The internet really is an amazing thing, you can do all your shopping without leaving the comfort of your home. But which method is better and when should you use one method over another? Vent2Me has taken it upon ourselves to rank the two methods to better assist your decision making process.
Task: The ability to try before you buy
Clearly in store shopping is the winner here, it allows you to try before you buy without having to take the item home to realise it isn’t suitable. Although online shopping is slowly catching up by improving the returns process, you still have to mail the item out at your own cost. How many of you have not done this because you couldn’t be bothered? Returns via post is one of the main revenue streams for online shopping sites, so it’s no surprise that consumers do not always send back the item.
Task: The ability to compare products/services at your own time/pace
Being able to compare products/services at your own time/pace is quite easy on the world wide web – most websites have the ability to compare more than option and you can also use Google to search for reviews about the particular product/service you are after.
Evaluation of products/services can also be done in store, but often it is complicated by numerous factors including short staffed team members, a noisy purchase environment and the personal opinions of sales people. If you want to be able to take your time comparing items – online is better.
Task: The ability to get cheaper pricing
Consumers generally make the mistake of thinking that online is cheaper. Although this can sometimes be true, you have to remember that items purchased online require postage and sometimes shipping, combine the fact some may also require postal insurance, the online price may not be that cheap after all.
Did you know that most in store retailers will price match if the item is sold by a legitimate competitor (both online and in store)? Try this out, you will be surprised as to how much money you can save using this method! And if they aren’t willing to price match – their business isn’t worth pursuing.
The ability to ask questions
In store is advantageous here again, as you can ask various different type of questions and get an answer instantly, online makes it a little bit more difficult to do so, as you have to wait for the seller to respond.
The ability to purchase unique items
Online definitely has a greater variety of items. If you are after items that are unique or vintage online is definitely better.
Although there does seem to be something exciting about when an item has been delivered from an online store – remember the number of times, you have been disappointed when an item did not quite fit or wasn’t as described. If this has happened to you on numerous occasions then maybe in store shopping is better suited to you.
Remember also that the retail industry is one of Australia’s largest industries – so if consumers don’t shop in store, retail stores will shut leaving employees unemployed. Although we don’t want consumers paying more for items than they have to, supporting the retail industry is important to the future of Australia.
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.