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Study questions money saving advantages of online shopping

03 February 2017 - 09:47 by

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The results of a report published by researchers at MIT have thrown into question whether or not it is really cheaper to buy goods via safe shopping online rather than on the high street, according to the Daily Mail.

In 72 per cent of cases, it was found that the asking price for a product would be virtually the same whether purchased online or in-store, with variances in value seen between different product categories.

For clothing, the similarity in pricing was pegged at 92 per cent, while consumer electronics share an 83 per cent link in how much consumers can expect to pay regardless of the platform they choose.

One area in which it makes much more sense to shop online is when buying pharmaceuticals, as the same prices were found in only 38 per cent of instances, meaning the high street offers far less value.

Interestingly, this surprising parity of pricing is mostly applicable in the consumer market, with business buyers in a much better position to get a good deal if they buy online.

This international study took into account pricing across 10 different countries, including the US and the UK. And it was in Britain where prices were most likely to match across all platforms, suggesting that consumers here are not getting as good a deal as they might expect.

Of course, in other studies looking into what compels people to shop online, saving money is less of a priority compared with other perks, such as enjoying a more convenient overall experience. And with price comparison tools available, it is still entirely possible to cut costs by shopping online when looking for specific products, even if this report suggests that bargain hunting may be harder than many think.