Much of what I have bought in the past couple of years, maybe even the last ten years, has been bought on Internet shopping sites and not local stores.
While I'm probably not an extreme example when it comes to that, as I prefer to buy select items such as clothing or groceries locally, I have bought most items online.
I bought computer hardware online, books and media on Amazon, games on sites such as Steam, select household items and even furniture online as well.
I sat down one day and analyzed the behavior. Buying online has many advantages:
These are strong incentives to buy online. There are however reasons against buying (most) items online as well.
I made the decision to buy most products locally based on the advantages of buying locally. There are some products that cannot be bought locally, or that have such a great price divide between local prices and online prices that I cannot justify buying them locally. This is for instance true for computer hardware.
Would I pay $50 more for a 3TB hard drive because it is offered by a local computer shop? I would not, but it may make sense for others to do. This can for instance be the case if you need help setting it up correctly as you may be able to phone the owner or one of the employees of the store to get that help. That is of course if they are proficient enough to help you out.
I shop online when it comes to unavailable products as well. If something is not available locally anymore, I may still get it online either on retail shopping sites or marketplaces like eBay.
What about you? Have your shopping habits changed in the past couple of years?
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