Home » Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping: Is It Worth Your Time & Money?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping: Is It Worth Your Time & Money?

Since it became publically available, the internet has become a mighty part of our life. We can’t live without the internet. Online shopping is arguably one of the best features that are possible because of the internet. If you consider the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping has offered countless benefits to people from all over the world. When the world was pushed into lockdown, online shopping helped people get the things that they wanted without having to put their life on the line.

The internet has clearly revolutionized the way we shop. Anything you want, anytime you want it, it all can be done with some clicks/taps on your computer or your smartphone. Plus, those who live a hectic and stressed life, don’t have the luxury to go to the store daily. This is where online shopping comes in handy. Although, just like everything in this world, there are both advantages and disadvantages of online shopping. In this list, we’re mentioning all the top advantages and disadvantages of online shopping.

Advantages of Online ShoppingDisadvantages of Online Shopping
More convenient than traditional shoppingNegative environmental impact of packaging and shipping
Better pricesShipping problems and delay
More variety of productsReturning products can be tough
Easier to send giftsIt’s hard to know what you’re getting
No crowdsNo sales assistance
Access to used productsRisk of fraud
More controlNo support for local retailers

Advantages of Online Shopping

1. Convenience of Shopping

A convenient shopping experience is one of the best advantages of online shopping. We’re pretty sure you won’t be able to shop for t-shirts in the middle of the night anywhere else. Plus, you don’t have to wait in line for checkout, no cashier-related problems, and an almost instantaneous shopping experience. 

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With online shopping, you can purchase anything you want 24/7. You can buy e-books and start reading instantly, also these downloadable items reduce the bad impact on the environment.

2. Better Prices Than Traditional Shopping

Since you can shop from seemingly unlimited sources, you are sure to get competitive prices. It’s easy to compare prices and find deals that offer you the most for your money. Plus, you’ll also save money on taxes as well, as online shops are only required to collect a sales tax if they have a physical location in the state you live in. Plus, you won’t have to spend money on gas and parking if you go out shopping. 

3. A Better Variety of Products

You can get hundreds of varieties of the same kind of products, and find a number of choices or counterparts for the brands you want. You can get international products, you can get products from even the other half of the country. You’ll find a huge collection of products when you start shopping online. Plus, unlike offline shopping, you won’t have to worry about not being able to find the size and color of a product. You can set reminders for products that aren’t available at the moment.

4. Send Gifts with More Ease

With online shopping, sending gifts to those you love is easy and simple. You can send gifts, regardless of where you are and where the receiver is. All the packaging and shipping are done for you and if you want you can even get the gifts wrapped. Whatever the occasion and whenever you want to send gifts you can do that using online shopping. 

5. No Crowds to Deal With While Shopping

No one likes to deal with crowds when they’re shopping. Things get even worse when it’s the holiday season and there are people just about everywhere. With crowds, come increased checkout times and headaches. Plus, heading down to the shopping center and finding parking is incredibly tough. You can eliminate all these problems when you shop for your products online.

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6. You Can Buy Used or Damaged Items at Low Prices

If you are looking to buy products that are extremely expensive, then you can buy used items for cheaper. Using the internet, you can find the product you’re looking for at half or less the price. If you love collecting antiques, there’s no better place to do so.

7. More Control Than Offline Shopping

Offline shopping stores tend to keep enticing products near checkout so people end up buying more products than they planned. Some stores also place products cleverly so shoppers shop more. Shopping online provides you with more control over your shopping habits. Using online shopping sites, you can just shop for the products you want and leave. You don’t have to be enticed by other products.

Disadvantages of Online Shopping

1. Negative Environmental Effects

Online shopping websites and apps always deliver products wrapped in multiple layers of plastic and cardboard. Plus when the products are delivered, it causes some pollution. While you can recycle cardboard, plastic packaging is extremely harmful to the environment.

2. Several Shipping Problems and Delays

Even the biggest online shopping providers tend to have bad days, so there’s no way to make sure that you’ll the products in time. If there’s an emergency and you want to need products at a certain time, you should go offline shopping. Also, products sometimes get lost, damaged, or sent to the wrong address in online shopping. 

3. Sending Back Products Can be a Hassle

If you don’t like a product, or if it’s delivered to you damaged, then returning the product can be a tough thing. Some providers make the process incredibly easy, while others can complicate the process. Sometimes, you won’t get reimbursed for the shipping costs, you’ll have to return the products with the same labels and packaging. Overall, returning products can be a lot of hassle. 

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4. You Don’t Know What You’re Getting

If you aren’t familiar with the brands, buying products online is a huge risk and sometimes taking this risk can backfire. If you’re shopping for clothes, there are some issues with sizes, colors, fabric types, etc. It’s always hard to figure out the build quality, durability, and more by just looking at photos and videos. Products can look and feel different from photos. 

5. No Sales Assistance

In a store, you can get assistance for the products you’re planning to buy, however, when it comes to online shopping, the situation isn’t the same. If you have questions about some products or services, there’s almost no assistance. Sometimes, you’ll have to make the purchase to find the answers to your questions. 

6. Fraud is Always a Possibility

Online fraud is always a risk associated with online shopping. Customers can get sucked in with credit card scams, phishing scams, hacking, identity theft, fake products, and fake websites that steal your data. Basically, there’s no limit to fraud associated with online shopping. You need to be careful about providing the sensitive information to websites that seem fishy.

7. Harms Local Retailers

With the pandemic, small local businesses are already having trouble with staying afloat. If more and more people start shopping online, local businesses will go out of business. Let’s say all the stores in your town succumb to online shopping, you’ll have to drive farther away in the case of an emergency. A lot of small and local businesses have already faced a lot of losses with the rise of e-commerce stores.