Differentiation between traditional and online shopping



Differentiation between Traditional and Online Shopping

People have varying venues where they go to shop for various commodities such as high streets, shopping centers, department stores, or outlet village markets. However, fast development in recent has seen the transition of shopping methods in a new phase- online shopping. Just as the name suggests, online shopping involves making purchases using internet technology. Primarily, shopping traditionally or through the internet depends on a person’s preference. According Freeze (2008), these two consumerism forms exhibit differences in terms of cost, convenience, and product availability. To verify which between the two is better, I engaged in a shopping activity to purchase a cell phone. Ultimately, shopping for this commodity was much easier and convenient through online shopping.

In terms of location, shopping for a cell phone at home can be done at the office or home where I conveniently used a computer to search for this commodity online. Discussion with the seller in online shopping takes place on the shopping website. Hence, the location is not a matter of relevance. Undertaking this activity requires one to have a computer and internet connection, as well as the knowledge to operate the two. In terms of location, traditional shopping, on the other hand, expands with international communication and business trade development (Australian Institute of Urban Studies, 2007). From department stores to the supermarket, I had many venue options from which to choose. However, one inconvenience of this method is that I could not do it at the comfort of my home like online shopping.

In this case, when I compared the two I was able to establish that convenience is a major objective of any shopper. One might be ready and willing to purchase a commodity but might think otherwise if it was not accessible with ease. Additionally, with online shopping, the activity is not limited to time since it can be carried out at day or night and all week throughout the year (Freeze, 2008). On the other hand, purchasing a laptop in traditional shopping is mainly restricted to daytime since most shopping outlets remain closed at night save for those that offer services 24 hours. Furthermore, traditional shopping outlets are subject to closure on certain days such as Sundays or holidays.

Additionally, due to the wide range of the internet, I had the privilege of shopping for a cell phone worldwide and consumer sovereignty from comparison-shopping. Additionally, I found that it was much safer when shopping at my house rather than looking for a cell phone in outlets congregated with people (Seltzer, 2009). Additionally, this idea would also apply in seasons such as Christmas when outlets have large crowds. Nevertheless, I was able to notice that shopping online lacks an interesting experience that one enjoys in traditional shopping. In traditional shopping, I was able to make social connections with the attendants and other customers, as well. At one point, I even had the pleasure of sharing and listening to views with another customer on cell phone pricing and the most suitable models.

Shopping for a cell phone online provided me with a bigger comparison utility than traditional shopping. Through the online tool, I enjoyed extended product search and compared the prices of products as well as features to facilitate better decision making. However, price and feature comparison was not enough in giving me a complete experience of product function. In this case, I felt I was running the risk of receiving a product that I was not expecting. In traditional shopping, on the other hand, the shop attendants afforded me the privilege of giving the cell phone a test run myself. This gave me an opportunity of verifying its credibility.

Lastly, my expedition revealed that pricing between online and traditional shopping is competitive. Traditional outlet based retailers have to deal with expenses such as inventory, store rent, salaries and miscellaneous costs (Australian Institute of Urban Studies, 2007). According to Freeze (2008), the pricing of products in traditional shopping is hence affected by these costs making them high. On the other hand, retailers with online business do not have to deal with these costs meaning that product pricing is relatively lower. However, it is necessary to note that price advantage is not a major factor. In terms of online shopping, I noticed that there is an additional cost to the product price due for delivery services. In this regard, when I compared the two, I found that most online shopping websites had a much higher cell phone price and delivery cost compared to traditional pricing for the same cell phone model.

Conclusively, I was able to gather from my cell phone shopping expedition enough details to make an informed judgment between online and traditional shopping is better. Online shopping is indeed superior to traditional shopping in terms of convenience and product variety selection. Additionally, cell phones and most products in online shopping are much cheaper. Nevertheless, judging by my nature, I felt that traditional shopping suited me better. I am an outgoing person and prefer socializing rather than having a lonesome shopping experience. Additionally, I would get to spend much less in traditional shopping due to the delivery costs of online shopping. Furthermore, traditional shopping is much more assuring since it grants the opportunity if giving the commodity and first hand examination. In this regard, I think traditional shopping is superior to online shopping.


Australian Institute of Urban Studies. (2007). Traditional shopping. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Urban Studies.

Freeze, J. T. (2008). Traditional vs online shopping. Redmond, Washington: Microsoft Press.

Gonzalez, M. A. (2010). Shopping. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Markham, J. E. (2004). The future of shopping: Traditional and online. Basingstoke, Hampshire England: Macmillan Press.

Seltzer, R. (2009). Shop online the lazy way. New York, NY: Macmillan.


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