Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

The advent of Flipkart, Amazon, Bigbasket and other
numerous online shopping portals in India has
affected the shopping habits of the Indian consumer.
Most of us have gradually reduced our trips to the
mall to once in one or two months. However, some
of us haven’t gone through that transition yet and
still prefer the traditional way of shopping.
Lets look at what influences the transition for most
The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about
choosing online or offline shopping, is the ease with
which you can shop online. Take me for example; I know
what groceries I want for the month. I login to my
Bigbasket account and add the items to art, and I’m done
in say 10-15 minutes. If I chose to go to the nearby
supermarket, I would have spent all my time avoiding
dashing my wheel cart into someone.
When you visit a store to buy a pair of jeans or say a
jacket, you might find the one that fits and Ticks off all the
boxes in your mind. However, the price might not be right;
or they may have a single piece of that apparel. You
sometimes end up paying a higher price due to lack of
will to go and check some other store nearby. Some
customers have the time to visit the next store on the
street for a better price but not all of us can afford to do
that. When you shop online you can keep a few sites open
and compare between the different options till you get the
best deal.
This has happened to me many a times. I go out so buy a
shirt or a tee at a Wrangler or a Levi’s store and I might
not find what I’m looking for. Most of the times they might
not even have a different color for the Shirt that you finally
liked. However, with online websites you get a multitude
of options and you don’t have to stick to one brand.
It has become a norm to check for reviews before buying
a product. More importantly, we definitely check reviews
for electronic products like washing machines, mobiles
and so on. Consumer reviews are definitely a booster and
gives you a push when you are looking for a particular
Sometimes when you go into a mall, you don’t like to be
bothered by the shop executive. You like to observe the
collections and pick something you like. However the
sales person comes to you no matter what, as that is his
job. With Online shopping you can choose to have a more
peaceful shopping experience. You can decide the
amount of time you want to spend on your shopping
You would have some trouble shopping for apparels
online because you cannot get the right fit. Sites like
Amazon do a good job in explaining the measurements,
but not all sites are so info friendly. Sometimes, you have
to be very sure about the size you want. If you are buying
fruits online on Bigbasket, the picture and the actual
fruits that are delivered may vary greatly.
There is always someone to help you at the mall, but with
online shopping you may either have to wait in line on the
phone, or wait for the reply to your mail for at least 24
hours. Not all websites have a live chat feature.
More than 50% of transactions on shopping websites
occur via cash on delivery, Flipkart & Amazon have still
been trying to push online transactions. Consumers in
India have slowly transitioned to online shopping but
many still prefer paying via cash. Most of us still feel
unsafe about online transactions.
These are some of the parameters resulting in
shopping behavioural patterns. Online shopping
has affected the market deeply, it is upto us as
consumers on how we adapt to it.