he high street and retail areas, in general, are changing. Previously, shopping malls in the US, retail parks, and the high street in the UK were where all purchases were made.
Of course, there have been other options for retail such as mail order, or catalogs. However, most people did their purchases in person. Not so much anymore.
According to UNCTAD, global ecommerce has jumped to $26.7 trillion. This report shows that ecommerce accounted for 19% of total retail shares in 2020.
The pandemic had a large impact on ecommerce sales rising. Nevertheless, the trend was in place before Covid arrived.
Why make purchases online?
Two things have contributed to the rise in ecommerce; the availability of mobile devices, and the ease of access to WiFi. According to Statista, most people use a mobile device when browsing now.
Another thing has occurred as well; a change in attitude. People feel more secure about making purchases online. The pandemic certainly helped push a few skeptics in that direction.
Lockdowns meant that many people had to seek out entertainment online, as well as make purchases for everyday items such as groceries.
Making purchases online may come down to convenience in many cases. Why trek around a number of stores when you can find what you want online in minutes?
Is it wise to buy electronics online?
People are using the internet in all manner of ways now. Musicians can use the net to get their music noticed on SoundCloud and to buy instruments. Why can’t you purchase components online to play this music too?
There are a number of advantages to making purchases of this type online. For a start, you can seek out technical advice for stereo systems from retailers or audiophiles.
If you want to purchase audio components then retailers such as SoundImports may offer advice, or you can use a forum to post questions.
There may be some other advantages such as discounts that you cannot get from a physical store. Ecommerce retailers may have fewer overheads, which can lead to savings being passed on.
There may also be some negatives to purchasing electronics online.
What are the downsides to purchasing audio components online?
Entering an audio store means that you get to see the physical products on display. You can see the production values and materials used, and just how they look in reality.
You will also be able to get face-to-face assistance and listen to the components. These two benefits are very important to some people when making a purchase such as this.
You could also walk away with the audio components of your choice, straight away. If you purchase online you may be left waiting for your amp or turntable to arrive.
What benefits could you see from ordering stereo components online?
Although you may not see a representative face-to-face, you will very likely still be able to chat with someone knowledgeable.
Many ecommerce retailers will ship their goods the same day, so the delay might not be so bad when the online price tag is compared to that in the high street.
You can make all your purchases from your armchair, or the bathtub if you prefer. There is no reason to leave the home, and you can browse online anytime you like.
Purchasing stereo components online might not suit everyone. They can be bulky items that cost a lot to ship. However, there is a certain type of audio component purchaser who could benefit greatly from ecommerce; the DIY audio build fan.
Advantages of choosing DIY audio components online
While purchasing audio components means buying separates such as amps and CD players, for others it means making a DIY stereo build.
In the case of anyone wanting to build their own speakers, for instance, online retailers offer more choices.
Speaker DIY kits can be bought online, as can all the components to build fully customized ones. This allows a true audiophile to purchase tweeters, woofers, amplifier modules, and bass shakers, to put together one-of-a-kind speakers.
For anyone looking to get into building speakers with less stress, DIY kits with or without cabinets are also available.
Is it easier to find audio components online?
With a huge number of audio specialists online, you are more likely to find what you require than in a physical store limited by space.
Retail stores may be limited to the brands they are allowed to stock, especially if they are under license. Ecommerce retailers are in abundance, making it easy to find brands such as Hypex, SEAS, and ICEpower when you want DIY components.
These types of audio component choices are not so easily found in shopping malls.
What happens if your stereo components stop working?
One of the biggest worries about making online purchases is faulty products.
Before making any purchase online, check the terms and conditions. Especially look for terms regarding returns and refunds.
You may also be protected from ecommerce purchases that are made through card payments. You may have a certain amount of protection from your credit card company or bank, depending on which region you live in.
When should you choose online retailers for audio components over traditional retailers?
Should everyone buy stereo system components online then?
Although the point of the article is to show that there are benefits to purchasing any type of electronic online, it has shown that there are negatives to consider.
A heavy amplifier may not be the best thing to order online, although there may be great savings to be had.
Perhaps what is clear, is that it is the DIY audio component fan that would most benefit. The nature of putting together speakers, for instance, means that it takes time. Therefore, a day or two in delivery times won’t matter too much.
It is far easier to find DIY audio components online than it is in the high street. And there may be technical advice available too.
Having said this, ecommerce has come a good way in the last few years. Retail giants such as Amazon have no problem listing, selling, and shipping fully realized sound systems. So, it may be that someone keen on purchasing an off-the-shelf sound system can enjoy the benefits of ecommerce too.
It should be noted though, that most sound systems online are of the micro-style. Smaller systems, and possibly with active speakers to reduce the number of components.
Ecommerce has transformed the way people make purchases. Groceries are now ordered online as a matter of routine. People browse for clothes too now. People’s fashion habits are changing, and clothes are being purchased online, so why not bigger purchases such as electronics
It is clear that anyone interested in DIY audio components could benefit greatly from online retailers. The picture is less clear for larger systems and off-the-shelf speakers.
When purchasing a sound system, or separate components, check how easy it is to return. If something goes wrong, you may find yourself with heavy speakers and no easy way to return them.
Big retailers such as Amazon have systems in place for such eventualities. Fortunately, many of the online audio specialists do so too. Another advantage of using an online audio store is that they are often run by audiophiles. They can therefore be a great source of advice.