With so many brick and mortar stores online, many times shoppers can choose between the convenience of ordering merchandise online or purchasing it in the store. Some people choose online ordering because they like shopping during the time the physical store is closed, or they avoid crowds. Other people prefer shopping in stores in order to try on merchandise and get a feel for the item. While theses choices are the reason for both mall and internet shopping, in the long run, a consumer may actually be paying more for this convenience.
Sometimes, online coupons for merchants will entice shoppers into believing that, with a coupon code, their order will be less expensive then if they were to shop in the brick and mortar version of that retailer. Some of the most popular codes, “Free shipping” and “25% off” may look like a big savings, but what most people do not realize is that the discounts are meant to draw shoppers to the website. This is because most items when ordered online are shipped, not directly from a physical store, but from the store’s warehouse. This is in contrast to department store shopping, where inventory is limited to quantities on hand, hence the reason for limited availability of some items.
Additionally, prices are influenced by logistics. Have you even noticed why prices are more expensive on a store’s website, and they are less expensive in the physical store? This is especially true with clearance items and end-of-season merchandise. Department stores receive new merchandise in one season ahead of time and are expected to have it ready for display and sale as soon as possible. Merchandise that is current or from a previous season needs to be sold quickly, and the best way department stores can clear it away is by offering a deep discount. Warehouses, on the other hand, have a great amount of space, so merchandise has the ability to be stored for a greater amount of time.
In order to get the best possible deal, shoppers have to be flexible and knowledgeable before they make their purchases. If shopping for current or past season merchandise, in-store shopping at the physical department store would offer the best savings. Saturdays and Sundays usually offer special weekend incentives such as “$10 off of a $50 purchase” or “scratch off game prices” to shoppers looking for additional savings. Weekend in-store shopping also offers additional discounts on clearance items by allowing shoppers to take as much as an additional 50-75% the current clearance price.
If regular, in-season merchandise or merchandise that is a store staple year-round, online shopping will probably save a shopper the most money. By using an online coupon, the shopper can save more by purchasing from the store’s website as opposed to shopping at the store’s physical site. The exceptions to this rule are weekend sale coupons. They usually offer the same discount as a web coupon, but the cost for shipping can be eliminated, thus making the purchase less inexpensive.
In the end, sometimes shoppers based their purchases on price, while others on convenience. Shoppers who have the greatest amount of flexibility will same the most off of their purchases. Sometimes, shopping in the physical department store is the least expensive method of shopping. Other times, online shopping at the store’s website is the least expensive method. It all depends on type of item(s) needed, cost of the item, and whether or not the item is seasonal or not. With proper research and comparison shopping, and weekend flexibility, shoppers’ dollars can go further; be it online or in-store. Happy shopping!