With more people becoming more health conscious, and finally understanding the dangers of cigarettes, traditional smokers are kicking the habit, with many young people never picking up cigarettes due to the wildly popular, smokeless option of vaping. With nearly 11,000 vape shops and lounges in the United States, more and more popping up. You can even visit your local gas station or mini mart and find vape products. Needless to say, thousands of vape products are at your disposal at the drop of a hat.
Online Shopping vs. In-Store Shopping
If you are a “vaper”, you’ve probably taken out your phone and searched “vape shop near me” (and came across the article linked), which offers some great advice. There are several obvious ways to find a vape store in your area. Online searches like Google and Bing, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will all point you in the direction of vape shops in your area, but it is possible to browse vaping supplies from the comfort of your couch without traveling to a “vape shop near me”. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of online shopping vs. in-store shopping for your vaping needs by looking at four key aspects of shopping; accessibility, affordability; availability; and security.
As previously mentioned, vape shops are continuing to open across America with the rise in popularity over cigarettes, but not necessarily where you live. Vape shops are opening more in urban areas than in rural and suburban areas. Therefore, time and distance to travel are a down-side of retail shopping for those not in close proximity to a larger city. Additionally, not everyone owns a car, has access to ride shares such as Uber or Lyft, or has access to public transportation, but nearly everybody these days has a smartphone. Online retailers, in general, are growing more rapidly than brick and mortar stores are opening, creating more accessibility to vape products around the clock as opposed to restrictive hours of operation. Shop when it is convenient for you… not for them.
While accessibility to a retail location could be a concern for many, there is one thing that retail has over online; the physical aspect of shopping. What drives consumers to visit vape shops as opposed to shopping online is that they can physically touch and smell the products and you don’t have to wait for them. You are able to get comfortable with the size and the shapes of various vape pens or electronic cigarettes and can decide ahead of time if you like the smell of a particular ejuices before you waste your money on something you won’t like and can’t return.
Online and retail shops are dueling when it comes to sales, discounts and promotions. Often, the first time you visit an online retailer, you are presented with a pop-up requesting your email address to save a certain percentage on your purchase or you’re offered a discount code to be entered upon checkout. Yes, you need to give them your email to get the discount, and yes, they will send you things that will likely end up in your junk folder, but that junk will probably save you money. Before you send it to the trash folder, chances are pretty good that they’re advertising a sale. Online shopping also gives you the luxury of comparing prices from one site to another without hopping from store to store. You can save yourself the time and gas money and buy what you want at the cheapest price you find online.
Some vape shops may have a larger following than others due to having multiple stores or a presence on social media. Maybe when you’re being rung up at the register, they ask for your email or cell phone number to email or text you promotions. Of course you can say no, but who doesn’t like free money? Many retails shops offer promotions to get you in the door because they don’t have an online outlet. You will never have to pay for shipping, but you can get into trouble…beware of the dreaded impulse buy. We’ve all seen them taunting us while waiting in the checkout line; that cute accessory that we didn’t know we needed or that bag of candy that will the spot because you suddenly have a sweet tooth. Avoid the temptation and shop online. Your wallet and your waistline with thank you.
This one is plain and simple, really. Retail vape shops are restricted to what their four walls can hold and sell you during their hours of operation. However, with online shops, you can purchase a styling silver vape pen from your toilet after a Taco Bell run at 3am. If you’ve found something in a store, you will find it online, and then some.
With so many data breaches over the past few years, like Target which led to the implementation of chips on debit cards, people are understandably nervous about using a credit or debit card. Online and retail store alike have taken precautions to protect the identity of their customers from identity theft. The chip card readers along with PINs at brick and mortar stores and third-party authentication required for online purchases have made shopping safer. For those who continue to be skeptical about using credit or debit cards, cash is king... except online.
As you can see, there are several pros and cons to online shopping, but at the end of the day, you can always come home to the internet. After all, your phone is a lot closer to you than the store.
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