What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping?

The internet has turned the tables on the way we do shopping. Because of numerous advantages, more and more people prefer buying things online over the conventional method of going into stores and searching through aisles.

What are the reasons that many people love online shopping, and what are the disadvantages of it? Let's see below.

Advantages of Online Shopping

Convenience - The biggest perk. Where can you comfortably shop at midnight while lying in your pajamas? There are no lines to wait, or cashiers help manage your purchases, and you can do your shopping in minutes. With the opportunity to shop 24/7, you also reward the environment with a 'no pollution' shopping experience.

Affordable Pricing - Cheap deals and better combo offers are available online because the products come to you directly from the seller or manufacturer without involving go-betweens with the benefit of easy to compare pricing and better deal chance. Save the extra expense of gas and parking!

Low Pressure - Often, when we're out shopping, we end up buying things that we don't need, all because shopkeepers/ mall representatives pressure us or use their selling skills to compel us to make these purchases.

Easy Discreet Purchases - Online shops are best for discreet purchases for things like adult toys, sexy lingerie, and so on. They further enable us to purchase undergarments and lingerie without embarrassment or paranoia that people are watching or judging us.

No crowding - Crowding is a fear to many after the covid-19 pandemic. Especially during holidays or on weekends, they can be massive headaches and extra tension. Also, being crushed in a crowd makes us feel rushed. No battle for a parking spot. All these problems are avoidable when you prefer online shopping.

Also read: 6 Ways to Stop Yourself From Impulse Shopping

Disadvantages of Online Shopping

Fraud Risk - If you're shopping online, there's a more significant risk of fraud: credit card scams, phishing, hacking, counterfeit products, fake websites, and other scams are too familiar.

Too much Screen Time - If your job requires you to look at a computer all day, you might get sick of all that screen time. Shopping online can then turn into a marathon of scrolling and clicking rabbit holes. The Internet is an excellent place to visit, but you probably don't want to live there.

No Assistance- When shopping offline, there's usually someone to help you, but you have to hustle on your own online. Even if you're confused or have questions, you might have to make blind purchases and mistakes you'll regret later because there was no one to clear it out.

Damaging Local Retailers Market- If everyone started doing all their shopping online, all the local vendors would go out of business. We'll have to drive further and further away to shop at an actual store if that happens. Many vendors and cities have already experienced the negative and devastating impacts of e-commerce which take away jobs and devastate local economies.

Also read: How To Be a Smart Shopper This Festive Season

Tips to Overcome Impulse Shopping

For many people, the adrenaline rush of shopping creates a high similar to that of drugs or alcohol, and it can be exactly like any other addiction.

Below are five pointers which when applied, can help you with your impulse decisions:

Screen Time Reminder - How much time do you spend every day, or every week, shopping and scrolling online? Every smartphone these days have screen time calculators, which help you look at the average time you spend on each application every day. TURN IT ON today. Set a limit to how many hours a day you need to be active. This wake-up call can help you lower your screen time as well as your impulse purchases.

Remove Card Details - Have you saved your card information on your favorite sites so you can buy with a click. This exercise makes it all too easy to shop for something before you've thought about it. Re-entering your detail every time will add time, effort, and annoyance, further realizing if you need the product or not.

Declutter - If you want to curb your online shopping, take time to declutter and tidy up your home and office. Decluttering helps you to grasp just how much stuff you have and you need in reality. Looking closely at what you've already had can be a valuable wake-up call.

Unsubscribe - Email notifications are the most triggering when it comes to shopping for anything. Take out a few minutes to unsubscribe from all the brand newsletters you receive every day. You won't hear about their special sales, but you'll have more money in your checking account at the end of the month.

Make Goals - Stop today and prioritize what gets you the most excited in life. What are you want to do? For example, owning a home? Taking a trip to Paris? Higher Education? Identify your life goal and then picture whatever it is on your desk or as your wallpaper. Whenever you're tempted to buy something, take a moment and re-think if that new coat or a week in Paris?

Online shopping can be a curse and a blessing. Yes, it saves the time and struggles of in-person shopping, but it's not a healthy habit in the long term. Apply simple strategies like the above to help you with your temptation to shop.

(Check out 'Learn & Grow with Wizely' 'to read and learn all about personal finance and financial planning.)

Sakshi Mehrotra

Sakshi Mehrotra