Since the rise of large internet-based e-commerce sites in Africa and Nigeria, the growth of online shopping has been exponential, with a huge increase in the number of consumers choosing to buy online rather than in-store. Many traditional retailers have also followed suit, with most shops now having a dedicated e-commerce website from which consumers can make online purchases, from high street brands to charities. Even brands which no longer exist on the high street are often available online. With new services such as Click and Collect blossoming on the internet, here are some of the reasons why online shopping is better than purchasing in-store.
EXTRA PRODUCTS ONLINE
It is no secret that most stores have a larger amount of stock online than at their physical locations. Due to the capacity of warehouses and the space constraints of local stores, you can often access a much larger range of products online, and search buttons make it even easier to find the products that you want in a minimal amount of time.
Being able to access more products from certain brands online is especially important if you live in a small town or in an area without a large local shopping area. Not only this, but many stores offer online-exclusive items that are not available in stores, encouraging you to purchase specialist and limited edition items off the internet
DISCOUNTS AND VOUCHER CODES
Although it is often rare to find an in-store voucher unless the store is hosting a special event, many retailers offer a copious amount of discounts and voucher codes to be used online as part of their marketing promotions. Many third-party websites, including the Online Shopping Expert, offer exclusive voucher codes that can be used online rather than in-store. Additionally, websites often have more exclusive sales and discounts than in physical stores, and you may be able to find products that were not discounted in-store available online for a much cheaper price. You are then able to pick these products up from your local store or get them delivered to your house.
The internet is also home to many discount websites and third-party retailers who offer goods at reduced prices, meaning that you can find the same product for a fraction of its net value. This gives consumers much broader access and the ability to find the latest deals and promotions.
If you order products from physical stores or to decide to shop in-store, you will have to make an extra journey to the store in question when the product comes into stock or arrives at your chosen store. One of the best elements of internet shopping, however, is that you are able to get products delivered straight to your home or a PO box, which is a good option for those without home addresses such as military personnel. This makes internet shopping much more convenient as you can simply find the product that you want from any location and- with options such as same day or next day delivery available- have this delivered to your door. This is extremely beneficial to individuals who struggle to walk far or have a disability that prevents them from journeying to the shops as regularly as they would like.
Most companies on the internet now even offer free delivery for addresses within the country like Townsafrica, meaning that you do not have to worry about added costs to your purchase and at the same time save on the cost of transportation to a physical location.
Home delivery also makes returns easier than ever as all you need to do is fill out a postal form and send your package from your local post office, where your refund will then be delivered into your bank account.
The most convenient aspect of the internet is its time-saving nature, making online shopping perfect for those individuals whose busy lifestyles prevent them from visiting the high street on a regular basis. Rather than spending hours browsing through multiple shops, you can buy products in a couple of clicks online.
The process has also become faster in recent years through a number of changes: the addition of quick purchase buttons which allow account holders to buy products in one click; automated account details so that users do not have to fill out their details every time they make a purchase; and computers’ new ability to save your details into their databases.
All in all, this means that the total amount of time that you spend making a purchase is reduced to seconds. If you need your products immediately, there is also often a host of delivery options at an extra cost, such as the same or next day delivery.
An extremely advantageous factor for working adults is the ability to shop 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Where once you had to wait until the weekend or hurry after work to buy the products that you need, you now have these products at your fingertips whenever you need them. Rather than have to wait until your day off to visit a shopping centre, you can now access stores from the internet at any time of the day or night.
Although there are often still restrictions on human resource-based services such as live chat functions and limits on next day delivery, for the most part, e-commerce shops are now completely 24/7, allowing you to buy products whenever you need them.
AVOID SHOPPING CENTRES
If you find the chaos of shopping centres disconcerting, you can now avoid shopping centres altogether with the ability to buy products online. Not only is this advantageous for individuals who may find shopping centres stressful and disorientating, such as those with mental health issues or sensory processing disorders, but it means that you are able to shop from any location. This is an especially excellent opportunity around large festivals such as Christmas, where shopping centres can become crowded and the stock available in-store may be diminished.
What’s more, when you are in a shopping centre, it is easier to make unnecessary spontaneous purchases. However, this concern is lessened when shopping online as you can have greater control of the money that you are spending, and there are fewer distractions to prevent you from buying only what you need.
EASILY SHOP FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Online shopping has gone so deep right now that you can even shop from stores that have no connection to your country, I mean we are talking fashion nova, Amazon, Macy's and a massively long list. A lot of us have issues vouching for the quality presented at our local stores so we want products from the source or certified retailers or they are just people who don’t want to miss out on super global products and brands. Whichever side of the coin you fall on online shopping has been made super easy. For example, you can shop from the UK to Nigeria, Shop from the US (America) to Nigeria or even China to Nigeria at great rates
FIND WHAT YOU WANT
Have you ever been shopping and struggled to find exactly what you want? This is now not an issue for consumers due to the easy accessibility of the internet. Using e-commerce stores, it is now quick and easy to browse through hundreds of products in a matter of seconds to find exactly what you need. With the addition of search functions on e-commerce stores and search engines such as Google and Bing, you can now find the products and sellers that have the product that you want in-stock without having to browse potential locations which may not have the exact item that you desire. For instance, if you are looking for a ‘little black dress’, you can now type this into a search engine and get hundreds of results within seconds.
The product descriptions on the items that you are buying also give you a more accurate depiction of the product itself than the labels in-store. For instance, if you wanted to find out more about the ethics of the company in question, you could access all of this information online, an aspect which you would not ordinarily be able to find in stores. You will also be able to find online reviews on e-commerce stores or review sites that detail the quality of the product in question from a real customer’s experience. This can assure you that the product is of good quality from the perspective of others. This information is something that you may not always be able to access in physical stores, relying on only sight and your personal perspective to decide on the quality and suitability of the product.
WIDER VARIETY OF BRANDS
Not only this, but there are a large number of brands online that do not, or cannot afford to, have physical stores. For instance, if you live in a small town, you may only have access to larger brands rather than independent companies which may be of interest to you yet only have flagship locations in larger cities. There are also many smaller brands that exist as online-only e-commerce stores, such as independent retailers and craft sellers, who can provide you with unique and individual goods that you would not be able to find on the high street. By online shopping, it is possible to support smaller retailers who may struggle without the platform that the internet is able to provide.
If you are considering branching away from physical stores, there is no better time to do so, with a huge range of brands and products available online at your convenience. From enabling independent stores to blossom without investing in a physical location to allowing you to access the cheapest and most accessible deals, the internet offers a broad range of advantages for the consumer that can change the way that you shop.