Difference Between Online Shopping and In-store Shopping and which One is Better!


Today, shopping shifted to online platforms as normal. However, there is a considerably large population that loves to walk from store to store, touch, feel the product, seek human help, and enjoy shopping in the store. Which is the best way to shop? There is strong evidence proving the increase in the total money spent by people on online platforms and the decline of sales in physical stores. This data does not determine that online shopping is superior to in-store shopping. It varies from one customer to another, based on financial, emotional, and comfort factors.

Online shopping and in-store shopping

Before we go into the debate of online shopping vs in-store shopping, let’s define each. Online shopping is selecting and buying products from a store or a brand via online platforms like websites and apps. The process of registering online and picking up at the store is also an online shopping process. In the case of in-store purchases, the consumer visits the store physically to choose the product.


Cost is one of the significant factors determining the results of online shopping vs in-store shopping discussion. Since numerous brands compete for the attention of customers on an online platform (far more than market shelves), each brand provides competitive pricing and discounts. However, 63% of the online consumers in Statistic’s online shopping vs in store statistics mentioned that they abandoned shopping carts because of high shipping costs. The in-store shoppers indicate that physical stores do not have hidden fees. Only the top reliable online stores like desertcart offer a transparent billing process. The online stores with free delivery and omnichannel strategy are attracting customers more than in-stores.

Physical examination

When it comes to shopping online vs in store, customers generally are loyal to the physical quality check. Say, you are buying tomatoes via an online store. The chances of the tomatoes not being up to your expectations are higher. In the case of in-store purchases, it is possible to hand-pick the produce. The texture of the clothing, feel of décor items, and scent of perfume products are restricting customers from trying online shopping.


In the comfort category, the winner of shopping online vs in store is always online shopping. You can buy products whenever, wherever, and however you want. You can order a pair of jeans in the middle of the night. You can check out tens of stores, compare the price, and surf hundreds of products without anyone judging you. People bound to their homes (seniors, physically challenged people, new mothers, and others) prefer online shopping for comfort and ease.

Here are some of the online shopping vs in store statistics regarding comfort.

⦁ According to Shopping.FM, 58% of the online consumers shop via websites because they can shop whenever they want.
⦁ 40% of consumers choose online sites because it helps to save a considerable amount of time during shopping.
⦁ 55% of the online shoppers prefer free shipping option
⦁ 92% of online shoppers prefer sites with easy return options, according to a study by Invespcro.

A diverse product option

A physical store can offer only limited types of products under a given genre. However, online stores connect several hundred products on the same platform. It is possible to order items from international locations too. Some physical stores have brand partiality. You can find brands with higher profit margins in the line of sight of the customers.

In the case of online stores, you can sort and filter the product inventory as you desire. According to statistics on online shopping vs in store shopping, 42% of the shoppers choose online stores during the holiday because of ease of research and diversity of products, and 23% prefer in-store after researching online. The international online stores help a person get access to products indigenous to a specific geographical location.

Payment methods

Payment methodsPayment methods come in both the categories while talking about online shopping vs in store shopping pros and cons. While online shoppers enjoy diverse payment options like COD, bank cards, bank transfer, e-wallets, and others, the in-store shoppers enjoy peace of mind because they can pay cash and get the product immediately.

Well, online stores offer COD, but not all. Moreover, the delivery boy would expect you to pay in the exact amount. You can see that most of the stores have limited products under COD or a cap of how much one can order using the COD option. If you choose a reliable online store like desertcart, it would be more comfortable as they offer COD, and their payment gateways are very secure.

Social stigma

It would create a lot of judging eyes around you if you check out medicine for erectile dysfunction or an electronic cigarette in a physical store. Privacy is a factor to consider while talking about online shopping vs in store shopping pros and cons. Your purchase details will stay covered even from the one who will be delivering your package if you choose online shopping.

In-store shopping enthusiasts often comment that every information buyer shares on an online site ends up in the hands of third-party businesses for advertisements. If you choose branded sites like desertcart, your data will be safe. Since the reputed sites have secure payment gateways, your financial details will be secure from hackers.

Better details

In 2019, 46% of American buyers chose online sites to buy video devices, including TV. A dedicated online site provides an in-depth, unbiased description of the product than a typical salesman on the shop floor. According to a study by Outerbox, 80% of shoppers buy a product in a physical store and use a mobile device while inside the store to check details and compare products or reviews.

This study shows the lack of expertise or the inability of the physical stores to offer in-depth information for the users. This feature is a favorable factor while buying electronic items, wellness products, and medicines.

There is no concrete answer to this debate even with years of online shopping vs in store statistics. Some prefer physical stores for emotional attachment, the comfort of known faces, and ease of buying at the speck of the moment and not waiting for the delivery whereas, online shopping helps customers to buy anything, anytime, anywhere, and with better deals. Comfort is an essential advantage among online shoppers. It is possible to live in Australia and purchase items from the Middle East with a click of a button.


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