Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday: To Shop or Not To Shop

Now that the crowds from Black Friday have subsided, thankfully malls and shopping centers can be considered safe again. Fortunately, we've come to another pit-stop in our winter holiday journey, which can help with your shopping for the rest of the year:

Cyber Monday!


Even before the holiday season, the rise of online shopping has become increasingly popular since the rise of Amazon.com, Ebay, and other popular retailers in 1995. Though the holiday, "Cyber Monday" didn't debut until November of 2005, this marketing innovation has helped raise billions of dollars for the online community.

Despite this popular holiday, there are still people with apprehension about the process of shopping online. This is completely understandable concern, as this certainly isn't the tangible shopping experience many of us grew up with. However, before condemning online shopping just yet, lets examine the pros and cons of both methods of shopping:


Online Shopping



Pros:
  • You don't have to worry about travel time, or finding a parking spot
  • Reduce your carbon footprint (for the Eco-conscious soul).
  • No crowds; this can especially be helpful during the holiday season.
  • No distractions/claustrophobia which may be caused by other shoppers or sales people.
  • No waiting in line to check-out.
  • Switching stores is as easy as typing a name or clicking a button.
  • If you're clothes shopping, unlimited amounts of sizes.
  • You can easily compare prices with other websites.
  • It's much easier to find deals and promotions online.
  • Customer/product reviews: see how reliable the store and products are that you're ordering.
  • If you have a laptop and wifi, you can shop at any comfortable destination you like! Outside, on the couch, in your bed...wherever you choose, your oasis awaits.
  • No need to worry about dressing up to go out! You can shop in your pajamas/sweats for all it matters!
  • You can ship gifts directly to far away friends/family instead of taking gifts to your local shipment store.
  • There is more background information at your finger tips such as technical specifications, the material the product is made of, other products to go with it, etc.

Cons:
  • You can't actually "see" the product. There's just something to holding a product or trying something on that puts the mind at ease.
  • The wait time to receive your products; not instantaneous like in-store shopping.
  • Shipping costs; though many websites have free shipping after spending a certain amount, this isn't always the case.
  • Items listed online may not necessarily be in stock; it's very important to check this! If you're unsure, I recommend calling the store's customer service team.
  • Extenuating circumstances can occur, delaying your shipment (i.e. bad weather
  • Products can be damaged during shipment
  • Returning/exchanging the product can sometimes be a hassle.
  • Payment fraud or identity theft; though this can happen in physical stores too, unfortunately it's easier to do this behind a computer.
  • No one physically there to answer your questions if you need help with someone, and calling the company, you don't always speak with a representative.


In-Store Shopping



Pros:
  • You can physically feel, touch, and look at all angles of the product.
  • If you need to try something on, you are able to do so.
  • You are able to get a better idea of the color; on eCommerce websites the lighting or background of the photography can some times affect how the product color actually looks.
  • You're reducing the carbon footprint of the shipping companies
  • You get your merchandise right away; no waiting for shipping.
  • There's just something adventurous about shopping in a store, not knowing what you're going to find!


Cons:
  • It can take a lot of effort getting to your awaited destination, especially during holiday rush seasons.
  • Finding the products you need in a store can be a nightmare between locating the product and weaving through large crowds.
  • Two words: sales people. They mean well and they're just doing their job, but sometimes you just want to be left alone.
  • The price of the product is the price of the product, unless you have coupons with you.
  • Checking out can be a tedious process; long lines, heavy carts, agitated customers, and sometimes screaming children. Not the ideal shopping experience.
  • You can physically return or exchange a product without being charged a restocking fee or shipping fee.

All in all, whether you're shopping online or in stores, there are pros and cons to both. However if you're aware and educated on the aspects of each shopping method, you can make an informed decision for what works best for you. 

In the spirit of Cyber Monday, for those remodeling their bathroom, redecorating, or just buying a gift for the holidays, be sure to visit us at TheBathOutlet.com for one of our biggest sales of the year: 10% off your order, free shipping and twice the rewards to be used on a future purchase (until 11:59 p.m. on 12/2/2013 only).




Happy Cyber Monday everyone, and may the sales be ever in your favor!

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