Compare and Contrast Shopping Online with Traditional Shopping

Technological Innovation and the Rise of Online Shopping

Technological innovation has changed the way many businesses market their products, as well as the way consumers access these items. Though machinery assists companies in increasing their productivity and meeting high demands, the Internet allows consumers to easily access goods on the market. This trendy practice is known as online shopping.

Traditional Shopping vs. Online Shopping

Traditional shopping, on the other hand, refers to a physical visit to a shopping center or a supermarket to purchase merchandise. It is now becoming an outdated buying practice due to the high number of people who enjoy online shopping. It compares and contrasts online and physical shopping.

Both online and traditional shopping offer products and comparatively convenient services to the customer. They equally provide an extensive selection of goods and services needed by customers to meet their daily wants and needs. For instance, when a client goes to a shopping mall or a clothes store to purchase a dress, they can find a variety of colors, shapes, styles, and sizes (Kacen, et al., 2013). Similarly, online shopping exposes the customers to many items to buy with different costs and styles. However, the preference of the buyer determines which method of shopping they are going to choose.

Similarities and Differences

The other similarity is that both of these shopping methods allow the consumer to return an item that has expired, has a small size, or other problems. The conditions of the retailer's policy determine whether replacing the item or refunding a customer is possible (Kacen, et al., 2013). However, traditional and online stores allow clients to return some goods for refund and others for exchange. For instance, exchanges and returns of personal commodities such as toiletries and undergarments are unaccepted in both online and mall stores.

Speaking about the differences, online shopping is convenient and saves time, especially for people with busy schedules. When shopping online, one takes about 10 minutes to log into the website and purchase the selected items, which are then delivered at home (Kacen, et al., 2013). One can also shop wherever they are as long as they have Internet-enabled devices, such as smartphones that can allow one to access the website selling goods. On the other hand, traditional shopping takes a lot of time to visit the shopping center and select items which are usually not located in the same area (Kacen, et al., 2013). Also, when one visits a center that is very far from home, they incur transportation costs or even fuel costs if they are driving themselves.

Nevertheless, traditional shopping allows the buyer to see the actual products before buying them. Thus, they have the choice to select the best item and even try products such as clothes before paying for them (Kacen, et al., 2013). The customer can also bargain with the seller and buy at a lower price than that of the online products. Also, the buyers get the goods once they have paid for them, allowing them to get a safe deal. Using online shopping, on the other hand, people cannot try items such as clothes before they buy them and are likely to get a smaller or bigger size, and it is not guaranteed they can return them (Kacen, et al., 2013). Online shoppers cannot bargain for products; thus one has to buy for the listed price even when it is cheaper in other stores in the market. Also, the buyer does not get the items immediately after paying them and can be inconvenient if they are needed urgently, such as tissues and shampoos.


Online shopping and traditional shopping are two important methods of purchasing products and services that have both advantages and disadvantages. They both offer new and existing goods and services available in the market. However, online shopping allows buyers to purchase goods from their home, thus saving time, money, and energy. In traditional shopping, the buyer has to go to the store to access goods, thus is likely to buy products that are in good condition at the lowest price. The two methods have their good and bad sides, thus one's choice depends on their preference.


Kacen, J. J., Hess, J. D., & Chiang, W. Y. K. (2013). Bricks or clicks? Consumer attitudes toward traditional stores and online stores. Global Economics and Management Review, 18(1), 12-21.

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