Offline vs Online shopping in Uganda comes down to experience vs convenience. It is only recently that online shopping has really taken hold of us as consumers, especially millennials. However, even with the growing hype in the media about e-commerce and discounts, most of the shopping is still done offline in physical stores.
E-commerce only platforms like Jumia aside, some physical stores have also made it easy for people to make a purchase on the internet and have their products delivered unswervingly to their door steps. So, offline vs online shopping, which one is the best?
Offline vs online shopping
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of online and offline shopping to help you choose which is best for your needs.
Human interactions. When you visit the store, you get the chance to have face-to-face interaction with a human store attendant. They can give real-time advice about the products that you are buying.
You can get it cheaply. Sometimes, you can manage to secure a discount with a good bargaining skill which is not possible online.
Shopping day out. Millennials really enjoy shopping and use it as a form of social activity with friends or family. Add eating out to offline shopping and you have yourself a fun day out.
Feel the real product. When you shop offline, get the chance to see and feel the product before you pay your money. You can feel exactly what it is you are getting before you make the purchase. There are fewer chances of having second thoughts when you felt the actual product before you paid.
Instant. Walk into the store and walk out with what you want. As simple as that.
Double payment. After raising enough to buy what you want, you must raise transport to the store too. Offline shopping takes time and money to go shopping.
Impulse buying. Ever bought a product you never planned to buy before you walk into a store? You are not alone. We’ve all fallen to the impulse buying sword one time. This makes offline shopping very expensive if you can’t resist the urge.
Not finding exactly what you want. Sometimes, you can visit a store and fail to find a size that fits you or the color you want. This creates wasted trips, money and time.
You might be cheated. If you don’t have price knowledge of the products you want to buy and little bargaining power, you might end up getting over charged for a product when you visit the store.
Convenience. Feeling lazy on your couch? No worries. Online shopping is extremely convenient. Most online shopping takes place in a smartphone app. You can pull out your smartphone and make a purchase anytime, anywhere. It’s even faster when you know what you are looking for.
Quick store comparisons. Online shopping makes comparison quick and easy. You can quickly compare offers of the same product across different platforms. This way you can always be sure that you are getting the very best deal possible.
Low chances of impulse buying. In most cases, you know exactly what you want to buy when you open an online shopping platform. Therefore, impulse purchases that waste money are nullified.
Huge discounts. Online shopping is a new things and platforms offer very suitable deals to pull customers. This really makes it cheaper compared to offline shopping.
Shipping can be expensive. Sometimes, you may find it necessary to get products from different stores. These shipping costs may turn out higher than what you would have paid if you physically moved to the different stores.
Waiting may become annoying. Making a purchase online may be quick but receiving the product may take a while. Online shopping may end up being very time-consuming as you scroll through the tons of offers on the platforms and then waiting for product delivery.
You give out your personal information to the store. Online shopping requires making an account using your email address or phone number. When you make a purchase online, that store will then have your contact info. We are the age of digital marketing, so don’t be surprised if the store starts re-targeting you with ads or bombarding you with marketing emails.
Offline vs Online shopping? The choice is in your hands. You can use the pros and cons of each to determine what works for you. In most cases, you may find both of them useful in some situations. Happy shopping.