Online Vs Offline Shopping

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The experience of shopping online

Supposing I want to shop a camera or any other item online. First of all, I need a good internet connection and a device to be used in order to have access in this connection. For some people, you need as well knowledge to access the internet, especially when coming to some website which seems to be complicated to access. You need as well a permanent electricity to power all this.

Once you have all those aspects, you can purchase your camera at any suitable time, to any vendor you wish, and at any place you want. As you select any website in your choice, you have possibility of comparing opportunities and prices from the larger variety of products available to the website. This will lead you to select the better option based on pricing, quality and quantity.

Something amazing, you can order your products, with just one click, within a few minutes, while you are in pajama in your room. The marketspace has no closing time, it works for 24/7.

After paying with virtual currencies and printing your receipt, you may order your product which will reach you within some duration of time. The purchase is completed!!!

The experience of shopping in traditional environment

As I want to shop a camera or any other item in a traditional environment, I need first to gather information on the place, price, quality, quantity and source of the product. I may contact somebody who had already done such a purchase in the past to have correct information of the product. After gathering information, I have to evaluate alternatives based on the cost, durability, image, maintenance and availability and accessibility where the product is. After evaluating I select the best alternative.

Based on the information collected, I organize myself to go to the market place where I can find and buy a camera or any item I would like to buy. With our example of a camera, I will have to visit in the basis place electronic shop for easy purchase.

From one shop store to the other, I will have to compare prices, quality, performance, company of fabrication, year of fabrication to make sure that what I am buying is good commodity. I may need a copybook to put down details and alternatives in other to select the best option. During this time, I will just be interrupting physically with the vendors I have met. I may negotiate the price according to our agreement with the vendor.

All the way from my house to the market, I will have to carry some cash to purchase the camera. In case my money is not enough comparing to the prices of the item, I will have to go back home and reschedule my purchase.

If I am satisfied with all those criteria (cost, durability, image, maintenance and availability and accessibility), I can immediately buy the camera. After buying, I have to organize its transportation up to my house. The purchase is completed.

Comparation and contrast between shopping online and shopping in traditional environment

The first contrast between traditional shopping and online shopping is authenticity. Many of advertisement done by the online market exaggerate the natural character of the product. This aspect affects the authenticity of the products which we may not find in most traditional market where the originality of the product is physically well seen.

In traditional shopping a person has the freedom of choosing what to buy from his or her real feelings as he or she interrupt with the goods. All the products can be seen, felt, tasted making the customer make free decision about what he or she wants for a product. By contrast, online shopping depends on the internet description of the products for customers. Shopping websites such as the Amazon advertise the products to their potential customers without having the customers going out for them. Interested buyers have to place orders and then get products. The consumer in online shopping does not get the chance to taste or feel the products before purchasing them.

Many people find better the shopping online simple because of the convenience it offers to them. Some people don’t like spending time going from mall to mall looking for goods. Others are enticed by the low prices of online products and others just prefer buying things from different countries. However, the traditional market offers generally local commodities. You need to be in physical contact with the vendor after spending your time deciding on the cost, quality and source of the product.

Recently, some studies came up with a result on the uncertainty as one of the major factors in online shopping. People who preferred online shopping to traditional one, go through a big risk. Many people doing online shopping have had their privacy violated in internet than traditional buyers who don’t deal with any application. Unlike traditional customers, online shoppers have had to contend with delays in the delivery of ordered items. Sometimes, the products are not delivered at all.

Those doing traditional shopping get the chance to use all their senses in selecting merchandise that merit their needs and preferences. A customer in need of a particular dress would have the opportunity to try the dress out to see if it fits compared to the other person who shops online. The color of the cloth, the material and originality of the dress is well felt in traditional shopping.

To find a commodity in a cheaper price is not as easer as we can think. Many online shoppers believe that it is much cheaper than traditional market. This is not always true. Some online vendors would double the price of an item, especially when there are no places to compare those prices.

Also, online vendors seem to be more dishonesty than traditional vendors. Many people doing online shopping report more deception in service offered by this market. Online shopping seems to be good for people who don’t have time to move from mall to malls.

Advantages and disadvantages of online shopping


Better prices.

Online market offers generally cheap commodities for customers, because products bypass all the transactions which are commonly done when doing traditional market. Plus, it's easier to compare prices and find a better deal. Some online companies offers discounts as well.


In online shopping, there are no lines to wait in the cashier desk! Convenience is a big advantage. You can buy items in any time, from anywhere just with a click!!! Online shops reward us with a ‘no pollution’ shopping experience. There is no better place to buy items like e-books, which are available to you instantly, as soon as the payment is done.

More variety.

In online shopping, you have access in varieties of commodities. The choices online are amazing! You can find any type or quality of good. Buy comparing, you can choose the best you want. You can shop from retailers in other parts of the state, country, or even world instead of being limited to your own geography.

More control.

Online, you don't have to let the store's inventory dictate what you buy, and you can get exactly what you want and need.

Easy price comparisons.

With variety of products, you have also easy comparison of prices. Online shopping has given solution to the problems of visiting different malls to compare prices

No crowds.

In front of your computer, alone you are able to do your shopping without interrupting with some other customers. The online market offers as well physical privacy.

No pressure.

Oftentimes when we're out shopping, we end up buying things that we don't really need, all because shopkeepers pressure us or use their selling skills to compel us to make these purchases.

You can send gifts more easily. Sending gifts to relatives and friends is also easy, no matter where they are. All the packaging and shipping is done for you. Oftentimes, they'll even gift wrap it for you! Now, there is no need to make distance an excuse for not sending a gift on occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and so forth.

Discreet purchases are easier.

Some things are better done in the privacy of your home. Online shops are best for discreet purchases for things like adult toys. In online shopping, you don’t need to fear on being seen you by people.


Less contact with you community

With a strong privacy, the online shopping does not give good opportunities to interrupt with your community.

Shopping problems and delay

Easy confusion in the items placed in order. Many online shoppers complain much on the items sent buy the E-commerce company but which were not ordered.

Risk of fraud

Since there are many steps in the process of online market, there is as well a higher probability of fraud that in traditional shopping.

Return can be complicated

It can happen that you received a damaged item after purchasing online, the return process is always not easy than you can think.

Spending too much time online

It is not easy to browse from one Website to another one as you look for what you need exactly. It requires much time.

You don’t know exactly what you are getting

As far as the size, the color, the source and the quality of the product is involved, some times it is difficult to get exactly what you wanted through the screen of your computer. Images, measurements or quality of sound (for the electronic items) may bring some problems.

No sale assistance

Beyond what we see in E-commerce Websites, we may have some more questions on the product we want. The online shopping does not provide such opportunity than the traditional one.

Advantages and disadvantages of traditional shopping


Physical contact with the vendor

Consumers interrupt physically with the one providing for them commodities. This physical contact gives way to a natural relationship beyond just selling and buying.

Direct contact with the product you want

In traditional shopping, you feel and taste the product that you need. You have the freedom to consider the real quality of the item.

Does not exclude people without internet

Traditional shopping opens its doors to any class of people: those who have internet and those who don’t have (rich and poor).

No loss of money

The owner cannot lose money since there are no hackers and scammers in the real world.

In touch with the environment

It helps a person to feel and know better the environment he is in. (That is if it is in a shop)


Difficulties of collecting information.

To collect information about where to find the product I really wanted can me also challenging.

Time consuming

It normally takes time to move from your house to the store to purchase a product. It take as well time to be walking from one mall to the other to compare prices.


As you bring with you money to the place of purchasing products, you can be rubbered by people.

Time limit for the store to be opened.

Generally, it is during the day that stores are opened for selling. Beyond the limit time, nobody is allowed to go in and do shopping.

Not easy to find exactly what you need.

Not all store and businesses have the exact item for the customer. It may be far away from where you are living.


As discussed above, there are advantages as well as disadvantages in both online and traditional shopping. We should just put in mind that those who are interested and enjoy shopping as a hobby may prefer to do it in person and those who don’t like crowding and find pleasure in private shopping may be happy to do it online.

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Cite this page

Online Vs Offline Shopping. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved June 15, 2024 , from

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