When you think of shopping, do you associate high street shopping or internet shopping as your preferred medium? There are of course, advantages and disadvantages to both but which one is better overall? This may be dependent on your personal preference or which is the most convenient for purchasing goods at a given time. This can also be determined by availability. Some goods may only be obtainable either online or from a physical shop.
Twenty four hour convenience
In today's hectic twenty-four hour society when everything is driven by convenience and time the internet can be an invaluable source when used properly. When many people seem to have a distinct lack of time, the internet is often used for the purchase of goods. It can also provide a valuable first port of call if a consumer is seeking information but looking to actually buy a product in-store or at a physical place instead of online. A good example of this is buying a car. Often information is searched for regarding potential purchases online but then the actual point of sale comes from a dealership. This is also true of buying property. Information can often be gleaned from an estate agency or property website beforehand but the actual purchase is made on the high street. The internet can also be good if you are time restricted. If you know exactly what you are looking for, need something quickly but do not have the time to go to the high street during your normal working week, you can order something online and it can arrive the next day.
The internet can save time
It can definitely be beneficial to do some of your shopping online. For example, you can save at least an hour per week if you select your grocery shopping online and have it delivered to your property. The only downside to this is the fee incurred for the delivery every week. Purchasing items such as books and CDs online can also save time. In many cases items such as these can also be cheaper to purchase online than on the high street. The internet can also be a fantastic resource for the research and the purchase of non-everyday products such as sex toys, birthday or Christmas presents and jewelery. Online banking can also be a far more convenient way of transferring money from one account to another then going into a high street bank or building society.
The advantage of the high street
If you have the time to have a good browse, the high street can be a better option. If you buy clothing from the high street, trying the items on in a changing room prior to purchasing ensures that the garments are the correct fit. If you are purchasing clothing online, unless you have the exact same item in your possession, you cannot guarantee that it will fit. If you buy the item online from a reputable online retailer and it does not fit you can of course send it back and in most cases exchange or refund it. If however you want to surprise a loved one with some sexy lingerie, as long as you know what size they take, then either option should work just as well. Whatever you want or need to purchase as a consumer, the high street offers the advantage of allowing you to view the actual product whether it is a book, a CD, shoes or clothing etc. The high street is also highly convenient if you want to quickly buy a sandwich and / or a drink from a cafe or a newsagent and take it away with you. It also acts as a browsing ground. For example, you may wish to purchase a new electrical item such as a television and have seen it at a cheaper price online but want to see it in the flesh beforehand. As mentioned earlier, the same can also be said for the internet.
Overall there are advantages and disadvantages to buying goods online or from the high street. If you are time restricted for whatever reason, the internet can be more convenient. However, if you have time to browse and want to see the goods before you buy them, the high street can have the upper hand. Essentially it is dependent on personal preference as to what works the best for the individual.