Why I Prefer to Shop In-Store and You Do Too

It seems like every day we get news about another brick-and-mortar store shutting its doors forever. So, it got me thinking, “is everyone shopping online except me?” I was fascinated, then, by a recent article by The New York Times exploring the retail transformation. I was so sure that I would encounter statistics confirming everyone else was shopping online. What I learned, however, was that in last quarter of 2016, only 8.3% of all retails sales went down online. So, it appears that most of you prefer to shop in-store too. Today, then, I’m sharing all the reasons I prefer shopping in-store.

5 Reasons I Prefer to Shop In-Store

1. I can immediately assess the look and overall quality of an item. I walked into J.Crew recently and was immediately drawn to today’s featured one-shoulder top. Now, I had seen this top online a ton of times before. It never caught my attention, though, until I saw its rich red color and intricate eyelet pattern in person.

Store shopping

One-shoulder top | Seamed black skinnies | Floral pumps (old, want these sandals)

Gold hoops (similar, option, option)

2. I can try on several sizes to find the right fit. Is it just me, or are online reviews of items increasingly all-over-the-place? I prefer to just try things on and see for myself. And, I don’t want to order several sizes to do that. Online reviews of this top indicate it runs larger, but my usual size 4 fit perfectly.

3. I can get what I want right away. Waiting for an online purchase to process, ship, and then get to me is a waiting game I’d rather not play. I loved the convenience, for example, of finding and buying the Abstraction Maxi Dress featured in the Wish List to Wardrobe post and being able to wear it days later.

4. I can enjoy better in-store pricing. Most of the stores that I shop regularly offer the best discounts in-store. And, on the rare occasion that an online price is better, stores match the online prices.

5. I can avoid sunk costs like shipping fees. Many stores offer free shipping these days, but that perk often comes with strings attached. Maybe I don’t want to spend $150 just to have my items shipped for free.

So where do you stand? Do you prefer to shop in-store or online?

Location: Compton Hill Water Tower, St. Louis



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  1. April 19, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Such a Fabulous top on you. I love to touch and try on my merchandise before I buy and rarely shop online. My spot in the stores are the clearance racks and I love the hunt of a great buy. Also, I was not happy with my last online purchase 2 years ago. Lets keep our stores open!

    • April 19, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      Thanks, Neti! And, thanks for your feedback. I’m with you on all of that.

  2. Anne
    April 19, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    Beautiful top! I would like to shop in stores for the reasons you mention, but because I’m plus-size in most things, I rarely can. The stores where I live have either no plus-size departments or a very small one. So I need to do 95% of my shopping online. It’s not a choice I made, but one that was made for me. Maybe things will improve in the future…

    • April 19, 2017 / 2:34 pm

      Thanks, Anne! That makes perfect sense. I’m hoping things improve in the future too.

  3. April 19, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Great post. I like to shop online and in stores!!

  4. April 19, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    While I dont mind shopping online for skincare, I prefer to shop in person for clothing. I have a small waist & curvy hips, and its always a bit tricky for me to find clothes that fit. when I do shop online, i prefer to shop at locations with physical locations so i can try the products first (makeup) or easily return them without having to ship again.

    Great post.

    • April 20, 2017 / 10:19 am

      I’m on the same page! The ability to return an online item in a physical store is especially crucial.

  5. April 20, 2017 / 10:37 am

    I’m SO with you about preferring to shop for clothes in store rather than online. Like you said, you just SEE clothes differently in person.

    I also grew up clothes-shopping with my mom (we would go once or twice a year, since we lived out in the country, so it was a BIG DEAL to shop for new clothes), so I’ve also always seen it as a positive social experience. I wrote more about that earlier this year, https://librarianforlifestyle.com/2017/01/20/what-my-mom-taught-me-about-shopping-for-clothes/