Online and In-store Shopping: Customer Preference and its Benefits

Shopping has always been a huge part of people’s lives. People have been shopping for hundreds of years now. However, the purchasing behavior of buyers and their shopping means have changed drastically, over the years. Nowadays, online shopping websites have re-shaped the purchasing experience of people. This has affected the in-store sales and retail market. In 2017, the retail market faced 6700 closures due to the rise of online shopping websites like Amazon.

The E-commerce industry is rapidly growing, putting the retail market behind. This sudden growth of online shopping websites has impacted the in-store marketers and has significantly increased the competition between the two. According to a study, 51% of Americans prefer online stores while 49% of them prefer traditional shopping. However, this behavior may vary from person to person.

Advantages and disadvantages of online shopping

Pros and cons of in-store shopping

Future of shopping

The shopping behavior of people and their general preferences

In this article, we will go over some of the major benefits and drawbacks of online clothing stores and in-store shopping. We will also look into people shopping behavior and preference based on their age and gender. Furthermore, we will discuss the future of both shopping mediums and how they have impacted each other.

Online Shopping


With the advancement of technology, online shopping has gained immense popularity. More and more people are getting inclined towards online stores as time passes. Women, especially have taken more liking towards online clothing stores. These online outlets have increased online sales and have opened new doors for marketers. The study has revealed that E-commerce is growing 3 times faster than in-store retails and has a growth rate of 15%. Online shopping has its advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss a few major ones.

Advantages of Online Shopping


Online shopping has its perks. Let’s look into some of its benefits.

Time-Saving And Convenient

It is no secret that shopping through an outlet online is much more convenient than going to a store physically. Most people prefer online shopping because it save times and lets to shop from the comfort of your house. You can get everything from clothes and groceries to gadgets and electronics at your doorstep with a click of a button. This is why it has gained so much popularity.


  • 52% of men prefer buying technology products online.
  • People in the US make an average of 19 purchases annually.


Large-Scale Exposure

There is no denying that online websites and forums have the power to reach millions. Outlets online have massive exposure and can engage consumers from all around the world. Moreover, most online clothing stores provide 24/7 service both nationally and internationally. This allows people to shop whenever they want from wherever they are.


  • 89% of people claim that real-time product accessibility has influenced their shopping behavior.
  • 36% of people purchase something through an online shopping website when retail stores are closed.


Wider And Better Variety

Online shopping websites provide a wider variety of products as they are not bounded by the shelf space of their store. This allows them to offer a better range of clothes to their customers. You can choose from different sizes, colors, designs, and patterns, and can even create your design according to your taste.


  • 69% of people say that they want to see new products frequently.


Spend Less Money

A big advantage of online shopping is that you can keep a check on how much you are spending. Your shopping cart reminds you of it. Moreover, you can easily compare the prices of different products and see which brand offers the best quality at reasonable prices. Many outlets offer online coupons, voucher deals, and free shipping. This will help you purchase affordable products from men and women’s clothing online.


  • 41% of people said that they have purchased an item online at a lower price after checking it out at a retail store.
  • Only 51% of consumers spend $50 or more during online shopping.

Disadvantages of Online Shopping


Here are some of the cons of online shopping.

Shipping Time And Price

One big disadvantage of online shopping is prolong shipping time. Many customers complain about waiting for days for their order to arrive. Moreover, sometimes the parcel is delivered on the wrong address which also causes a delay in delivery. Many online stores set very high delivery charges. This increases the total cost of purchase and causes a dent in a person’s pocket.


  • 34% of people said that their shipping takes too long to arrive.
  • 25% of people admit that they don’t like a pay high delivery charges.


Incomplete Shopping Experience

Even though, women’s clothing online has made it easy for customers to shop from the comfort of their homes. It has made many people feel as if the shopping experience is incomplete. This is because they can’t see or feel the texture of the fabric and try it before buying the product.


  • 56% of people admit that they prefer touching or seeing a product before buying it.
  • 55% of people prefer trying out clothing items before purchasing them.


Risk of Online Fraud

With the benefits of online shopping, customers have faced many challenges as well. One such is the risk of online fraud. A lot of scammers create fake outlets online and rob people by giving poor quality products and then disappearing. This has caused people to lose their trust in online clothing stores and has affected online sales.


  • Studies show that people between the ages of 25 and 34 are mostly victims of online fraud.
  • In 2017, online shopping fraud grew at a rate of 30%.

In-Store Shopping


In-store shopping has been around since the existence of shopping itself. Even though shopping behavior has changed over time, brick and mortar stores still hold its essence and are irreplaceable. Most people go for shopping to release their stress and have a good time.  According to research, traditional retailers sell 10 times more than online stores, however, the in-store sales growth rate is 5%. Although in-store shopping has its advantages and disadvantages, marketers are bringing new ideas to attract the audience and increase consumer engagement. Here, we will discuss some of the major pros and cons of retail stores.

Advantages of In-Store Shopping


Some of the benefits of brick and mortar store are given below.

Amazing Shopping Experience

Although online stores have given a tough competition to retail stores, they can’t compete with them in terms of brick and mortar stores giving a complete shopping experience to its customers. Buyers can see their products, feel the texture and fabric, and even try it before purchasing. This elevates the whole purchasing experience and gives customers a sense of satisfaction.


  • According to the survey, 40% of shoppers admit to using retail therapy to relieve stress.
  • 74% of the consumers said that they have stress-shopped before.


Shopping Spree Can Turn Into Friends Get Together

Most people, especially women love shopping and what they love even more is a chance to get together with their friends. Shopping is the perfect excuse. This can’t be possible through women clothing online websites. Many people claim that shopping works as therapy for them and helps them release stress. That’s why in-store shopping still holds significance in people’s lives.


  • 58% of Gen-Z customers said that in-store shopping helps them disconnect with the social world.


Personal Service And Immediacy

A great advantage of in-store shopping is that it comprises of human interaction. However, this element is missing in online shopping websites. This personal interaction makes customers feel at ease and allows them to ask a question or take the advice of the employees there. That is why this element is a necessary part of shopping as it enhances the purchasing experience of buyers.


  • 81% of Gen-Z shoppers prefer shopping in-store.
  • 73% of responders admit that they like to find new products in stores.


Better Security And Increased Confidence

In-store shopping focuses primarily on human interaction. This human contact enables store clerks to build trust with their customers and create a sense of security. This allows customers to shop freely. Moreover, there is a minimum to no chances of scamming in retail stores. You can pay securely and leave with your purchased products.


  • 73% of women prefer shopping in-store.
  • 66% of men prefer shopping for clothes through in-store shopping.

Disadvantages of In-Store Shopping

The cons of brick and mortar stores are discussed below:

Spending Time And Money

In-store shopping demands more time from a person. Customers are known to spend more time at malls than shopping through outlets online. This is because they visit every shop and try every clothing item, they tend to buy. Moreover, customers are more likely to spend more money during in-store shopping than online as they tend to lose track of their purchases.


  • Research indicates that 71% of customers spend $50 or more during in-store shopping.
  • 89% of women agree that they put additional stuff in their cart when shopping in-store.


Limited Exposure

In-store retailers have limited reach as compared to online stores. This is because they are restricted to one place and face many difficulties in setting branches in other regions. They deal with customers of their area so their consumer engagement is relatively less as compared to online clothing stores. Moreover, they need to sort out many technicalities and put in additional investments, if they wish to expand their reach.


More Expensive

Maintaining bricks and mortar stores is more expensive than outlets online.  This is because retail stores need capital to purchase the store space and large stock. Moreover, they require investment to meet the cost of staff, do maintenance, and pay the electricity bills. This is one of the major drawbacks of retail stores.


  • 78% of men put additional stuff on their cart when shopping in-store.

Statistics Based On People’s Preference

Generation Preference of Online Shopping

Generation Percentage
Baby Boomers 40%
Gen X-ers 56%
Millennials 67%


The above table shows that 67% of millennials are more likely to shop online while 56% of Gen X-ers and 40% of baby boomers prefer online shopping.

Reason for Choosing In-Store Shopping


Reasons Percentage
Want to see and try out things 62%
Take things home immediately 49%
Return things easily 20%
Enjoy in-store experience 18%
Ask questions to store clerk 13%


The above table shows the reason for most people’s preference for in-store shopping. 62% of people said that they like to see and touch things while 49% of them said that they like to take things home immediately.

Based on gender

Reasons Male Female
Want to see and try out things 59% 66%
Take things home immediately 54% 47%
Return things easily 20% 21%
Enjoy in-store experience 18% 19%
Ask questions to store clerk 14% 11%


The above table shows the gender-based preference for in-store shopping. 66% of women and 59% of men like to see and try out things before buying while 47% of women and 54% of men like to take things home immediately.

Gender-Based Online Shopping Preference

Shopping items Men Percentage Women percentage
Food 14% 18%
Computer and technology 39% 18%
Clothes 40% 46%
Household goods 32% 30%

The above table shows the gender-based online shopping preferences. 14% of men and 18% of women buy food while 39% of men and 18% of women purchase computers and electronic stuff.

Future of Online Shopping and In-Store Shopping


Shopping is a huge part of our lives. The in-store existed way before the arrival of online shopping. However, with the onset of technology and the use of the internet, the shopping behavior of people has changed drastically. According to research, 51% of shoppers use mobile apps while shopping in-store. Marketers introduced this new shopping medium which quickly gained popularity among consumers. Even though the growth rate of online shopping is growing fast, one can’t deny the importance of in-store shopping.

That’s why marketers are looking for ways to make the two medium co-exist. The shopping industry is emerging and retailers are providing ways to enhance the shopping experience of customers. Study shows that 98% of Gen-Z customers know exactly what they want when shopping through in-store. This is because they have already search it on social media and read its review online. Marketers are improving in-store by introducing online services like online shopping websites and shipping services. Similarly, many online clothing stores are introducing services where customers can order from the comfort of their homes and then trying out and picking up their product from the nearest outlet. This way, a bridge is been made between these two shopping mediums.


Online shopping and in-store shopping both have their benefits and drawbacks. This has increased the competition between them. However, both these channels mustn’t lose sight and focus on their strengths. Online shopping provides transparency to its consumers and has made shopping convenient. Similarly, in-store shopping can satisfy its customers by providing complete shopping experience and developing a strong relationship of trust. This is why retailers should combine both these mediums and should utilize them together to take full advantage of their strengths. Only then they will be able to reach the maximum audience and increase their sales.

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