In-Person Versus Online Shopping

The online shopping trend has boomed during the past year and most of it is due to the global pandemic restricting us in our homes. Many believe this trend will remain as is because customers prefer online shopping and more than 35% insist they will continue online even post-pandemic.

Whether shopping online or in-person, customers expect the same end product, the main difference is in effort and experience. Shopping online requires less effort and ease of browsing through multiple stores and products to make your buying decision.

This does not mean that brick and mortar shops are doomed. There are plenty of consumers who will prefer physical stores because it offers physically inspecting your goods and when buying for things like produce or a new product to test, in-person shopping has an advantage.

Let’s discuss in-person versus online shopping in detail to better understand the difference.

In-Person Versus Online Shopping

To give you some perspective on in-person versus online shopping before the pandemic, here is a statistical analysis of 2019 shopping trends. You can clearly see that tech items were the preferred online products whereas, beauty, OTC healthcare and packaged food products sold more in-person.

Much has changed since then and online shopping has risen drastically. Apart from the obvious convenience and control of online shopping, let’s look at some other advantages and disadvantages of both methods objectively.

Brand/Product Familiarity

A strong reason tech products have higher online sales is familiarity. When most people buy tech, they prefer to go for branded products from trusted and known brands. This makes it easier to buy these products online because consumers know exactly what they are getting.

Conversely, if one is buying something new or something from an unknown brand, they would prefer buying in-person so they can physically see or check its quality before the purchase. Unfamiliar products like new beauty products require in-person attention because the effort of returning such products outweighs the convenience of buying them online.


You may think it is odd but consumer familiarity has much to do with the pricing of products. Take tech products for example, the online pricing of known tech products is very competitive because there are many sellers, and customers understand the pricing because of familiarity.

Whereas products that are new to the market require in-person checking and are mostly unknown, which gives sellers the advantage of tweaking prices on such products and they prefer selling them in-person rather than online.


The online shopping experience includes more choice, the ability to research prices and transparency of reviews and inventory levels. It may even offer better promotional deals and offers because of certain digital marketing strategies. Sellers will often expedite checkouts and delivery times to give better experiences.

All these things contribute to an excellent shopping experience but in-person shopping offers other benefits in terms of experience. There are key aspects of an in-person shopping experience that cannot be replicated or replaced online.

Firstly, it offers instant gratification which humans love immensely. It may offer the opportunity to engage with friends for an evening of shopping. It offers human contact and communication which is a basic need for all social beings.


There are benefits of both, in-person and online shopping, and it all comes down to preferences. Just because people are mostly shopping online now, does not mean they would not prefer in-person shopping from time to time.

That being said, if you are looking for the best online shopping experience, with unlimited categories and products from around the world, Wilelink is the online platform for you. They offer the widest range of products from around the world, safest transactions and excellent services.

We highly recommend you visit the Wilelink website and experience the best of online shopping.

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