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Value for money: High street shop or online stores

Posted in 'Neighbourhood' by Paul Anderson Riley

07 July 2016

Is the high street being out muscled by the flexibility of online shopping or is there still merit in visiting your local shopping centres?

As a nation that now invests our time heavily on tablets, smart phones and computers many of us make a large amount of purchases online rather than visiting the local high street.

Sometimes shopping online can mean we miss out on instore deals but have the convenience of having items delivered to our door steps. To ensure you are getting the best for your money you can use online comparison websites to see where the best deals are. Online forums also produce information about what instore deals are currently ongoing. By combining purchases online with purchases instore by shopping around, you maximise the chance of getting the best offers available. Mysupermarket.co.uk is a website that allows you to compare your supermarket shops and suggests that savings of 30% can be made by using their service.

Google Shopping and Amazon Market Place allow you to see a variety of different retailers offering the same goods at different prices. A quick look through the list allows you to see how previous customers rate the experience with the company and their reliability, this works in a similar way to the eBay rating system. To utilise these types of websites you will need to flexible and willing to deal with companies you may not have previously dealt with.

When physically shopping you have the comfort of knowing that if there is a fault with the product there is a store you can return this to conveniently rather than having to post back an item. To avoid this type of issue online it is important to check returns policies before you purchase a good, if you are comfortable with the companies’ procedure. Companies are diversifying how they are dealing with returns and deliveries by offering drop off or pick up points, as we make more purchases online companies will need to provide a higher level of online customer service that makes it as easy as possible to purchase, return and complain about goods obtained through an online store.

It can come down to personal preference at the end of the day whether or not the high street stays or the online stores triumph. Other factors like being social, food, drink, weather and mobility also greatly impact the decision of where to shop.

Paul Anderson Riley

Paul has a degree in Human Geography from Plymouth University and has a keen interest in both listening to and playing music, football and surfing.

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