Why a physical retail store won out over an online purchase today

I love to buy stuff from Amazon, so why not try buying stuff from Lazada right? This was the case today for the purchase of a juicer (no, not for me). In the end, ESH, a physical store won. Why did I choose physical over e-commerce?

Seeing a list of juicers is great. But how do I know how they work? How do I know which one is easier to clean? How do I know if anecdotally, one comes back more for warranty claims? How do I know if a juice extractor can only juice 2 oranges at one go, then requiring a one minute break (maybe I can find this in the manual, but really, when was the last time a consumer looked at a manual?).

So, first problem – not being sure which juicer to buy. Lazada is new and lacks customer reviews. In fact, I’m not sure there will be quality customer reviews that will make me trust it anyway. Physical wins out totally here as you can touch the juicers and get guided.

Oh, but it’s surely cheaper online, right? Wrong. Every juicer in store had a retail price, but it also came with a “best price”. If you’re Malaysian, you also probably love to haggle – try doing that at an online store! Believe it or not, the best price matched the Lazada prices hands down.

Delivery times? 4-6 business days seems to be standard on Lazada. At ESH, I could walk out with the item immediately.

Payment? ESH like any good physical retailer accepts credit cards (Visa/Master only though). They also give you Bonuslink points. Lazada is no different, with B.Card points.

Warranty is a big deal. If something goes wrong, I can just walk into ESH and they’ll handle it for me. My family & I have been buying from them for decades. If something goes wrong with my purchase from Lazada, I’ll probably have to call up the individual manufacturer and work it out myself. After-sales service is very important – what has online done for improving this space?

Now, the juicer we finally settled on for the gift was a Philips HR1871. It was RM11 cheaper on Lazada at RM688 (we paid RM699, best price rate with no haggling today). However at ESH it came with another attachment: a juice extractor. It’s a whole other attachment, and if you buy it retail from other brands it would set you back RM130 or so (even on lazada). 

What did all this cost? A short drive (at most 2L of petrol burnt) as well as a RM0.60 sen parking fee. The time spent would have been the same, if not more online, as one would have to watch videos elsewhere, read reviews, etc.

Leaves a lot to be desired for online shopping when it comes to white goods. Notice that if I were purchasing a tablet or cellphone it would be completely different (I can take the cheapest price since I have some domain knowledge). 

I wonder what other experiences are…