Online vs. in-store clothes shopping: pros and cons

There are many different kinds of shoppers out there. There are the kinds that always maintain a flawless new wardrobe for the season, no matter what the price. There are the kinds of shoppers that make impulse buys, only to return the item a few days later. There are also the kinds of shoppers that save up with discipline for something they really want and then there are the kinds of shoppers whose eyes light up by that red “sale” sign and justify their purchases because of the discounts. What kind of shopper do you think you are?

No matter what “shopper category” you fall under, you have probably shopped online at least once or twice, if not regularly. While there are many benefits to shopping via the Internet that have made it such a popular choice, there are also some cons that go along with it compared to in-store shopping. Here we have outlined some of the key pros and cons to compare the two:

Online shopping

Online shopping has become a major trend of the future. Most companies are not able to be successful without an online presence, but at the same time, there has been an increased emphasis placed on “buying local” which could start to create push back to the traditional brick and mortar-purchasing concept. However, it appears that the benefits provided by online shopping have cemented its place in the future.

Pros to online shopping

1. Selection: You literally have all the styles you would like at your fingertips. If one website doesn’t offer something you like, just click over to the next, and the next, until you find what you’re looking for. You also have access to tons of interesting and unique products such as from sites like, where you can find handmade items from individual sellers all over the world.

2. Prices: Cutting out the middle man means that companies can ship straight from manufacturing to your door. This means a greater chance of finding lower prices. Also, there are tons of websites such as that offer access to coupons for tons of popular fashion retailers, for free!

3. Convenience: The stores are actually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And here’s the best part – no dress code! You don’t even have to leave you warm cozy bed on a Saturday morning to pick something up at your local online shop.

Cons to online shopping

1. No quick purchases: If you need something right now, like as in today, buying online won’t be possible as it usually takes at least a few days to receive the products.

2. Purchase quality: Since you physically aren’t able to hold the product and give it a full check through before you make the purchase, there is a chance that it can be totally different than what you were expecting.

3. Returns/exchanges: If you decide you would to return or exchange the product, you then have to wait for it to be sent back to the company for them to send you a new one, holding up the process until you can wear your new item. However, there are companies such as that have a very unique exchange policy. If you decide the item is too big/small, the wrong color, etc. they will send your new item out right away, even before they have received the one you want to exchange! Keep an eye out for great policies such as this one.

In-store shopping

Some experts believe that brick and mortar shops aren’t going to be able to compete with online shopping in the future. However, we still think there are some definite advantages of in-store shopping over online.


1. Customer service: You can talk to a physical person, ask them their recommendations and if you need to return or exchange the process is relatively easy.

2. No shipping costs: You totally cut out the middle man here and get to play delivery person yourself! With gas costs today, you may be paying for shipping without realizing it, however.

3. Security: You know the store you are shopping in and feel confident that there is no funny business going on.

4. Being able to try on: One of the biggest reasons for returns or exchanges is the fit of items. Being able to try your clothes on ahead of time takes out the potential for things not fitting the way you want.


1. Accessibility: Stores may run out of your size, especially if they are having a big sale. Online shops usually can check the entire retail database.

2. Irritants: Yes, this is a real thing. Aggressive sales people, no parking spots, and traffic—these are all things that can make your day a little bit annoying when you have to go out to the shops to find what you are looking for. Not sure if you agree? Think Black Friday shopping!

3. Increased prices: The overhead of running a physical store such as rent, employee wages, etc. can cause the prices of products to rise. If you find something you like in the store, check online before making your purchase.