Compare & Contrast

 

Cynical Shopper

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                Busy shopping malls, supercenters, and department stores are a nightmare. The crowds of people, the rude assistants, and not to mention the process of arriving at the store can get on anyone’s nerves. Fortunately, there is another way to get the things you need in this new world of technology—the Internet. The hassle of going to the store, waiting in lines, and traveling to multiple stores, increases the numbers of people shopping online.  Shopping in stores is more of a nuisance than it is worth.

First of all, getting to the store may take more time than the actual shopping at the store. Going to the store requires looking presentable by showering, getting dressed, and for some, doing make-up and styling hair. Altogether getting ready to go out into public may take more than half an hour, for some it may even take an entire hour. I live in a decent sized town, and it takes me at least fifteen minutes to get to the store. There are many small towns that do not have a large selection of shopping centers which in turn requires many consumers to travel greater distances in order to get what they need. On your way to the store you may have to deal with appalling drivers and insane pedestrians. This is made worse by the fact that many stores are only open during rush-hours. When you finally get to the store you still have to find a parking spot.

Furthermore, if you survive the trip to the store, you subsequently have other obstacles to face. Some obstacles include pushing through other shoppers, cluttered sale racks, and the likely chance of running into the oh-so-annoying-grandmother’s-friend whom talks for hours. Also, when in the store, you may encounter a sales associate whom has no idea how to help you; some days I think I would do a better job than they could. If it’s clothes that you seek, then there is the hassle of waiting in lines at the dressing room just to find that what the hanger said was a size twelve, was really a size two. That requires getting dressed again and going back out into the clutter of racks and searching for a size twelve. When all is said and done, you still need to check-out. If it is the check-out at a superstore, you are bombarded with the taunting stare of chocolate bars for only sixty-five cents, and the influence of the media bashing your self esteem with weight-loss magazines. What’s even worse is if the lady in front of you has a little child who can’t do anything but complain, and another who just stares at you like you have a giant growth on your forehead. Finally, four hours later, you may manage to escape the wrath of the store alive.

However, most of the time, everything you need is not found conveniently in one place. This bothersome process may need to be repeated at other stores. You may even come to find out that what you are looking for is only sold at the first store you went to. When it is all over you may find yourself wondering, was all of that really worth it?

Luckily, there is a better way to get what you need. With advancing technologies, there is an unlimited option of what you can buy on the World Wide Web. Shopping online is much more convenient, it is easier, and you will quite often be more successful.  According to Jonathan Carson, the international president of Nielson Online, the Internet is an utterly integral part of life and an unrivalled convenience. “Over 85 percent of the world’s online population has used the Internet  to make a purchase… and more than half of the Internet users are regular online shoppers, making online purchases at least once a month” (Nielsen).

Whilst shopping online, you never have to leave the comfort of home. There is no need, or pressure to look presentable, for no one will see the anonymous shoppers of the Internet. The time preceding any online shopping won’t take any longer than it takes a computer to power-up. Online shoppers avoid frantically searching the stores for what they need by merely typing in a keyword or clicking on a department to narrow the search results.  In today’s society time is of the upmost importance; this is proven by the increase of online shoppers in the past two years. “Two years ago… only 10 percent of the world’s online population (627 million) had made a purchase over the Internet … this number has surged by approximately 40 percent – to a staggering 875 million” (Nielsen).

Correspondingly, shopping online may also save you money. Store locations are often a middle-man so they have the right to increase prices.  This is the way that the store locations earn a profit. Furthermore, many stores do online-only sales. Companies will offer email newsletters with online-only sales and coupon codes that can save you extra money. Although shipping and handling fees sometimes apply, many companies offer free shipping and handling if you spend more than x-amount of dollars. You still get what you need when shopping online—maybe even more—for less cost than in the stores, and without the hassle.

The most reliable websites to shop at are the well-known ones and the ones that have store locations. The benefits of shopping online rather than shopping at the store stretch beyond the convenience and money-saving aspects. Because stores are a middle-man they cannot stock all of the products that distributors offer, therefore have a minimal selection. This also means that stores products may not be the newest and most up-to-date. There are also many well-known online-only companies. These companies are often exclusively factory-direct.

All things considered, shopping in stores is more of a hassle than it is worth; you need to go to the store, suffer through long lines, and even drive all around town to find what you need. There is a better way to get the same things as at the store—by shopping online.


 

 

Works Cited

 

Nielsen. February 2008 Trends in Online Shopping: a global Nielsen consumer report. The Nielsen

Company. 1-7. http://www.nielsen.com/solutions/GlobalOnlineShoppingReportFeb08.pdf

 

Image: http://dannyseo.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/11/17/black_friday.jpg

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