Christmas Shopping: Online or In-Store?

Olivia Blumb, Staff Writer, Online Tritonian

Online shopping and in-store shopping for students is a personal preference influenced by the convenience of a few clicks or the satisfaction of holding an item in one’s possession.

Online shopping, a growing industry in the United States, has now created a convenient way to shop with just a few clicks without having to leave home.

In-store shopping involves crowds whereas online is a quick and easy way to purchase items without the hassle of people in check-out lines and aisles.

Sophomore Jack Halama, like many others, prefers to online shop at “anywhere that sells the best looking and most stylish brands.”

A complication with online shopping is the time it takes for packages to arrive from a company. Halama said, “If I could change one thing about shopping today, I would want shipments to come faster than they do.”

Though some companies offer free shipping at all times, some can charge up to $10 for just standard shipping rates. Around the holidays, some company’s shipping charges can rise while other companies offer free two-day shipping.

A complication with in-store shopping can be the organization of a store. Sophomore Claire Sievert prefers to shop in-store but says organization is an issue.

“If I could change one thing about modern shopping, it would definitely be the way the store is organized. When I walk into some stores, there are really no specific places for just pants or just shirts, so it takes me a really long time to find what I am looking for. Stores where the items are all over the place is a little inconvenient for people when they are just trying to go in and get out as quickly as possible,” said Sievert.

A positive to online shopping is the availability of items. Shopping online can almost always guarantee the availability of an item from a store or warehouse across the country.

Shopping in-store can be difficult to find the correct sizes or a specific item that is being looked for. When shopping in-store, the option for a worker to search for an item at another store or online is not always a possibility.

Sizing of clothes, shoes and other items in stores can also be difficult. Many stores and brands have different size charts and systems so knowing what size to buy can be frustrating.

Sophomore Allison Rakers said, “I would change to universal sizing because it’s really annoying having such a variety of sizings for the same number.”

Online shopping sites usually include a feature to see different sizes that are similar to the brands. This can be helpful in finding the right fit for the shopper.

Another helpful feature with online shopping is the price match feature. If an item is not specifically exclusive to a brand, the shopper can search and compare prices between companies to find the best deal.

Online shopping sales are becoming more popular everyday. Now, there are sites specifically for coupons and promo codes to use online.

Another way to find sales from a store is to sign up for the company’s email program. However, it can fill up the inbox of one’s email as it notifies shoppers of special online sales and certain promo codes.

The rate of online shopping, a growing industry in the United States, is predicted to account for about 11% of the retail sales. This percentage has been growing since 2013 when it was about 8% of retail sales.

Online and in-store shopping, a personal preference, is not only about convenience but is also influenced by the accessibility to a store by the shopper.