6 Advantages Online Shopping Has Over Physical Stores

updated February 9, 2023
Reading time4 minutes
Guest Author

According to The Social Shepher, the total ecommerce sales worldwide are estimated to reach roughly 7.5 billion dollars by 2025. The same study revealed that the value in 2021 was almost 5 billion dollars.

Such growth is a perfect indicator that online shopping has a bright future. The fact that virtually everyone can create an ecommerce store with the help of available solutions adds to the popularity of online stores. But what makes consumers pick ecommerce over physical retail stores? There are quite a few advantages online shopping offers.


Let's start with privacy. Imagine yourself in the shoes of someone who wants to buy a gift for another person while keeping it as a surprise. What would happen if you were to visit a physical store and get spotted? Your surprise would be ruined.

Meanwhile, shopping online gives you complete privacy. You can finish a transaction on your computer or a mobile device quickly and arrange for the delivery to keep everything private. And if you want, you can also delete the browsing history as an extra precaution in case someone decides to use your device and look up what you were up to surfing the web.

Better Prices and Easy Price Comparisons

As a rule of thumb, shopping online is generally cheaper because ecommerce merchants tend to have fewer overhead costs. In addition, consumers can often find various discount codes online with a little bit of research. Applying those codes is often a difference-maker in saving money on your shopping.

One other thing to note is the fact that you can find a plethora of different online stores offering the same or similar goods and services. Since they are competing against one another to attract more shoppers, it is expected that they will lower the prices.

And it is not like you need to open individual websites and enter product names to check prices manually. No, there are tools, such as CamelCamelCamel and Pronto, to make the comparison process hassle-free.

Variety of Goods

The image shows a man holing a smartphone.

Having access to all kinds of goods you can get online is arguably the best thing about online shops. It is especially the case for people who live in relatively small towns with no big stores. If they want a particular good, they can order it online and have it delivered to their homes.

There are also instances when something is not available in your country. For example, merchandise of an overseas band you love.

Creating custom products is also a lot easier online. Available tools that let you design a personalized bag, t-shirt, hoodie, sneakers, face masks, pillows, etc., create another opportunity to make the most out of online stores as a consumer.

No Crowds and No Sales Pressure

There is no need to stand in queues or experience pressure from salesmen who are trying to persuade you to purchase something even if you only want to browse the goods.

Shopping online is a hassle-free process. You add products to a shopping cart and proceed to a checkout, where you can complete a transaction by paying with a credit card or a payment solution, such as PayPal or Skrill. 

Access to Used or Damaged Inventory

Physical second-hand stores are few and far between to be considered a norm. Whenever someone is looking to purchase something used because it is cheaper, the odds are that you will struggle to find it in a physical store.

This is where online shopping comes in. The variety of available ecommerce stores also includes plenty of retailers that offer used or damaged inventory. In a way, you can also treat this advantage as a means to save money. You might be more inclined to look for second-hand products online if they are available and are still in decent condition if it means spending less.

Convenience and 24/7 Availability

The image shows a man packing a box

Convenience and 24/7 availability is the last advantage to talk about. You need an internet connection and a mobile device or a computer that is working properly.

Even if you are traveling but still have access to Wi-Fi while on your smartphone, you can do your shopping online and find the goods delivered when you return.

Finally, since online stores are websites that usually have around 99.99% uptime, you are free to do your shopping whenever you want. Sure, there might be instances when a website goes down because of hosting-related problems or because it is under scheduled maintenance, but generally speaking, you can expect 24/7 availability.

Does Shopping Online Have Downsides to It?

The advantages online shopping has over physical stores are pretty clear. However, some consumers are still on the fence about ecommerce, and their reasoning is justified. 

Despite all the good things that online stores have, you also have to be wary about certain things.

For one, there is uncertainty about what you are getting, and dealing with returns and refunds can be complicated and annoying. 

Less experienced internet users might also fall for fraud, especially when they find an attractive deal that is actually a means to scam consumers.

Before you commit to buying something online, make sure that you are doing so on a reputable ecommerce business. Combine being thoughtful about your purchases with all the awesome things that online stores have to offer for the best possible experience as a consumer.

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