The Pros and Cons of Shopping Online Vs. In-Store

The Pros and Cons of Shopping Online Vs. In-Store

Heather Gautschi

Heather GautschiApr 02, 20185 min read

If spring has you clamoring to get your shopping on, you’re probably wondering when to go the digital route and when it might be necessary to physically go to a store. Never fear, just follow our handy guide for shopping online vs. in-store and you’ll be good to go!

Shopping Online: When it’s a Win!


Shopping electronics online is a must. From the resources available to research products to the endless options offered the next time you are in the market for the latest tech, go online first.

There are many benefits to shopping online for electronics:

1. Online reviews/forums

You’ll find a wealth of information at your fingertips, from product reviews to recommendations, to discussion forums. In the market for a new camera? Ask the pros what they are using, hit up chat rooms and professional photographers to get tips and feedback on the gears and gadgets you need. 

2. Comparison Shopping

E-commerce was basically built for this. Comparison shopping for all your devices is easy as digital pie. Most electronic e-commerce sites have the ability to compare products side by side so you can get the best [roduct for your money depending on what is more important to you. Whether you need a lot of storage space, are looking for a crystal clear screen and display or just want a computer that gets the job done you can compare brands and products side by side to make your own digital pros and cons list.  

3. Go for Refurbished

Refurbished electronics are a great way to save money on your devices, but they are generally only available online. You definitely don’t want to miss out on deals like these! Find a nearly new iPhone or replace that old laptop for a newer old laptop without draining your bank account. The refurbished products work just as well and were used with care so it is like getting a brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box product for less. 


Have a retailer you already know and love? Save time and money when you shop online. Free shipping is often standard, and many brands boast hassle-free returns to make it simple to exchange for a different size or color. When looking for more savings you can often find better sales and deals online to your favorite retailers. There are often digital coupons that you can use at checkout that may not be available in-store. And let's face it, leaving the house these days is more of a hassle than anything so why not shop from the comfort of a couch.

Baby Products

The big pro for shopping online for anything baby related: time! Many new parents do not have the luxury of time to make a shopping trip. Having baby items arrive at your doorstep can be a real godsend for parents of little ones. When it comes to shopping for your family ensuring it is the best quality and a safe trusted product is key and with the benefits of online shopping you can do your research before pulling the trigger hastily in-store. 

Other benefits of shopping online go beyond what you are shopping for. The ease of shopping from home and getting products sent right to you is priceless, not to mention payment options. While shoppers usually opt for credit or debit transactions online, you can often use your Paypal account or cryptocurrency to make purchases. The variety of payment options offered makes online shopping easier and caters to every online shopper's needs. 

When to Hit the Mall and shop in-store

Home Furnishings

Yes, you may spot some incredible deals on king-sized mattresses online, but there is definitely something to be said for making the trip to the furniture store and testing out that bed, or that comfy lazy chair or couch. Some things just really require that tangible experience, and this category is one of those. From comfort to color, shopping in-store to physically check out the merchandise is important for larger purchases like home furniture. While there are great options online to get some new home decor, there is something about getting an in-person look to stay on track with your style. 


This is a bit of a mixed bag (pun intended!) If you are a busy parent or lead a hectic lifestyle, having groceries delivered to you may outweigh the cons. However, being able to inspect your food and comparison shop is something that can really only be done in person. Being able to quickly look at labels and ensure you are getting the organic, non-GMO, gluten-free products you want in your cart and on your dinner table is a must. There is something nice about grocery shopping for the week and planning out the delicious meals while picking the perfect produce that makes shopping for groceries a personal affair. 

Makeup/Body Care

You can certainly find many great deals in this category online. However, shopping online means that you won’t have the personal assistance of a specialized beauty consultant in the store, who can help guide you to the right hues, textures, shades, etc. You’re taking more of a gamble when you shop online in this category. The color palettes have to be just right if you want to copy that Pinterest look on your Beauty Board so seeing the products in person is priority number one. And let's not pretend like shopping for makeup in-store is not your favorite weekend activities.