We are all human, and as such, we all love to get that special deal. The human psyche is attracted to a special deal, which is why we instantly want to purchase something when it has a huge sign hanging over it that screams “SALE” or “CLEARANCE”. The funny thing is, we react emotionally to these signs, and not realistically. For example, we might see something that shouts sale at us, but in reality, the product is only 5% off of the retail price. And this is where brick and mortar shop is a disadvantage for the casual shopper. People are unable to comparison shop, and disinclined as well, when they are standing in front of something that they think is a good deal, even if it is not. In essence, a shopper is somewhat trapped.

When we shop online, we are more inclined to shop around, visit other sites and see what other options are available for the product that we want to purchase. The savviest of shoppers have started signing up for flash sale sites like Ruelala.com, Groupon, Living Social and others. One of the reasons that the flash sale sites are so popular is that they work with the companies that are offering deals to ensure that they are bringing their members a true discount and not just a “bait and switch” tactic. Companies must commit to a certain percentage of a discount, and must also commit to providing a certain number of deals. These flash sale sites are not like seeing a sale circular and then going to the store only to find out that they sold out of the product the same day. Nothing is more frustrating than that. At least when you are shopping online, you know if something is sold out before you leave the comfort of your own home.

Thankfully, despite, or perhaps because of, the dismal state of the economy, online shopping has really taken hold, and there is virtually nothing that you cannot buy online. And typically, buying online is simply far more economical than purchasing goods in a brick and mortar store. This is in part because the proprietors of the online websites can manage their “stores” with little to no overhead costs. This savings is then passed on to the consumer.

It used to be that online shopping was considered the next frontier for outlet shopping, with people considering the goods there second rate or discounted because of flaws, but that is certainly not the case any longer. Online shopping is the way of the future, and most retailers have begun to recognise this, offering consumers the same or better than what can be found in the shops.