Shopping Centres vs Online Shopping

This is a comparison between shopping in shopping centre versus shopping online.

Posted by myShoza: Shopping Centres in Malaysia .com, 30 Nov 2017

Feet vs fingers, which do you prefer?  What is this about?  Well, it's referring to online stores vs shopping centres.  I am sure everyone has been to a shopping centre before, but have you ever tried online shopping?  Here I’ll discuss a few points from my own personal experience and compare between the two.


The point of shopping centres is that they provide variety in a single location.  Some offer more variety than others while some may only provide niche offering (e.g. Starhill caters for the high end or Low Yat caters for technology).  Usually the bigger the shopping centre, the more variety they can offer.

Online stores have the advantage of not having to have a physical building or location but still able to offer as much variety as shopping centres.

Joy of Shopping

The joy of going around looking at all the wonderful stuff is part of the attraction of shopping centres.

Online stores seem to be able to capture some of that magic as well.


Another main point of shopping centres is the convenience they provide by bringing all the stores together in one place.

Online stores can be even better as they not only bring huge variety in one place but with search functionality, a shopper can easily find a product without much hassle.


Stores in shopping centres have retail assistants or consultants to provide advice or help you with anything.  Some can be helpful, while some may be pushy or pesky.

Online stores do not offer this service.  The online help is just for the site itself and not about the product.  However, most of the products listed on the sites do have detailed descriptions although if you are not sure and need some advice, you’ll just have to turn to Google.


Shopping centres can be either a time saver as everything is at one place or a place to hang and spend your time depending on what you want as there are all sorts of entertainment and services that you can find.

Online stores are the ultimate in time savers as the search function is highly efficient compared to walking around a shopping centre.

However, the downside is that you don’t get the products until much later even though the buying process is fast.


With shopping centres, besides just shopping, you can do other things such as watch a show, have some snacks of enjoy a delicious meal, go bowling or have a massage or just simply hang out with your family and friends.

No such thing with online stores.


Sometimes, the clothes look great on the mannequin, but look horrible when you try it on.  This is where traditional stores have the advantage of allowing you to feel and try the goods before you buy.

No way to try for online stores.  Although online stores usually allow returns and refunds, seriously how many people actually take the trouble to go through the process?  This where you hear a lot of people complaining about how things especially clothes looked great online, but really sucked when they got it.

My take is probably to avoid clothes and fashion that tend to be different when you put it on.  For other things such as gadgets, electronics and housewares where those things wont change, then these things are quote ok.


Prices vary between shopping centres and also between stores in a shopping centre.  So depending on your preferences, you can get products at different price ranges depending on where you go.  However, prices are generally slightly higher than stores outside of shopping centres.

Online stores usually give really cheap prices.  This is because they save on expensive overheads such as rental, store maintenance and such and are able to pass that on.  Please note the keyword is usually as there are items that can be more expensive online.

I remember my first time shopping at an online store.  Even though I wanted to buy only a specific thing that I didn’t know where to find, the cheap prices of other things being presented to me really tempted me to buy almost everything.....


If you are anything like me, where retail therapy can give me a high, shopping centres is the way to go.

I found that online shopping can also give the high especially when you find deals that are really really cheap.

However, I find there is a down side to this.  It is the bummer feeling when you see the delivery date and realize you wont get to immediately enjoy the things you just paid for and that the delivery could take several days to weeks.

In my opinion, online stores will never replace shopping centres.  It may supplement them in terms of offering products that may be difficult to find in shopping centres or providing really low prices.  However, there is no way it can provide the total experience of strolling through the shopping centres, dropping into the food stores for some snacks and looking at other people shopping.

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