Estimated reading time: 4 mins
If you were to ask someone whether they prefer to shop online or visit a brick and mortar store, the odds are that this person would be leaning more toward shopping on the internet. Of course, a lot depends on the demographic and whether we are talking about goods available both online and in physical stores.
Overall, though, ecommerce is in its golden age, and some say that this is only the beginning. The projections for the future are even better, and we can expect to see the industry continue growing as more people discover what it is like to shop online.
The question is, what makes online stores so popular when compared to brick and mortar? Does the future seem grim for retailers who do not switch to ecommerce? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that should help answer these questions.
Available Customer Reviews
Shopping online comes with the benefit of having access to customer reviews below products, and most stores are aware of how much customer feedback matters. Importing reviews is not an issue either because ecommerce businesses can, for example, compare Opinew vs Yotpo and choose a service that lets import reviews directly from other platforms.
As a shopper, you appreciate the thought and effort of other customers who took the time to sit down and write a review or record a video and share their experiences. It makes it much easier to decide and justify a purchase.
Considering the experience in a physical store, the most you can usually expect is some explanations from an employee, and even then, who knows if they are telling the truth or if they want to fool you into spending money.
Not having to deal with queues is one of the biggest advantages of online stores. So long as the website is working properly and the checkout process is not too complicated, shopping is as simple as adding a product to a shopping cart and paying for it.
One could argue that there are times when you do not have to wait in a physical store, but that is the case only if you are not visiting during peak hours or if the store is unpopular. Moreover, an online store can work 24/7, so you do not have to plan the time when you have to go.
Similar to how you can read customer reviews to get extra information about goods or services, you can also compare prices. Using the internet and opening multiple browser tabs to compare prices is easier than going around in a physical store and trying to remember different numbers or taking pictures with your smartphone so you can check them later.
Deliveries to Your Preferred Location
Visiting a store in person means that you can pay for something and receive it immediately (so long as the store has the stuff in stock), whereas shopping online requires you to wait for a delivery.
However, since the ecommerce industry is so large, local deliveries tend to take one or two days at most, so the waiting should not be too difficult. Moreover, you can arrange to pick up your items at specialized pickup points if you are not at home.
Add the fact that international shipping lets you order goods and services from abroad, and it becomes even more clear where the ecommerce superiority comes from.
Lack of Irritating Staff
Another significant disadvantage of brick and mortar stores is having to deal with pushy staff that tries their best to make you spend money. Their tactics can be pretty aggressive and off-putting, but they do not think about it and still try their best to make sales.
These things are not really present when shopping online. Perhaps the closest one you can compare is pop-ups and advertisements that appear on your screen to encourage you to spend money. However, these issues can be eliminated with the help of ad blockers.
Plethora of Available Goods and Services
Unless you live in a large city, you should not expect to find everything you want in physical stores. Even if your area has plenty of different brick and mortar stores, you might still need to look for particular items that will be shipped internationally.
Because ecommerce stores want to expand, they do more than just marketing. It is necessary to add new goods and services to keep customers interested, and some online businesses refresh their stock faster than physical stores.
Online shopping allows for freedom to choose from one of the many available stores, meaning that it is easier to find what you need.
The Sense of Anonymity
The last bit in this article is about anonymity. Not everyone is keen to go shopping in a physical store because they might be spotted picking a present for their loved one. Or, they might need to purchase something expensive, and if someone they know finds them, there might be some rumors about how this person has a lot of money to spend, and so on.
So long as nobody looks at your browsing history, you can expect anonymity while shopping on the internet.