Shop Online vs. In-store: The Differences and the Winner

by | 31 March 2021

In today’s digital age, shopping has never been made easier or at least convenient. Now, different platforms allow you to make purchases in the comforts of your own home. – or wherever you are. That doesn’t mean that it comes without the trade-offs. 

In light of the advent of eCommerce, in-store shopping has faced a somewhat decline in their customers as more and more people are finding it better to shop online. While it’s true, in-store shopping has been around for a very long-time. It will most likely be there forever. 

While online shopping does a tremendous job in keeping shopping convenient and comfortable, it still lacks physical experience and pleasure. In addition to that, there are still other factors that set the two apart. So, here they are. 


Winner: Online 

If you are a decisive shopper and someone who maintains a list of your shopping items, online shopping will do you a huge favor. Going to a store will require you to pick up items one by one and will be time-consuming even if you already know what you need. 

If long walks don’t sit well with you and are pressed with time, online shopping will better suit you. Simply enough, in-store shopping isn’t as efficient as it is. Either you are familiar with the different sections of the mall, it’s still not going to be as straightforward and fast when you do it online. 

Besides, you can shop online in your spare time, like when you are having a lunch break. It’s actually a good time-killer. Going to the store demands a specific time. 


Winner: In-store

Let’s say that you need something right away. It’s not hard to judge that in-store shopping is the winner. While many online shops now offer express shipping, it is rarely possible that they are shipped within the same day and at a fixed time frame. 

Unfortunately, online retailers do not operate their shipping logistics the same way fast-food chains do. (No, you can’t order or buy a product in an online shop and have it shipped in about 45 minutes on your doorstep.) It can take about a day or even weeks before you get it when you shop online. 

It isn’t very ideal if you are an excited purchaser because as time goes by, the excitement diminishes. When you buy at the store, you walk right into it. Get what you want. Walk to the cashier, pay, and go out with your purchase. You get it with you and bring it home on the same day. This is something that can’t be done with buying online. 

Product nature 

Winner: Inconclusive (Depends on the product)

Another big factor to consider is the Item and its nature. What is it that you are considering buying? Is it a perishable good or apparel? 

Perishable Item and clothes

Winner: In-store 

For a perishable good, such as fruit and vegetables, this is usually shipped the soonest possible to guarantee freshness. However, it’s still not 100% guaranteed that you will get what you’ve been promised. In instances like this, you must buy only from reputable online retailers and make sure to check out reviews. 

While it’s safer for snacks and pre-packaged food supplies, you should still give it a second thought. In general, shopping for food online might be a little trickier when doing it at the store because you can’t physically see the product and handpick them. Purchasing online is like telling what you want without getting to decide what you will get. 


Winner: In-store

It’s a little different with apparel, gadgets, and other equipment. However, for clothes, a lot of factors will have to play in that in-store shopping still fares better. Stores offer changing rooms that allow you to see if the clothes look on you very well. With that added customer service, it lets you know the issues that the clothes may have on you. So, before you buy them, you get to see the cons and pros. 

Physical items

Winner: Online 

For gadgets and other types of physical equipment, online shopping does a better job for convenience. If something goes awry with them, you can return them. For shoes, as long as you know what your size is, it should be good to do it online. 

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