I love trying on clothing and having shopping dates with girlfriends. Looking and feeling products is a tangible experience that online shopping simply can't replace. However, with two young kids, it has become harder to find time to go to retail stores. As a result, I find myself turning to online shopping more frequently. According to forbes.com, "online sales are growing at approximately 10 times the rate of brick and mortar." Here are five reasons I prefer online shopping.
Saving Gas Money
I typically shop at online merchants that give me free shipping without spending a lot of money. When I receive free shipping, I am saving money because I don't have to pay for the gas to get to and from the store. With pets and kids, it seems like we always need something. In fact, 90% of my retail shopping involves food, pet and baby items. Overall, shopping online saves me about $15 a month in gas money.
When I go to the mall, I don't usually want to walk around and compare prices. I don't have a smartphone, so I can't download a price comparison app to make this job easier. Online, it's easy to go to a site like shopstyle.com and find a style at the cheapest price.
Some retail stores are badly organized. The last time I went to a discount retailer to find pajamas for my son, I couldn't find any footed sleepers. I left the store frustrated because I had made the visit specifically for pajamas. When I shop online, it is easy to see all the available options on one page. In addition, I can tailor my search by size, price or popularity.
I dislike keeping track of paper coupons. Typically, there are more online discount codes than paper coupons. With a few clicks, I can find coupon codes that give me up to 40% off. If I get 40% off of a sale price, I can find shirts for less than $3 for my kids. I can also shop through cash back sites that give me a percentage back for shopping through a link.
When I go to the mall with my children, it's likely I'm not going to be able to try on a bunch of clothing anyways. Thus, it's more convenient for me to purchase online. I don't have to wait in any lines or search for a parking spot. There aren't any pushy salespeople or rude customers to deal with. Most of the time when we go to the mall, we ride the train and look at the coy pond (rather than shop). Finally, when shopping online, I can set up automatic delivery or reorder from my list. This takes only a few minutes of my time.
I still enjoy going to brick and mortar stores. However, online shopping meets more of my lifestyle needs.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this Contributor:First Person: Cash Back Programs Are Profitable for Me
- Hobbies & Personal Activities
- online shopping