Online Shopping: Helping City-Dwellers Live More Conveniently

woman does shopping online from her phone with card in hand

Living in the heart of the city is a dream scenario for many people. When you’re right downtown, you have the best amenities at your fingertips, from quaint shops to museums to theaters to many of your metro area’s finest restaurants.

But downtown-living can also have some disadvantages, especially when you’re first getting set up in a new house or apartment. Being close to public transportation means you’re more likely to rely on it, and less likely to own a car, which makes shopping, especially for large items like furniture and kitchen appliances, more difficult. Things suburbanites take for granted, like popping out to a shop to buy a toaster oven or doing a big shop at the grocery store, can be more stressful within city limits, where you might be trying to wrangle a big purchase home on a bus or having to spend extra cash for a cab or an Uber.

Sometimes even in the furthest outreaches of the metro area, traffic alone can turn you off from redecorating or upgrading your space. It’s just no fun trying to get large purchases home in a rented truck or cargo van when you’ve got other drivers squeezing you from both sides and honking for you to pick up the pace.

Enter online shopping.

There’s no question online shopping has made all our lives easier, but, perhaps, the impact is felt no more acutely than in places where driving is the most time-consuming, irritating, or just less common. The ability to buy through the Internet and get things delivered directly to one’s door has leveled the playing field in terms of the convenience or inconvenience of certain neighborhoods.

And the thing about online shopping is it’s no longer just online. The online experience is so popular with consumers, it has expanded to include local businesses, like restaurants and grocery stores. As people have gotten accustomed to being able to order anything they need or want and have it shipped right to their door, local stores and businesses have had to change the way they operate in order to compete in the evolving marketplace. This has resulted in many more restaurants offering delivery – through apps like Grubhub and DoorDash – than ever.

Grocery stores have also started to deliver, a huge advantage for people who live in the hearts of cities, where there are less likely to be full-scale grocery stores, and where niched-down stores, bodegas, or corner markets are the norm. Grocery delivery also means city-dwellers, who used to have to worry about keeping perishable foods cold as they made their way home on public transportation or in bumper-to-bumper traffic no longer have to worry about keeping their cold foods cold.

It’s not just convenience. Online shopping also lowers prices.

While convenience is a huge of online shopping, it’s far from the only benefit. It may not even be the most important benefit for many people. Because everyone likes to money.

Since online retailers don’t have storefronts, they have lower overhead, which means they can sell their products at cheaper prices than traditional retailers. This is especially beneficial to people who live downtown in their cities, or in any area really where the stores are smaller and there is less competition.

Prices are notoriously higher downtown than they are in the suburbs, and there’s actually good reason for that. Property prices are also higher, and the more a company pays in rent or property taxes, the more income they need to bring in to stay afloat. That may result in a $1 bottle of water in the suburbs costing $2 in the city.

Online shopping, however, has reduced the reliance of city-dwellers on their nearest stores and resources. People may still have to pop out for milk from time to time, but, with a little planning and a smart phone, they can reduce the cost of many of the items they buy on a regular basis. And anyone who lives in the heart of the city, and pays those big city rents, knows how important it is to save a few dollars in other areas of the budget.

Along with the increasing number of stores offering delivery, online shopping has made downtown-living a far more convenient option than it has been in the past. Now renters can choose where they want to live, or potential homeowners can choose where they want to buy, based on their love of the neighborhood, or proximity to work or school, instead of thinking about how much of a pain it will be to get their household set up.

Whether someone’s searching for studios in Downtown Dallas or three-bedroom Las Colinas, TX apartments, online shopping can make outfitting a new place a whole lot more convenient and open up possibilities that seemed out of reach before.

And a video from VICKY LOGAN with tips to develop your online shopping skills:

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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