top of page

Online Shopping vs. In Store Purchases

When it comes down to it, the decision to shop online or in store can be a hard one. For ease and convenience, online shopping usually has the upper hand. But which is better for gift shopping-well, both have their merits. Here are some tips to help you decide when and where to shop in store or online.

Wandering through stores and getting inspiration from widow displays and the curated selection of a great retail store always helps get the creative juices flowing and the gift ideas coming.

When searching for the perfect gifts I get a lot of ideas from stores and take pictures of great gift ideas. I also save links to great gift ideas from online sites as well. Then I look through all of my pictures and links to decide on the best option. So if you’ve decided on a gift, how do you decide where to make you’re purchase?

Online Shopping:


  • Coupon research: do a little googling to see if there are applicable coupons to save you a few dollars.

  • Competitive price research: different online retailers sell items for different pricing.

  • Fast shipping: Items can arrive as soon as the next day depending on the retailer.

  • Unlimited selection: The world is at your fingertips as far as selection, you can find almost everything online if you’re having trouble finding the perfect gift.


  • You don’t know exactly what you’re getting: a picture is worth 1,000 words but until you get it in person you can easily misjudge the quality.

  • Endless searching: You can easily get overwhelmed with the amount of choices offered online, which can lead to decision fatigue.

In store shopping:


  • Touch and feel: you can see and hold any item you’re contemplating before you make a purchase.

  • Curated collection: Each store has a curated selection of items that helps you understand the type of items you’ll find within the store, even before entering

  • Instant purchases: Purchasing in store removes any time delay between the purchase and receiving the item, which can be great for last minute shopping.

  • No shipping: Free shipping! Since you’re there in person you are avoiding shipping charges or at least combining them with other errands. Which is great for the environment as well—less packaging and less gas transportation.


  • Limited Inventory: If something is not in stock in the store you are restricted to their current items.

  • Location: For in store shopping, you are restricted to the stores closest to you or within driving distance.


  • Buy the gift where you find it: Unless the gift is out of your price range you and you need to do more research, don’t waste time looking online for an item you found in store or vice versa. The additional back and forth will just waste time and energy.

  • Don’t be afraid to shop in store: Even though we’re used to online shopping for everything, don’t be afraid to find those little gems at a store near you.

  • Save your ideas: If you’re not ready to make a decision, take pictures of items in stores that you like and save online links to your bookmarks or pin things that you like on your Pinterest Board.

Despite the pros and cons above, don’t be afraid to shop both online and in store, your gifts will be better for it!



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page