Online Shopping vs. In-Store Shopping

With the current technological advancements, it is often difficult to decide whether to shop online or carry out the In-Store shopping. It has been found out that the number of online shoppers has been increasing at a constant rate in the resent past. This is because the technique is perceived to be environmentally friendly and very convenient. These two methods of shopping are have their own pros and cons. Most people seem to like online shopping due to the fact that they do not have to spend money on fuelling their vehicles or pay bus fare to the shopping malls hence reducing the travelling expenses. It also reduces the time spend while shopping as one does not need to wait on the long queues at the checkout points. One is also able to shop at any time of the day. People have also tended to prefer online shopping as it allows someone to compare the prices between different retailers without much struggle (Carolyn Predmore 170-180).

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The main question is whether online shopping will at one point in time take the position of the most preferred shopping technique. A study was carried out on university students to determine whether most of them prefer online shopping to the In-store shopping. The study also aimed at finding out whether the technique of shopping was also depended on the types of goods to be purchased.

Research Objectives

  • To determine the products and services that is purchased online
  • To determine the perceptions of shoppers about online shopping
  • To determine the main reasons motivating people to shop online rather than in the in-store shopping.
  • Finding out people’s concerns about online shopping.

Methods

In this research, questionnaires were issued to 100 students and all the respondents were receptive. The students were asked 14 questions which constituted screening, core as well demographic question concerning the preferences of people when it comes to the matters of shopping. The questions addressed the reasons for the people’s preferences when it comes to the modes of shopping, the challenges that are faced by online shoppers as well as the possible ways of improving the same. the samples of the online shopping sites that were used in the survey included, e-bay, yahoo.com as well as amazon.com the questions also aimed at determining whether other factors like age, sex, an individuals economic status and marital status played any role in determining people’s shopping mode (Tan 163-180).

Findings/Discussion

Respondents’ profiles

All the questionnaires that were sent received their respective feedback. The results showed that most of those people who were single preferred online shopping. Most of the younger people had adopted online shopping than the old. Most of them had higher income per annum, for instance above $25, 000. The research questions addressed the demographic issues and whether they had any significance in one determining his/her shopping technique.

Types of Products Bought

Most of the products that are purchased online include the books, CDs as well as DVDs. They are followed by clothing, electronic devices, software, games and even the tickets. Most of those who preferred purchasing clothing using the in-store shopping method showed that they opt for this mode of shopping because they re able to feel the texture of the garment that they intend to purchase and even put them on so as to test whether they are well fitting. All the people on the other hand preferred to use the in-store shopping technique possibly due to the considering the fact that they are perishable. Findings indicated that there was a lot of potential for the online shopping for clothing.

Overall E-store characteristic ratings

People’s belief in E-stores was determined by asking the students about their agreement or disagreement about the products and services offered online. This focuses on the value, prices as well as the support services that are offered to the buyers.

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The findings showed that most people prefer and have a positive attitude towards E-Stores. Most of them have a perception that they can get whatever they want online.

It is believed that the prices for online goods and services are lower. It was however

indicated clearly that the process of returning unwanted good was not an easy option

when compared to the in-store shopping. Some of the respondents had had a bad experience with online shopping and some of them felt that the after sales services needed to be improved.

Factors for Online Shopping Motivation

Online shopping has often been perceived as a very convenient method of shopping. It is available at any time and it saves time as one does not need to make long queues at the shopping malls as it is in the case of in-store shopping. The online prices have been known to be lower when compared to the in-store shopping prices. People tend to avoid overcrowding and in some cases avoid meeting the sales persons. Convenience seems to be a number one factor in determining a persons shopping mode. For such businesses, maintaining an updated website as well as the provision of timely delivery coupled with friendly prices seems to play a big role in the choosing of the shopping mode (Bosnjak 597-605).

Barriers to online shopping

There are several factors that are a hindrance to the online mode of shopping hence making people to opt for in-store shopping. Most of the respondents showed that security and matters of privacy seemed to play a very significant role in determining whether someone opted to shop by online means or in-store shopping. Most of the in-store shoppers preferred it due to the fact that they were able to touch or feel the type of products that were being purchased. The other reason for not preferring online shopping was due to the fact that it was almost impossible to return the product after purchasing or after delivery. The lack of customer care services seems to also play a role in people’s decisions to shop online. Most of those who go for in-store shopping cite this as one of the major reason for their decision to shop by their technique. Most of the online stores are based on the assumption that its users are well educated and hence the products are presented with shot descriptions of the products. Little or no attention is paid to the customer care services.

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Analysis

The findings show that women tend to be more careful while shopping than females. Males may for instance pay very little attention on matters of security and prices when compared to their female counterparts. The level of customer service satisfaction seems to differ significantly between the males and females and this could be attributed to the fact that males do not complain much or they care less about the customer services when compared to their female colleagues. For most of the low income earners, prices seem to play a very significant choice in their choice of a shopping technique.

Conclusion

Most people tend to believe that online shopping is the best and the number of those who prefer this technique keeps rising. The customer care services for online shopping have however been known to be ineffective hence the need to improve this services. The prices are relatively lower while the quality of the goods and services is perceived to be higher when compared to the in-store shopping technique. The technique is most preferred due to the fact that it is convenient and it saves the shopper the agony of having to make long queues at the shopping malls or spending extra money on fuel and other expenses. Security and issues of privacy seem to be the main hindrance to people’s preference of online shopping. The main difference between the sexes while doing online shopping is mainly based on the satisfaction levels as well as concerns. The major difference between the high income earners and low income earners is the issue of pricing. Online shopping is however preferred due to the fact that it is environmental friendly and one does not need to travel for long distances so as to access the shopping mall.

Most of those who oppose online shopping claim that the technique usually has prices inclusive of the shipping as well as handling costs and it might therefore have higher prices depending on the distance involved. The other challenge posed by the online shopping is that there is no instant gratification; one is not able to receive the goods immediately as it is in the case of in-store shopping. This tends to be a major driving factor in people preferring in-store shopping (Amichai-Hamburger 103-117).

Recommendations

  • While deciding on the best shopping technique, one needs to consider convenience and the costs of pricing.
  • The customer care services have to be improved for the online services.
  • Online store need to have detailed and effective websites that make it easier for individuals to carry out online shopping.
  • More funds need to be set aside for the improving the online shopping services.
  • Most of the in-store shopping malls have to adopt the online shopping services as well so as to increase the number of clients or the customer base. Combining the two shopping techniques seem to be the best option in deciding on a shopping technique.
  • The online shopping technique has to include shopping more other products for instance the clothing and textile industry is yet to improve its online stores.

References

Amichai-Hamburger, Yair. “The impact of Internet interactivity and need for closure on consumer preference.” Computers in Human Behavior (2004): 103-117.

Bosnjak, Michael. “Personality determinants of online shopping: Explaining online purchase intentions using a hierarchical approach.” Journal of Business Research (2007): 597-605.

Carolyn Predmore, Janet Rovenpor, Alfred Manduley, Tara Radin. “Shopping in an age of terrorism: Consumers weigh the risks associated with online versus in-store purchases.” Competitiveness Review (2007): 170-180.

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Tan, Soo Jiuan. “Strategies for reducing consumers’ risk aversion in Internet shopping.” Journal of Consumer Marketing (1999): 163-180.

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