Access to the internet has revolutionized the way we shop, especially since online shopping was made available. The e-commerce sector in the Philippines alone has experienced tremendous growth. Said growth took an exponential leap in 2020 mainly due to the COVID-10 pandemic.
While online shopping comes with numerous benefits, it is not without drawbacks. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that online shopping poses.
PROS of Online Shopping
For most, the greatest benefit that shopping online has is its convenience. Through the digital space, stores that provide you with your wants and needs are open 24/7. After all, what store can accommodate you and make your shopping experience comfortable at midnight wearing pajamas? You can buy anything you want with a tap on your screen.
In comparison to a physical store with fixed hours, online shopping offers customer availability at any given time, place, and occasion. Since not everyone can simply immediately run to a brick-and-mortar store whenever a need arises, the availability of online shopping makes it easier for customers to satisfy their needs.
Do you remember that one time when you were simply browsing but a saleslady doing her job makes you feel pressure to buy their stuff? Whether it’s on purpose or not, in the end, you bought an item because you didn’t want to feel embarrassed. Yeah, stuff like that doesn’t happen when you shop online.
There are no lines to wait in or cashiers to track down to help you with your purchases, and you can do your shopping in minutes. There’s no sense of rush to collect your change quickly. Or that nervous feeling when you’re about to place your order. Online shopping is simply a haven for anyone who hates pressure.
Access to Consumer Reviews
You know immediately when products are rubbish or gem through the reviews of other buyers. You don’t get that in a physical store since there is no way employees will go out of their way to be extremely honest with their products. Through shopping online, you get to read people’s views and experiences towards the product, the shop, the seller, and even logistics.
Hence, it is easier to avoid second-rate quality products. Through consumer reviews and ratings, buying online provides you with a very efficient way to evaluate whether your desired product is worth your money.
CONS of Online Shopping
Longer Waiting Time
You might have avoided the minutes of waiting in line at the cashier, but you won’t get to keep away from days of waiting for parcel delivery. The shops that you can find online vary in places. There are shops that have the product you desire that are located in another region or even another country. These geographical differences add up to the waiting time that you as an online shopper have to endure.
Although I’m not one to judge since not everyone considers the pain of waiting as an arduous task. Especially if you’re into delayed gratification.
Risk of Receiving Defective Product
While I did mention that customer ratings and reviews are visible in most online shops, that doesn’t mean that defects are impossible to encounter. Even if you choose to order from a reputable shop, there are risks that the product you’ll receive won’t be as good as the others they have sold.
Sometimes, receiving a defective product is not necessarily the fault of the seller. Since online shopping consists of various steps before you actually receive your item, the problem may lie in the way it was delivered or handled.
Privacy and Security
Online shoppers must always consider their privacy and security as legitimate concerns. It should be a known fact how easily our private information can get accessed or worse stolen through online transactions. Any safety gaps in an online platform can seriously lead to the risk of fraud, credit card scams, identity theft, hacking, and plenty of other scams.
One should always be aware and mindful of shopping sites online to whom they share their private information, even bank details. Just because there are plenty of buyers, it doesn’t necessarily eliminate risks. Be vigilant when buying online.
Although online shopping offers us a variety of great deals, it’s important for us to know and discern what we actually need and what we want to trust. Every customer must be a responsible buyer whether it is through online shopping or through physical stores.
Cristine Joy is a broadcasting major with a deep passion and obsession for reading and writing. She's the type of person that would lie to herself saying "one last chapter is all I need for a good night's sleep" then proceeds to finish the whole story until dawn. Her tenacity is what makes her believe that writing is not simply just a talent, rather it's a skill that one can continuously improve upon practice.