So you are in a hurry! Your “To Do” list is through the roof… and you don't know which way to turn.
Many retailers now have an online presence on the web, and it's an online store. This is, according to the majority, is the way to go and many retailers would be very happy to see this as the only way to go. Online shopping is definitely growing in leaps and bounds, In the USA alone many main street retailers have closed hundreds of branches, due entirely to online purchasing.
This is where online shopping becomes a viable proposition… or does it?
1. Save time… logically buying from your home (or the office) is a massive time saver
2. Specials… Most retailers (especially in the Groceries) offer online customers special prices
3. Reduce impulse buying. The old maxim of purchasing groceries after a meal, not before still applies but overall impulse buying online is diminished
4. Prices can easily and quickly be checked with other online retailers. (or use the software available to do this for you)
5. The phenomena of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now going worldwide and may be a great idea to get that special item at ridiculously low prices. As online purchasing takes centre stage we should see coupons, promotions and more become readily available from the online retailer.
Delivery costs could be both good and bad. It is important to factor the cost of delivery in when purchasing online, especially, once again, groceries. The cost of fuel is also a factor; this of course works both ways. Before you buy anything you should do some comparative shopping. Take a photo on your cell phone, enter the price and compare the cost of the identical article online.
1. Goods purchased online tend to be more expensive, this may not be in every case but the ability to get a discount online is distinctly a no-no. This is where comparison may make the difference. It is also good to check for any hidden costs.
2. You lose the opportunity to pick your own items, e.g. fresh vegetables and fruit, feel the texture and try on the item. Sizes may vary from shop to shop, (it is well known that Chinese sizes are very small), colours may not be exactly as per the image and of course you cannot try the item on.
3. In most cases the more you buy the cheaper the delivery charge, but in all probability you will still have to visit the supermarket fairly frequently to buy fresh items, bread, milk etc. This of course raises the question of impulse buying and the cost of the trip.
4. Time is also a factor, how long does it take to get a delivery.
There is of course by now thousands and thousands of online shopping sites on the world wide web. What is interesting is the wide range of pricing for what “appears” to be the same item plus of course “shipping” that is either in the small print (seems the more the retailer charges for shipping – the smaller the print) or “free” shipping… really!!
This article is not a definitive work on all the good and bad of online shopping, it is designed to make you think. Now you are probably confused but it all boils down to:
a. Cost saving
b. Time saving
If you are one of the very fortunate and can achieve both you have got it made. For other mere mortals a compromise will need to be made but as this phenomena is on the rise we have very little choice but eventually go with the flow.