Online shops a mixed bag of benefits
There are many opportunities to spend money online.
These include online shops, inapp purchases, buy-and-sell services, cloud services, bill-paying, banking services and more.
We are bombarded by advertisements trying to lure us into impulse-buying. One day there might not be any physical shops anymore, so this will be academic. But for now there is still a choice. So what are the pros and cons of spending our money online?
There are many advantages of online purchasing. If time is precious, it is certainly quicker to shop online. There is no travel to and between shops involved.
You can also visit a much larger range of stores online and there is a much larger range of products.
Many products are only available online.
Products are cheaper online than in physical shops.
This is because online stores have lower overheads and because of much stronger competition.
It is also much easier to compare prices and products between different shops online.
There are many websites that specialise in doing the comparisons for you to find the best available price for a given product.
But there are also disadvantages. Research shows people are more prone to impulse-buying on the internet.
Return policies and procedures of online stores vary greatly.
When you shop online, you don’t get the benefit of the knowledge of salespeople. It is also easier to negotiate on price in person.
When buying online, you need to be careful of security issues with payment. Having your credit card details fall into the wrong hands could be disastrous.
With personal shopping, you bring your purchase home with you, but with online shopping, you have to wait for it to be shipped.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? Not really.
There will be times when buying online is better and times when you prefer to go to a shop.
Either way, you need to be careful how you spend your hardearned money.