Comparing Online Shopping and Traditional Shopping

Comparing Online Shopping and Traditional Shopping

            People prefer convenience in this fast-changing world - Comparing Online Shopping and Traditional Shopping introduction. Thus, humankind concentrated on investing in technology that can lessen the hassles of living in the modern world. The most important technology which revolutionized the lifestyle of the human race is the internet. Through the internet, people can communicate with anyone in the world, search for updated facts regarding any subject, and conduct research for their project in school or work. Hence, life became much easier with the emergence of the Internet.

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Because of the convenience this amazing technology brings, companies made use of the Internet as well for the further growth of their businesses. As a result, online shopping was invented. It is considered as the next evolution of retailing that will replace the traditional pushcart method of shopping. This method of shopping allows the customers to choose any product, pay for it, and have it delivered to their homes—with just a few clicks on the internet. As convenient as it may sound, there are still drawbacks in using this method to shop. Hence, there are pros and cons of online shopping.

Total convenience at its best is the main goal of having this shopping method. Online shopping removes the hassle of roaming around the mall and supermarket to buy goods, commodities, and other items. Thus, online shopping is a tire-free shopping. However, traditional shopping is still preferred by a majority of people. Because online shopping only allows customers to view the products, they will not be able to ascertain the quality by just looking at the pictures and reading customer reviews. The traditional method of shopping, on the other hand, suggests that face-to-face interaction is necessary in buying goods to ensure the quality of the product. Still, current retailing trends show a shift from traditional store-based retailing to an increased use of the Internet (Keen, 2002).

There are some similarities of the so-called brick-and-mortar stores or traditional or real world shopping. For instance, the operating time is one of the features which online shopping and some “real world” stores have in common nowadays. Online stores operate 24 hours a day, so doing shopping over the internet is not a problem because shopping websites are available any time of the day, even on holidays. Because of this, many businesses has shifted from the usual store hours to a 24/7 operation in order to meet the needs of customers.

However, even though online shopping incorporates many of the same characteristics as “real world shopping,” consumers are in a different frame of mind and have different informational needs when shopping on the Internet or the traditional way (Chen & Leteney, 2000; Lohse & Spiller, 1999; Burke, 2002). For example, traditional shopping has great features that set it apart from internet shopping. These include interacting with a salesperson, feeling the store’s atmosphere, and touching or trying the merchandise (Li et al., 1999). This service can specifically satisfy customers who prefer to see, feel and touch the merchandise first before purchasing. Going to shopping stores also allows customers to avail of promotional discounts and actual product samples (Li et al., 1999).

On the other hand, internet shopping fulfills consumer needs in a more efficient and convenient way. Time and effort is a big advancement doing online purchase. Consumers can easily browse over the type of products that they need and compare product features, availability, and prices more efficiently and effectively than with brick-and-mortar shopping (Grewal, 2002).

Online shopping also offers a high level of convenience for those whose time costs are perceived to be too high to invest in traditional shopping (Grewal, 2002). Doing online shopping allows people to spend more time doing other activities that is often consumed in doing grocery shopping. The precious time they save by online shopping provides them with the opportunity to spend their time in activities that are important for them. For instance, instead of shopping, they can spend more time in leisurely activities or with their family (Grewal, 2002).

Despite the conveniences online shopping brings, it has several drawbacks. For one, online shopping requires the use of a credit card in order to purchase an item. Thus, for customers to shop online, they need to pay credit card charges and other additional fees such as shipping and bank charges. Customers need to pay these additional fees to have the item delivered to their doorstep. Traditional shopping, on the other hand, saves money because actual money can be used to buy in stores. Also, there are online transactions which are doubtful because of fraudulent cases involving charges on bank accounts of online shoppers. The shipping time is also one threat in online purchase since delivering goods requires a certain period of time. For people who do not have much time to shop and compare merchandise, online shopping is the solution. But for meticulous people who want assurance of their merchandise, traditional shopping is recommended.

Consumer’s behavior is defined by the manner that they purchase products. Differences in preference of shoppers are resolved by means of having these two methods shopping. Everyone is given the freedom to choose and decide to shop according to their preference.


Burke, R.R. (2002). Technology and the customer interface: what consumers want in the

physical and virtual store. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 30 (4), 411-32.

Chen, S. and Leteney, F. (2000). Get real! Managing the next stage of internet retail.         European Management Journal, 18 (5), 519-28.

Grewal, D., Iyer, G.R., & Levy, M. (2002). Internet retailing: enablers, limiters and market

            consequences. Journal of Business Research.

Keen, C., Wetzels, M., de Ruyter, K. & Feinberg, R. (2002). E-tailers versus retailers:      which factors determine consumer preferences?” Journal of Business Research.

Li, H., Kuo, C. & Russell, M.G. (1999). The impact of perceived channel utilities,            shopping orientations, and demographics on the consumer’s online buying behavior.         Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 5 (2).

Lohse, G.L. & Spiller, P. (1999). Internet retail store design: how the user interface           influences traffic and sales. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 5 (2).

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