Online or In-Store Shopping

By Anna Muenchen

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” and it seems as if he was speaking for online grocery shopping, an innovative way to buy the food you need and only the food you need.

“I do believe convenience is why people are switching” said Andrea Nichols, a teacher at Kings High School, and Hamilton, Ohio resident.

Laura Harris, a mother of three in the district, agrees.

“The convenience and not having the time to run into stores are two reasons why more and more people are shopping online” she said.

“I have considered switching to online shopping, because I think I will spend less money, but I haven’t shopped online for groceries on Amazon. Yet. I know I want to.” Harris said.

“Just the convenience of being able to find the same things that I could find in stores and having them delivered to my house, not having to get in my car and drive.” according to Nichols, is a reason she shops online.

The reason Harris wants to switch is partially due to a problem many other shoppers face. “When I go into the store for three items I come out with like ten because I always find something else that I think I need.” said Harris. And not only do shoppers come out with more items than planned but they may also go to the store more than planned like Nichols. She said she tries to keep shopping at the store to once on the weekend but it often ends up being up to 3 times a week.

Many scientific studies show shopping in stores and seeing more than what’s on your list makes you think that you need those items as well. In a survey of 80 Juniors and Seniors, who checked all that apply, 15% said their families shop on Amazon but in a store as well. 91.3% of the upperclassmen responded that their parents shop at Kroger, some of this 91.3% shop on Amazon as well.

“Honestly I don’t think online shopping will affect the community that much, I don’t think the grocery store is that much of a gathering place anymore. I think the high school has as much of a role in keeping communities together with all the events that happen here and people are making more of a point to go out to restaurants together.” said Nichols about how online shopping affects tight knit communities.

“Hamilton is going through a little revival and people would say what’s keeping the community together are all of the new events like once a month in the summer there’s an art event that everybody goes to, the street festivals, and new restaurants, so I think it’s stuff like that. I mean there are lots of little shops that are starting to open up again in Hamilton and I think those shop owners want to draw people back to main street to shop locally, so that’s kind of interesting and I guess that can bring the community together but I see it happening there more so than I see it happening at the grocery store,” said Nichols.

“I think that if I just had my list of what I really needed and bought the items online I’d stick to the list and my budget better.” said Harris, about how shopping online is beneficial.

With the pros, however, comes cons, “The gas points are huge” she said. And coupons are just two reason Harris returns to Kroger week after week.

“It’s the point system, you know where they scan the cards so they can send you coupons for the food you tend to buy more often. Some of the other things, they don’t draw me, but what I do know of, is when they put a starbucks in a store, that’s definitely a tactic to keep people coming back. Or even little clinics, the people who do flu and pneumonia vaccines, again tactics to keep people coming back” said Harris.

With these tactics come reasons to stay, “And because I know the layout of the store.” she said. The cons of leaving the stores are something people give up for convenience. “I just know where to go if I need to go in and grab something real quick.” she said.

“You want your property values to stay high and I think that comes from a vibrant community where people are looking out for each other and they’re taking care of the schools, that all comes from knowing each other and I guess the best way to do that is to stay on top of things happening in the community.” said Nichols.

“It’s interesting to me to see the growth of the community because that means people are going to stay here and I can now live and entertain myself and my kid in my community instead of having to drive downtown, forty-five minutes to do that. I think it’s important for a community to have lots of things going on and that doesn’t just mean at the grocery store. I think that it takes lots of different events to hold a community together.” Nichols said.

Shoppers are slowly making the switch to online shopping. As Americans base their decisions about where to shop on how it can save them time and money, they still want to keep their role in their community.

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