online shopping woman desk laptop

There’s no denying it, online shopping has become a huge part of our lives in the last 5-10 years. Gone are the days when we actually had to go outside to buy something. Ten years ago, I didn’t expect anyone to sell their stuff online.  Nowadays, if a brand or store doesn’t have an online shop, I usually get quite frustrated and question the quality of their marketing department (I mean, hello… It’s 2015!).

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I am not a huge online shopper, but I know a lot of people who haven’t set foot in an actual store for a long time. This got me thinking, will there still be shopping centres and stores in 50 years? Probably yes, as there are many benefits, but also disadvantages about online shopping:

Pro: You can shop in your pajamas, from the comfort of your bed. No need to get dressed, put make up on, or even brush your hair. In the virtual world, nobody will see you while you load up your shopping bag.

Con: You are tempted to buy more: Because you are not actually holding or carrying around the items that you want to buy, your virtual shopping bag fills up easily without you noticing that you have just accumulated clothes worth one month’s rent. You’re shocked at the check out and can’t decide what to keep.

Pro: You can shop whenever you want: Who has got time to go shopping during office hours? And being in a shopping centre on a Saturday is like going to Bondi Beach on a public holiday: too many people. Online shops don’t have opening hours. Feeling like buying a pair of shoes at 2am? Done! Ordering a friend’s birthday present during your lunch break? Easy!

Con: You can’t try it on: To me, this is one of the main reasons why I still like to go into actual stores. I prefer to not only see, but feel and try on the clothes, shoes, and accessories I am interested in before buying them. Sure, you can send back any online purchases that don’t fit, but let’s be honest: How many times have you kept something because you couldn’t be bothered to send it back? I thought so.

Pro: You can shop on international sites: In Australia, we know the pain of not having all the cool international labels in our stores. However, the world wide web has given us access to almost all of them and some sites even offer free international delivery!

Con: Nothing is really special anymore: Remember when you used to bring back clothes from your holiday in Europe and it felt really special to have them because they were only sold there? Those days are gone.

 image via expatliving.sg