In today’s constantly developing world, the idea of online shopping is not new. People like to buy goods and services online to save time or obtain financial benefits. The investigation by Dautovic (2019) shows that “95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040” (para. 6). Recently, the prospects of real stores have become more uncertain, while people use modern tablets, smartphones, and computers for online shopping worldwide. However, the debates about the worth of online shopping and shopping at a mall continue to grow, identifying new benefits and shortages of these practices. Although the benefits of online shopping like nonstop services, geographical limitlessness, and affordable prices, and traditional shopping like interaction, physical presence, and no delivery concerns are evident, the threats of cheating, dependence, infections, and inequality cannot be ignored.
Millions of people prefer online shopping because of the possibility to make purchases 24/7 and choose products from different parts of the world at reasonable prices. The representatives of different age groups claim that it is impossible to get away from the Internet or social media for shopping. It does not matter what time is now, websites and different online platforms are available day and night. There is no need to stay dependent on the working hours of managers but ask for help anytime. Besides, online customers can choose a good from different parts of the world and be sure to have it delivered to the doorstep. There is no need to find a parking spot before Christmas, stand in a long queue, or leave home when it rains. For example, Americans observe available offers, compare options, and purchase everything online to save their time and nerves. Finally, lower rent prices and no wages and insurances lead to a price decrease. Business owners are not bothered by human resource issues, and consumers enjoy cheapness and quality. All these financial, geographical, and organizational opportunities prove the benefits of online shopping.
At the same time, certain arguments in favor of traditional shopping, including interaction, physical presence, and real-time reach, cannot be ignored. Instead of spending life in front of computers or smartphones and clicking online options, it is high time to think about the worth of human relationships. Shopping at a mall is a great chance to interact with people and check all products that could be purchased. Traditional customer service may be attractive and helpful because a shop assistant is always present in person and ready to consult a buyer. Giving advice on goods, a salesperson is an expert in the chosen market field, and, therefore, these recommendations turn out to be trustworthy. People demonstrate their desire to but something only after they touch, smell, or try it. Physical presence is a crucial element of shopping, and it is a key element of a traditional method. Finally, shopping at a mall is usually faster because a customer comes to the store and buys the product in a moment, whereas online shopping delivery takes time and causes problems sometimes. Real communication and cooperation create the main advantage of traditional shopping today.
As well as any human activity and achievement, online shopping has its price and certain drawbacks. One of the most evident examples is the growth of Internet scams. All online purchases are developed via websites, apps, and social media. Despite the fact that many policies and security measures are taken, the likelihood of cheating is still widely spread online. There is a threat of addressing the wrong person for help and spending money without getting a good or service in turn. Therefore, customers should investigate databases and try to choose official online stores with high ratings to protect themselves against any possible swindle. At the same time, online shopping unfavorably becomes a hobby, as well as a habit. A constant flow of commercial advertisement makes Americans dependent on available opportunities and enhances spending money, even if a person does not plan a purchase. In this modern technology era, smartphones collect personal data and analyze populations in order to offer what can be interesting or necessary in regard to age, geographical location, or interests. Although online shopping attracts people’s attention, its threats and disadvantages have to be identified and eliminated.
Traditional shopping may be a perfect option for many customers, but its dangers due to the pandemic crisis and social inequalities must be learned. Today, the COVID-19 situation makes shopping at malls a real threat to human health and even life. Online shopping turns out to be a necessity because of self-isolation and avoidance of direct contact. Traditional shopping becomes a challenge for business as people stop visiting public places and are afraid of getting a virus. Many salespersons try to create appropriate shopping conditions and protect their customers without addressing to digital technologies. However, the possibility of being infected while making a purchase at a mall is a serious threat of traditional shopping.
In general, the advantages and disadvantages of online and traditional shopping prove that both practices are not perfect today. On the one hand, it is beneficial to buy products online because of 24/7 services, low prices, and worldwide accessibility. Tradition shopping attracts attention from physical presence, cooperation, and delivery independence. However, online fraud, real-life infections, and uncontrollable shopping habits are threats that have to be recognized. It is a personal choice either to buy online or at the nearest store, but awareness of existing pros and cons is a contribution that cannot be neglected.