Last week, Viet Nam News asked its readers about their preference about shopping online and at malls. Here are some of the comments
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
My age and lifestyle can be described as ‘old school' so I don't order online. I prefer to look and touch products and check them out in a store. About the only thing I would order is a pizza from my trusted corner shop.
As times change and smartphone technology is everywhere, I think I'm ready to try online orders. You can get everything from Amazon.com. There is a real danger though, with identity theft, viruses and corporate and government spying. Your Google searches are kept and sold to marketers.
My Times City private student mother buys expensive fruit by delivery and makes sure to complain and threaten to stop buying if the quality is not consistently high. I hate the no-sticker-price haggling over price as a foreigner. I always get charged too much. Then everyone smiles and laughs.
It really is a caveat buyer beware environment. You must have your wits about you at all times. Before buying online I will first incorporate myself as a company. That way I can sue them, but have protection and insurance for my ‘brand.'
Nguyen Thanh Huong, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
I like both shopping online and in stores because each has its own advantages. Which one I prefer also depends on how much time I have for shopping.
When I have much time and of course, at least a partner to go with, I prefer stores where we can touch products, try it on (in case of clothes), make comparisons and comments. Shopping in malls with family and friends in special occasions like Tet holidays and Christmas brings much fun as we can enjoy the holiday atmosphere, sparkling decorations, take some photos and have a good time to remember.
However, during busy days and with a list of things to buy, I prefer shopping online. I usually bookmark reliable online shopping pages, visiting them when needing products that I know the pages are offering. I will have a quick look at the category of the things I need, choose the most reasonable one that meets my requirements and my budget, wait for them to be delivered in few days or less. I try to avoid falling in a flood of products offered online, opening one window and another and two others, three others. It will cost you much time and energy.
So, being an online shopper, you first determine which things you want to buy and how much you will spend. The online fast food order is also so great, right? You are hungry and having a must-see TV programme available at that time or it's so sunny/rainy outside. It's great to hear a deliveryman knock your door half an hour after a click or phone call.
I see people display cheap goods for sale along the street. It is not only the matter of convenience but also the price. It is a strange new world online.
Patrick Brown, Australian, HCM City
One of the main reasons why I prefer on-line shopping is because it saves time and money. I can access many web sites within a very short duration of time to compare costs, quality, service and other relevant aspects and decide which is the best option. This is very difficult to do if I have to visit each of the retailers individually. Doing that involves burning a lot of fuel travelling all over the city, staying calm in the perpetual bumper to bumper traffic and finally the cherry on the cake is searching for parking space once I get there!
On-line stores also offer large discounts which I guess is due to their cost of operations being substantially lower in many ways when compared to the traditional stores.
Jenny Redler, British, Ha Noi
I prefer to shop from online shopping websites because I do not have to walk, drive, carry things and talk to sales persons when shopping online. In most shopping websites, I can instantly get a selection of the most popular, newest or the highest rated products with reviews from other customers. I cannot get those things when I go to a store.
Stores often have a higher upkeep cost than online stores. They have to employ more personnel, they must rent a place for a lot of money and pay bills to keep it running, they must keep display products, which are often damaged while being displayed. Online stores also have expenses but they are much more efficient than stores.
The stores have the benefit of allowing you to examine the products but that does not always convert into sales. You can look at a product in a store and then go buy a cheaper one from an online retailer. — VNS