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Online shopping or In-store shopping: A consumer perspective | Ran Out of Ink

During the COVID pandemic, we all saw how everything online was so useful. But, even before that, the perks of having online businesses were very lucrative. To be more specific, online shops are a great way to start a source of income. According to statistics, over 2.14 billion people are expected to shop online in the year 2021. In this article,  I am going to discuss online and in-store shopping from a consumer perspective.

Online Shopping- Shop in peace

Personally, I love shopping online, because I don’t ever get judged. You do not have to be worried if you are window shopping or just exploring the market. You can check products out within your budget just using a simple filter instead of saying it out loud to a salesman/woman. Not everybody is comfortable about mentioning budgets. 

Also at times, there are pushy salespeople. They hog you almost immediately when you enter and do not leave your side. Sometimes they do not stop with their suggestions even when you clearly show no interest whatsoever. Some buyers do not like to talk so much, and it is annoying to always get interrupted in your thoughts. 

It is true that sometimes their suggestions are helpful, but I would rather hear their suggestions if I ask for it. All these are not faced in online shopping. You can put something in the cart, but after calculating your costs, you can remove it from your basket without the need to feel embarrassed. You like something, then easily put it in your favorites. Buy it when you can afford it or after saving for it.

Planning a surprise also became easy due to this online shopping. Did I mention time as well? It saves just so much time browsing products on the go. I love the fact that I can explore, view, and compare the prices of products all at my fingertips. There is no rush, you can shop whenever you want unlike in physical stores, you have to go before a shop closes. Options are way more; you can keep checking shops out or different products out. There are so many ways to pay as well: cash on delivery, mobile banking, debit cards, or credit cards. The whole world seems to be at your feet as you can shop internationally and have them delivered to your doorstep. 

Physical stores -Try it before you buy it

Apart from buying online, we do sometimes need to see some products personally. For example, while buying shoes, many individuals prefer to buy from physical stores, or even if they buy online, they want to check the product out personally. They wear it, walk around with it, and see if it is comfortable. While buying perfumes, I need to smell the product. All those nice descriptions do not let me understand the fragrance, you see. Like I said previously, even if I shop online, at times, it is helpful to have physical stores depending on the categories of the products.

How can we live without shopping malls? At times, we just have a day out shopping, eating, going to the arcade, or movies with our friends. Roaming around and going in fancy stores, trying out clothes, taking pictures of each other; you cannot possibly ever not want shopping malls. Physical stores are definitely necessary. However, sometimes the same store would sell the same products cheaper on their website or have better discounts online, in which case I visit the store to view the product and they buy it online.

Having your own online store

Starting a store online is also very easy thanks to services like Shopify or WooCommerce. The cost of opening and maintaining online stores is cheaper compared to having and maintaining a physical store. Chances are higher of online to in-store shopping being preferred by a consumer. If you already have your own products then you can use one of these services to create your own store easily. If you need help in setting up the store and managing it you can hire developers to help you out. I personally can help you set up a store in only 14 days at an affordable rate. You can contact me via email, or LinkedIn. 

If you don’t have your own products you can give dropshipping a try. Dropshipping is basically when a customer would buy a product from you and you would go ahead and buy that product from somewhere else and send it to them instead. Shopify has great applications that help with that, the most known being Oberlo.

The trick in opening an online store is marketing it. Finding the right audience for your products is tricky and requires a lot of thorough research. Getting your audience to find out about your products is also a very big challenge. Stores that manage to target their audience properly are the most successful ones. How to target your audience properly? That’s a topic that requires an article on its own, and if you are serious about having your own store then you would need to read more than just one article and do your own research.

Hopefully, this discussion of online or in-store shopping from a consumer perspective will be helpful. According to my opinion, if you are planning to open a store, I will suggest that you give it a try online. In that way, with targeted ads, you can have a great outreach to the right audience. Plus no huge renting cost of a space, or hiring so many people. You just have to pay a small fee every month for Shopify or WooCommerce, and a small retainer fee i.e. for a developer who will manage the store. Cheers to you if you are planning to open a store, and contact me if you need any help in developing it.