Many people claim/blame online shopping as responsible for the closure of high street stores. It is safe to say that online shopping is playing a major part on this but it is not entirely the one to blame. We live in rapidly changing times and those who cannot adapt, they seem to stay behind. It sounds cynical but it is unfortunately true.
Offline shopping is the traditional way of shopping most of us are aware of. It’s a lovely way to my opinion and I support that way as it has lots of positives and fewer negatives to us. Let’s see:
- It is in the real world
- You find it you are getting it (product)
- You can try it
- You can test it before buying
- You can inspect it before buying
- Face to face customer service
- Variety of stores usually in one place
- Good sales periods
- Meeting people or shopping with friends and family
- You can spend time in other services while at the stores (massages, hairdressers, cinemas, attractions) you are getting a full day out
- You can find a job in a store!
- Often more expensive than online shopping
- Parking difficulty and cost
- Too busy/crowded and loud sometimes
- Limited opening hours
- Weather restrictions (rain, cold, wind)
It is up to each individual if they value the offline shopping apparently but there is a noticeable trend lately. A trend that shows a decline in the field and many stores to close. It could be a temporary effect but I think that it is a changing point. A point where the shops we know need to evolve and find new ways to attract customers.
For younger generations, this is probably the main way to shop. But for more mature people it is quite new. You would think that it makes shopping simple especially for people with limited mobility or time but is it really? In most cases, yes but my grandma might think otherwise!
Let’s see the positives and negatives of it:
- Access to a huge online shopping world
- Fast and easy shopping
- Good prices, better offers
- Secure shopping. No pickpockets, safe transactions, no cash
- Comfort, in your own time
- Always open
- Faceless, lack of human contact
- Online fraud risk
- Cannot try the product before buying/difficult and costly returns
- Complicated customer support online or over the phone
- Long delivery waiting/need to sign in some cases and not knowing the timeslot is frustrating
- Delivery errors or damaged items
Surely there are more pros and cons for both options and people still use both ways of shopping. I cannot imagine a world without physical shops. Without malls and cafes and cinemas. Without human contact even if it is a fake smile at the cashier. I cannot imagine shopping online for everything, alone, if I can spare a few minutes of my busy life. Without my friends teasing each other and all the laughter and the joy. Then to go for a coffee or lunch break or a quick drink after work. As much I shop online and I do, I equally shop in physical shops. Maybe the best we can do is benefit from both at the moment. At the end of the day, it is a personal preferation matter.
What do you prefer?