Is online shopping really cheaper?
Shoppers are always advised to buy their needs online to save money, especially when this is combined to online savings codes, deals of the day, no-taxes-charged, and free shipping offers.
This is primarily attributed to the fact that e-commerce exempts sellers from many costs that brick-and-mortar retailers incur, including the costs of rent, electricity and payroll. Moreover, brick-and-mortar retailers cannot have the same offers by online stores.
Many physical stores started switching to e-stores in order to meet consumer needs with less operating expenses.
What Are the Advantages of Online Shopping?
Online shopping is a great way to find products that are from past seasons.
Housing thoses type of products in a central warehouse allows the retailer to sell products longer, unlike physical stores.
This practice can then result in big savings for customers who do not need to purchase the most current products.
On the other hand, communication with online shoppers is often done easily with automatic responses to questions. That may be done with more professional and corporately trained employees than those found in brick-and-mortar stores.
Moreover, many online stores waive sales tax charges or shipping costs in order to entice shoppers to make an online purchase.
Also, some websites compare prices, such as PriceGrabber, enable shoppers to shop smarter. They’re able to easily compare the prices of a product at several stores using one site.
Online stores are on the same promotional calendar as brick-and-mortar stores. That means they also offer great seasonal sales and discounts.
The end of January and February is a great time to pick up winter items at a bargain as retailers make space for spring items.
Shoppers not only get pricing information, but they also get product and site reviews to help them decide what and where to buy online.
One growing trend among shoppers is to go to a brick-and-mortar store to check out and compare the features of a product.
However, several apps are available to shoppers to help them check competitors’ prices both online and in the store.
Some customers walk around the store with their smartphones and then ask the sales associates whether the store is willing to match prices.
While Amazon is a huge competitor for online and local retailers, with its vast amount of inventory in multiple categories, many local stores started to improve their services, such as Walmart.
Walmart now has features on its mobile app that allows shoppers in the stores to scan barcodes, read customer reviews, and find out about the latest discounts that might lower a product’s price
How do you stay safe when shopping online?
Shopping online is relatively safe, but there are things you can do to add extra protection.
They include knowing the warning signs for online scams, keeping your computer and mobile operating systems up to date, only shopping on encrypted websites.
Moreover, passwords are not reused across multiple sites. Sharing credit card or other sensitive information over public Wi-Fi networks is avoided.
Source: The Balance