find what you’re looking for on one site, all it takes is a couple of clicks to reserve it for when it is back in stock, or to find it on another site.
  • You do not have to pay for parking or petrol to shop online.
  • You do not have to worry about finding a parking space or about parking for too long.
  • You can do your shopping any time of day or night.
  • You can often get your purchases delivered for free to your home or place of work.
  • The images and descriptions of the products you want to buy are very good and let you see exactly what you’ll be getting.
  • Impulse-buys are usually avoided because you are looking for particular products rather than browsing.


  • If you don’t have a computer or internet access then you cannot shop online.
  • If you lose your connection part-way through an order you might lose the items you have put in your virtual basket and have to start again.
  • Whilst the images and descriptions are good, you cannot feel the product or, for clothing, know how it will fit until it arrives (fortunately most stores offer a very easy returns and exchange policy).
  • It isn’t much fun to browse online if you’re not looking for anything in particular.
  • There are no salespeople on hand to give you advice about a product if you have any questions or need advice.

Shopping in Person


  • You can examine the merchandise and handle it or try it on before committing to buy.
  • There is something rather nice about coming home after a long day shopping, complete with an armful of bags.
  • You can shop with a friend, stop for a coffee and a cake and browse the stores for hours.
  • There should be members of staff available to answer your questions or make recommendations for what you want to buy.


  • You will usually have to drive to the shops or take public transport to get there, and parking may be limited or expensive.  If you park where you shouldn’t, you may end up being clamped!
  • The shops are only open at certain times of the day.
  • If the shop is out of stock of an item you want, you may have to trail around trying to find another in a different shop, or return to the shop on another day to try again.
  • Unless you visit lots of shops and look at the prices in each, it is hard to know whether the price you end up paying is the cheapest for your chosen product.
  • Staff may be thin on the ground, or may be unhelpful.

So, whilst shopping in person is more social and rather more of a pastime, online shopping gives you the most convenient way of buying your items and you can be sure to get a good deal on the price.

This is a guest post by Elly, who has a passion for writing about Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle across the world. She also tweets regularly on the latest updates in the fashion and retail industry, which can be found here (@Russell_Elly).

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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