Do you prefer to shop in store or online? A surprising number of people do both, yet there are many who prefer to shop in store and others who prefer the convenience of shopping online. Each offers advantages and risks which one must measure in choosing in store or online shopping. We talked to real people, primarily from the business world, about some of the reasons they prefer department stores or laptops. Some thoughtful, insightful and helpful opinions arose, each of which bears consideration.
Surprisingly, there are still people, mainly low-income workers and seniors, who do not own a computer, tablet or smart phone. The cost of these items, along with the cost of a network provider, far outweighs the benefits for them. They are perfectly content shopping at mid to low range department stores, local consignment and thrift shops. They know the value of a dollar and are aware that one dollar can but a perfectly good Cape Cod windbreaker on the dollar racks at Goodwill on Thursday or Friday. When asked if they ever used free computer access at the local public library, most had not; none had any real desire to do so or to learn the basics of shopping online.
Many people prefer to shop in store so that they can really see, touch and try on apparel before purchasing it. These are the people who frequent Walmart, Kmart, Kohl’s and Stein Mart looking for sales and deals. They often shop Hamrick’s sales and take advantage of coupon savings. Most would prefer to spend a little time looking through the racks and trying items on than sitting at home with a laptop. They like to be able to feel the weight and texture of pieces and to choose coordinating and contrasting pieces. These shoppers would never buy slacks or jeans without trying them on, since sizes often run differently and getting the right length can be difficult.
Some people enjoy shopping both in store and online. They enjoy the convenience of shopping at home, avoiding traffic and saving time and money. Generally, they find the selection and size range better online and can often find particular items they are looking for that are not available in stores. Most tend to favor familiar websites, those of department stores they have shopped at many times and those of catalogs they have ordered from for years. These shoppers frequent Lane Bryant, Land’s End and L.L. Bean; some are dedicated third generation Haband fans.
There is an element of risk involved in any shopping. Two years ago thousands of debit cards were compromised by internet hackers at Target. Even when shopping in store, debit and credit card information can be stolen and misused. The risk increases dramatically when shopping online. Giving out any personal information, even your name and address, can pose a risk. Using a debit or credit card can be frightening, knowing that somehow everything in cyberspace can be misappropriated. Bank accounts have been wiped out, credit cards have been charged and identities have been stolen. Always use caution in providing information, even at trusted websites.
Finally, quite a few people said that they would shop American websites but are leery of shopping the growing number of Korean and other foreign sites. Unfortunately, these are where some of the lowest prices possible on stylish apparel can be found. Those who have ventured into this realm have had very positive experiences and are convinced that it is the best way to spend their fashion dollars. Opinions are mixed, and danger is inherent in all online shopping. Hopefully this information will help shoppers everywhere to make informed, responsible choices and enjoy the most positive shopping experience.
As always, maximize your style and minimize your spending~