Analyzing the Benefits of Shopping Online vs. In-Store
Additional price and savings-related benefits intrinsic to shopping online include the following:
- easy access to coupons through a reputable coupon site;
- free returns by completing simple forms and prepaid shipping labels;
- some states don't charge sales tax (although this is rapidly changing);
- auction-based sites offer very low pricing on popular items;
- less temptation to impulse buy or to be pressured into buying a more expensive item;
- daily-deal sites offer cheaper pricing through the leverage of group buying; and
- refurbished, open box and used items are more readily available online, often at steep discounts.
Online shopping is similar to any other online activity (e.g., banking, bill payments, communication) in that it's convenient for the individual. People place a premium on their available time, and online shopping allows them to run errands while at work or during the evening when stores aren't typically open.