Shopping: Online or In-Store?

The pandemic has accelerated the transition to a more digital world. It has affected the way we communicate, the way we work and the way we shop. Indeed, it is also estimated that by the year 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through e-commerce.

Online shopping has been a life saver during Covid-19, especially during quarantine. All shops, except for essential stores, have been shut for months. Also, being stuck at home for most of the day can make us feel mentally and physically drained, looking for escape routes to forget about the current situation. Online shopping has been an escape for many, relying on these online services to keep connected to our once normal routines.

Fashion is part of our identity; it reflects who we are and what we stand for. It makes us feel better about ourselves; more confident, more beautiful and more attractive. But times are changing, and we have to adapt to it.

Do you miss going to a store and trying clothes on? Or maybe, due to these unprecedented times, you have a new found love for online shopping.

There are both benefits and disadvantages of shopping in-store and shopping online. Let’s see what you are more drawn to.

Shopping In-Store

Pros of In-Store Shopping

One of the great advantages of shopping in-store is that you can see and try on different garments. You can walk around the shop, feel the material, check your size and add it to the pile of garments you have already collected so far.

However, the one thing that most of us miss about in-store shopping is trying on clothes. You may fall in love with some trousers, but unless you try them on first, you’ll not really know if they will fit you properly and enhance your physique. We are all different, we all have a different body structure, and one size does not fit all. That’s why trying clothes on before purchasing them can help us decide if it’s really worth it, and thus help you make more informed purchasing decisions.

However, personally, the best thing about shopping in-store is the experience you get. Getting out of the house and spending a day shopping and walking around. Entering different stores to see what they have to offer, trying on clothes and asking your friends their opinions about it. And then walking around with multiple bags in your hands, feeling like Vivian in Pretty Woman – the more bags you have, the cooler you look.

Also, if you think about it, you’re exercising when walking around different stores and, at the same time, you’re also treating yourself. It’s really the best of both worlds!

Cons of In-Store Shopping

However, compared to online shopping, there are some disadvantages to buying in-store. Firstly, compared to e-commerce, shops offer a limited range of products. Sometimes you can’t find your size and, other times you’re searching for a specific piece that’s not available in-store or has sold out.

Also, stores, specifically in the UK, close around 5-6pm, which coincidentally is when most of us finish our working day. So, we have to wait until the weekend to go to a store, usually packed with so many other shoppers, all having the same idea as us, which makes it quite a hectic and stressful experience.

Especially during the sales season, there’s almost a ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario, everyone rushing around and grabbing whatever they can, no matter if they really like it or not. The store turns into a jungle. Unfolded clothes overwhelm the shop, customers constantly bumping shoulders, loud chattering flooding the premises and, never-ending queues fill up the rest of the area.

There are queues for everything; queues to look at the garments presented on a table or hanging rack and even to try on clothes. And finally, when you’ve got everything you want to buy, there’s a massive queue to pay. It’s alright if you have the whole day at your disposal, but if not, it can seem like a race against the clock.

Shopping Online

Pros of Online Shopping

As mentioned previously, one of the benefits of shopping online is the number of products available. On many high street retail brands’ websites, you can scroll for hours, checking out the different clothes they have to offer. Also, in most cases, there’s always a ‘sales’ section where you can find hundreds of garments at discounted prices all year round. No need to wait for Black Friday or Boxing Day!

Also, there’s no time limit. As opposed to in-store shopping, with e-commerce, you can shop anywhere and anytime you want. It could be on your laptop whilst you’re having a break or maybe on your phone late at night before heading to bed. Whenever you feel like it and want to treat yourself, brands will always be ready for you.

Technology has made our life easier, presenting everything we need in the palm of our hands. Digital advertising and personal data collection show us garments that we’re most interested to purchase, even on social media.

Have you ever scrolled down a social platform and saw an ad for a product you’ve been looking at earlier? Or maybe through social media, you’ve discovered a brand that you’ve never heard before, and you’re tempted to see what they sell. With just a few clicks, we find ourselves on the checkout page, debating whether to purchase the garments in our cart or not. Sometimes it can be too simple, too easy. Where did my money go? Oh wait, I know…oops.

What’s more, if you’re subscribed to a brand or have purchased from them before, you’re most likely to be getting a lot of great deals: “Only for 24 hours”, “Sale ends today”. On the one hand, we know we shouldn’t, but on the other, we are tempted. We start thinking: ‘when am I going to find such a deal again?’ We are always searching for a bargain, and brands know it.

Cons of Online Shopping

Shopping online has many benefits, but what are the disadvantages of purchasing digitally? First up is finding the right size. You may know your size, but honestly, every brand is different and uses different manufacturers. So, it may seem like a guessing game when purchasing online from a brand, hoping the size we choose will fit us. Again, we are all different and, even if we find the right size, who knows if it will actually look good on us. Unfortunately, sometimes we are left unhappy with our purchase, knowing that what we bought was a waste of our time and money.

This leads us to the second point: returning clothes. When these unfortunate events happen, not only are we saddened by the clothes we bought, but we also have to return them to get our money back.

Put the clothes neatly back in the plastic bags, repackage and add address (sometimes even print it), head to the post office, wait in a queue and finally send. From there, you have to patiently wait a week (or even more depending on where it was shipped to) to get a refund.

Finally, the last considerable disadvantage of online shopping is the shipping cost. Usually, brands have different shipping costs depending on when you want the parcel to arrive (e.g. next day delivery or standard delivery). The price also depends on where the store is, local or overseas. The shipping cost is usually the factor that puts us off buying clothes and finalising the payment, leading to cart abandonment.

Which One Do You Prefer?

No matter which one you prefer and which one you’ll decide to go for after lockdown, we can help you make the right choice. Reviews can help you decide whether to buy garments from a particular brand. Reviews tell a story, a story of other customer experiences. Would they recommend the brand? Are they happy with the service and product they bought? How many stars have they given? There are so many brands out there, and it’s hard to keep track of what they do, how good they are and how they are evolving, but reviews make it easier.

If you’re ever uncertain about a clothing company, go check out our Fashion & Clothing category, where you can find reviews on a specific brand, which will help you save precious time and spend your hard-earned money wisely.

Have you had a satisfactory or even terrible experience with a brand? Let others know about it by writing a review of your experience on Psydro. We are all here for the same reason, to help each other make the right choice when it comes to shopping, whether it be online or in-store.

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