With many brand name department stores and independent fashion retailers now moving their inventory into online markets, many fashion enthusiasts begin to pose the question: Is it better to purchase their clothes online, or continue shopping in retail stores? Both methods of shopping carry with them pros and cons. Everything from customer service and transportation, to convenience and shipping costs weighs in on the decision, which leaves us asking, which way is really better?
The first thing to consider when deciding between an online fashion boutique and a retail store is this: How do you want to pay for it? When purchasing clothing online—like most web-based purchases—it requires customers to pay electronically. This means shoppers will likely need something like a credit card or some other form of online financing to successfully process their order. If dealing with cash and checks is your preferred method of payment, it may be simpler to just go out to a local clothing store and avoid all the hassle that comes with electronic payment.
If the main concern is not payment method, but rather the product selection and availability, the upper hand definitely goes to shopping online. When it comes to online fashion, most online shops have their currently available inventory in one single place for their shoppers. All of the newest trends and fashions are viewable through your web outlet with just a simple click of a mouse. This makes it simple for customers to browse through and select which outfits they want to purchase, without having the hassle of driving out to individual retailer shops to find clothing that may or may not be available anymore.
With online shopping, customers may need to do research on the various shipping and handling costs, as well as the different delivery time estimates that come with their orders. Depending on where the online stores are shipping from in relation to the customer’s location, the prices may vary. Clothing being shipped locally will have reasonably priced shipping and a speedy delivery time, while packages being shipped internationally may be more costly, and take a longer time to be delivered.
In regards to customer service, and policies on exchange sand returns, retail stores are still the best bet. Buying online may be convenient and easy, but it lacks the basic services usually available in retail stores. Though online stores generally allow exchanges and returns, dealing with shipping and required paperwork may become a difficult burden. Going directly into a retail store would be a much simpler process and can be dealt with more quickly with the aid of the in-store personnel. Before purchasing online or in a retail store, always be sure to review the exchange and return policy.
In the end, it appears online shopping (in Chinese term 购物网) wins in regards to availability and convenience. Purchases made online can be easily ordered, and will be delivered right to your doorstep without any hassle. For customers that still prefer having the benefits of customer service and a more hands on approach to selecting their clothing, it may be best for them to continue their shipping needs at a local retail shop. Each method offers its own advantages, and customers should lean towards the option that most benefits themselves. Read more about benefits of shopping online.