Shopping online vs offline

A local study carried out by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) in July 2016 revealed that more than three-quarters of consumers across all age cohorts in Malta and Gozo are using the Internet and around 78% of internet users have become digital buyers, with the majority claiming to have carried out an online purchase in the three months prior to the survey. “

This is great news for both local and international retailers who have seen an increase in Maltese spend on their products and services. It is also a wake up call for any local retailers who are still looking into providing an online service to their clientele. The internet has been shaking up things for us all whether for the better or for the worse. I like to think positive and think of the good which has come from the internet such as access to free information. Looking for a discount? Google it. Looking for a product review? Google it.

…more than three-quarters of consumers across all age cohorts in Malta and Gozo are using the Internet and around 78% of internet users have become digital buyers.

How many times have you researched information regarding a product or service you are interested in before buying it?  The same study found that  “70% of users resort to the Internet as the first port of call for searching for products and/ or retailers before purchasing, regardless whether the transaction is eventually completed online or in a brick ‘n’ mortar environment. Only 19% claim to physically visit shops to obtain information prior to buying a product or service. In addition, the study also shows that 66% of millenials who access the Internet on their mobile, are reaching for their smartphones whilst shopping in physical shops for further information on the products of interest and alternative prices.”

The stats tell us that online shopping has increased by local shoppers, this means people are using this option more and more as time goes by. It could be because it is more convenient for them in today’s busy life. Lets go through the advantages and disadvantages of shopping Online vs Offline.

Brick n Mortar Shopping


  • See and touch: You can see and touch the item before purchasing it. 
  • Instant reward: No need to wait for your new item to be delivered. Just buy it and take it home with you! Shopping offline means you can spend money on high value items without the risk since you can try them on at the shop. New Ideas: Get inspired by their merchandise in the window or an outfit their staff if wearing. You may find something you like which you never thought of buying and the great thing about it, is that you can try it on to see if it suits you. 
  • Staff Information: You can interact with the staff and gauge what they think about the product/service or even ask them for a discount.
  • Social: Shopping offline is a social thing so you can also shop with friends or bump into people you know.



  • Hassle: May be a hassle to get to the shop – dressing up, parking or getting there.
  • Disappointment: You might not find what you are looking for
  • Queuing: You may need to queuee
  • They may only accept cash
  • Limited variety & choice compared to shopping from brands with humongous stores abroad.
  • Pros and Cons of Online Shopping


  • Shop from home: You can shop online from the comfort of your own home
  • Better chances for size availability: Benefit from better size availability and choice when shopping online
  • Easier: It is easier to find something you need online rather than walking from one to shop to another in search of an item
  • No Queuing: No need to queue when shopping online, simply purchase your item at the click of a button
  • Disadvantages:

  • Think ahead: It may take a few days to arrive so you need to think ahead if it is something you might need for a special occasion
  • Returning items: If you receive the incorrect size or colour you will need to return the item by post
  • Cannot see or feel: You cannot see or feel the item (unless you have already checked it out at a local retailer).
  • To conclude, shopping online and shopping offline provide different experiences for the shopper. I personally prefer buying my clothes online as I buy what I need and manage to mix and match my day and evening outfits perfectly well this way. I still enjoy heading to Sliema or Valletta with my girl friends however for a bit of shopping and lunch. When we do find time out of our busy schedules to do this we end up impulse buying because we like an item or because of a great bargain.On the other hand, I know others who love the idea of trying on clothes and looking into as many shops as they can. They would never dream of shopping for clothes online!

    How do you prefer to shop? Do you prefer offline shopping, online shopping or a bit of both? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook page.