Shopping is one of those marmite activities that people either absolutely adore or completely detest. For those of us who fall in the first category, we can choose between two methods of shopping: online or in-store.
Many people will use both in their day-to-day lives, but is one better than the other?
Let’s start with the traditional ‘in-store’ shopping scene. Buying in-store definitely has its perks. Most importantly you get to physically see and feel the products you want. Whether it be ensuring that you love the material of a jumper or that your groceries are in good condition; shopping in-store allows you to be certain about the quality of something before you delve into your wallet.
“There is only a limited number of bags you can carry or space in the boot of a car.”
In terms of clothes shopping, it also gives you the chance to try things on. This means you can find out instantly whether those skinny jeans are going to fit you (or whether they’ll be miles too long like they normally are on me)!
It’s also much easier to keep track of what you’ve bought when in-store. There is only a limited number of bags you can carry or space in the boot of a car. This is not to say that you won’t spend much on the high street; you will just be more aware of how much you’ve spent or at least how many items you’ve bought.
There is also a social element to shopping in-store. Putting a day aside to go into the city with your mum or friends and just shop to your hearts content is never going to disappoint. Even if you don’t end up finding anything, you’ve probably had a fun day out.
So why might we choose to shop online instead?
Well, for starters it can be a lot quicker. Most websites and apps have filter systems which allow you to search for specific colours, sizes and price (lowest price first obviously). This is particularly useful if you just need one item. There’s no need to waste time wandering in and out of shops desperately searching for that one specific thing that every shop seems to have sold out of.
“If you wanted to, you could shop whilst sprawled out on the sofa”
As lazy as this sounds, online shopping is also less effort. If you wanted to, you could shop whilst sprawled out on the sofa, eating ice cream and wearing your oldest pair of pyjamas. There really is no planning needed.
It’s also much easier to compare prices as you can browse multiple websites at once. This is a much more difficult process when in-store. Often, you’ll find the cheapest deal was the one you saw right at the beginning of the day, and that’s if you can remember the prices.
However, online shopping does have its drawbacks too. The selection process might be quicker, but you’ll have to wait longer to wear or use what you ordered. Also when your shopping does arrive, it’s not always what you expected, as it can be hard to tell what a product is really like through a screen. This doesn’t just apply to clothes shopping either, ordering items for the house can be a nightmare if you can’t tell what size or colour something is.
“I just love spending a whole day browsing, trying different outfits on and going home knowing I’ve bought clothes that fit me.”
Delivery isn’t just a pain because of the waiting around, it also gets rather pricey at times. This is particularly annoying when you need something to arrive the next day and you are made to pay almost the same for postage as you have for the shop itself. Returning things can also be time consuming. Every shop has a different policy which can make it confusing, but at least this process is normally free.
Both online and in-store shopping offer benefits that the other method cannot. For me, in-store shopping does have the edge over online. I just love spending a whole day browsing, trying different outfits on and going home knowing I’ve bought clothes that fit me.
However, I still tend to do a bit of both. It’s not always possible to get to the high street and being able to quickly nip online for something specific is great.
What do you prefer?
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