Ever since the dot com boom, the internet has transformed the way we live. Offering information literally at your fingertips, online banking an option, and enabling stay-at-home moms to earn income via telecommuting, the internet has provided endless possibilities for its users. Amongst the internet advances is the ability to shop online. Quick, effortless and easy, online shopping has given brick-and-mortar locations a run for there money.
Since we’re conditioned to want instant gratification in every aspect in our lives, we expect our purchases instantly, too. Instead of spending time traveling, looking for parking and finding the store you’d like to shop in before closing time, the internet is available at all times. You can shop at your convenience, any time, anywhere, no matter what.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Online shopping allows you to browse through endless possibilities, and even offers merchandise that’s unavailable in stores. If you’re searching for a niche product that may not be distributed locally, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for on the internet. What’s even more useful is the ability to compare items, similar or not, online. You can search through multiple stores at the same time, comparing material quality, sizes and pricing simultaneously.
Moreover, the internet compiles results from thousands of resources, so you’re guaranteed a larger selection that’s more likely to have what you’re looking for. Consider what you pay for a shirt found only at your local mall. By searching for the same or similar shirt online, you may be able to purchase the shirt directly from its manufacturer or from an outlet-type store. The in-stock online sellers often have additional sizes, so you never have to scramble to find the last item in your size.
A Hassle-Free Experience
Shopping via the internet eliminates the need to sift through a store’s products with potential buys like pants, shirts, belts and shoes all slung over one arm. Online shopping also eliminates the catchy, yet irritating music, as well as the hundreds, if not thousands, of other like-minded individuals who seem to have decided to shop on the same day.
Customer Service, Guaranteed
Say ‘goodbye’ to the days when you stood in line waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more for a store clerk to finally check out your items. Online shopping transactions occur instantly-saving you time to get your other errands done! Additionally, unlike a store, online shopping has friendly customer service representatives available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with locating, purchasing and shipping your merchandise.
Keeping Money in Your Pocket
Finding time to go shopping often requires cutting down in other areas of your life in order to get to the stores. And we all know that time equals money. With the rising costs of gas prices, it’s a no-brainer why online shopping is better. Not only do you have to pay for your items, you also have to pay to get there, twice. Your orders are shipped directly to your home or place for business, saving you time and money, without requiring you to leave your home.
In addition to saving gas money, online shops often offer great deals on shipping fees. Signing up for memberships may include frequent emails with special discounts. Though store locations near your home are ideal for trying on clothing, many online stores offer free or discounted return shipping. In fact, some stores even supply the return packaging, such as Victoria’s Secret and Zappos.com.
But perhaps the best perks of online shopping are the reduced prices. Why pay more from in-store locations when overstocked merchandise is available for less money? Search for reduced or discounted items. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, check out sites that offer auctions and free listings, such as eBay.com, Amazon.com, Craigslist.org, or even freecycle.com.