The Internet has transformed the way people go about their shopping, whether it’s for food, entertainment or household items, including electronics and furniture. Before the Internet, for the most part, shoppers had to venture out to a shop or store in order to buy the items they were after, particularly for larger items such as furniture, but now it is possible to conduct all shopping from a computer, with the click of a mouse, in a matter of minutes.
With Internet shopping growing in popularity, some people still prefer to shop in person, seeing the physical items in the flesh rather than through a computer screen. Using bedroom furniture as an example, this article examines whether it is better to buy online or in a store.
Money is one of the biggest factors in making the decision between buying in store or on the Internet. Buying online tends to be cheaper for a few reasons:
• Some online shops will drop ship products, meaning that they do not have to pay for storage, which will be a big saving given bedroom furniture’s bulky size.
• Whereas a high street store might have to employ a variety of salespeople, an online store may not have to do so. They may still have to employ a few people in customer services to deal with any website queries, but it might be fewer people on lower salaries, therefore making it cheaper for them to operate as a business.
• Building premises are also very expensive, whether it’s the tax, the commercial mortgage or the cost of general upkeep. A website might not have any physical storefront presence at all, which make things considerably cheaper for them.
Of course, the biggest disadvantage of buying bedroom furniture online would be that the shopper is unable to ‘try before they buy’ like they would be able to in an actual furniture store. Although they would be able to take down the measurements from a site, they would have to rely on pictures instead of being able to see the products for themselves. However, a shopper could always visit a store and then see if their preferred range of bedroom furniture is available online, by using a search engine to search for the brand or range’s name, or seeing if an online store can offer a similar-looking (or perhaps even a better-looking) alternative for less money.
When buying bedroom furniture on the Internet, make sure to use a site that is safe and secure. Look for a VeriSign or Shopsafe logo, and when going through the checkout process, make sure the Internet browser is showing the website as secure (i.e. the start of the URL is “https://”).