So Prime Day just passed on July 11th of this year, and although there were a few deals that were worth checking out, none of it really struck me as that interesting. I figured I could wait until Boxing Day or Cyber Monday to capitalize on deals with a larger variety of options. But that got me thinking: is offline shopping going to keep up with the rapid increase of online shopping? Should I even waste my time waiting for Boxing Day, or should I capitalize on the online offers that come every once in a while?
So there’s obviously pros and cons to both sides of the argument. Online shopping is good because you can shop for specific products that are your taste. Any specific monitor with this resolution and that refresh rate blah blah can be found fairly quickly and you can look at competitive prices. Sites like eBay also enhance the online shopping experience by bidding for rare items that you definitely would not find in a store. It’s a double edged sword though, as you could end up paying pretty high prices for some of the stuff you buy. So if you’re a collector of anything, this type of shopping is great for you. However, you DO have to wait for a few days for shipping and handling reasons. Not only that, but most good online shopping happens on US based sites, with US currency. Thus, you always have to account for paying more than what it states, and then include shipping on top of that. It’s usually higher for international shipping AND it will take longer than someone in the US. Thus, Amazon Prime isn’t a terrible investment if you’re an avid online shopper. I’d still avoid it if you only use the site every once in a while, but you can try using your Twitch account (if you have an account for the video game streaming site) for a free trial of Twitch Prime for a month. Not only do you get benefits from Twitch for games, but it includes a month of free Amazon Prime. Just remember to cancel it at the end of the month if you don’t want to continue the service.
With offline shopping, there may be lines, but you’re guaranteed your item if you grab it (unlike eBay, where someone can outbid you). Also, if you know your style fairly well, there’s not much incentive to online shop if you can, for example, go to H&M and get that style of shirt you like. Some stores specifically cater to certain styles, and it’s a big plus if you like that store and it’s relatively cheap. You don’t always have that benefit with online shopping. When people shop online for clothes or shoes, chances are they’re looking for the latest fashion, thus it’s going to be more expensive. Not only that, but there’s the obvious risk of something not actually fitting you, to which returns might be a pain in the butt, if even possible.
Thus, I suggest find a happy medium. Sign up for email lists of stores you like, and try to balance between when you want to go into the store, or buy it online. Some stores have special birthday discounts which they will email you, which is a huge benefit if you like to treat yourself. As for the future of both, I think people will slowly decline in offline shopping when it comes to electronics, MAYBE clothes too. As for online shopping, we’ll see a spike in electronics because of cyber Monday and Prime Day. Both are great forms of shopping, but at this point, it’s a personal preference.