There’s a never-ending debate on whether online shopping is better than visiting the physical store. In some cases, there is no argument against it, such as grocery shopping or buying textbooks for school. Although the lines are blurred when it comes to shopping for fashion.
Shopping can be fun or dreadful, depending on who you’re addressing the question to. As one blogger has previously indicated, “Dressing room are notorious for their terrible lighting and tricky mirrors.” Thus, when e-commerce finally started making its stride in the global fashion industry, men and women rejoiced as they finally had the luxury to shop for clothes on their terms, minus the body shaming. But the downside of online shopping is that it can be tricky. You have to know your exact measurements and make sure that websites contain secure payment channels, so sensitive information like credit card details are safeguarded against fraud and extra charges. At least a visit to the mall will allow you to try on clothes before making the purchase through cash or card.
There’s also the argument that online shopping via websites or apps are cheaper, which isn’t all that surprising, considering all the sales we see nowadays that only apply to online purchases. Many online businesses supply huge markdowns on their merchandise, much bigger than ones advertised in actual shops. In some cases, online retailers offer discounts as large as 75%, while physical stores such as H&M and Cotton On would normally have promotions like “Buy 2 Get 1” or “Up to 50% Off” on select sale items. However, experts have shown that in the bigger picture, most items cost about the same online as they do offline. For example, online and store products are reportedly 91% identical in countries such as Canada and the UK.
Then again, when we think about the cost of anything, we not only think about the money involved in the transaction, but we also factor in the time and effort in making the transaction. Unlike with online shopping, the implied costs of going to the physical store include transportation, parking fees, as well as additional costs of activities before and after purchasing new clothes. But with all that considered, isn’t that also an experience worth investing in?
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to shopping. Some hate the crowds and prefer to shop in the comfort of their own home, while others will never give up their weekend shopping trips with friends and family; it is a social activity after all. It’s hard to say whether one is better than the other, but what can be said is that the future is clearly in e-commerce. For any brand that has yet to launch an online store, it’s best that they do so soon before they fall behind.
What kind of shopping experience do you prefer?