Most Folks Prefer Shopping In Person, Not Online

The traditional sounds of shopping are still ringing on the coast. People don't seem ready to abandon this pasttime just yet.

"I prefer to go to the stores and actually see what I'm getting," Long Beach resident Fran Wren says. "You find a lot more bargains that way, too."

"My major concern with internet shopping would be using my credit card," Biloxi resident Sally Peer says. "I can't imagine my credit card number being out there for anyone in the world to pick up and use."

A recent survey shows why so many people continue to spend their money at the mall instead of online.

  • 85 percent said they like seeing their purchases in person before buying.
  • 80 percent said they fear entering their credit card number into the computer.
  • About 50 percent said they worried about the purchases getting there on time.
  • 41 percent said shopping web sites are too confusing.

Plus, the internet can't add Christmas atmosphere.

"It's just more fun. It really is," Peer says. "It puts that little ummph in Christmas."

Wren agrees. "It's more fun to be here with the crowds and we prefer to spend our money at home."

Some people seem to think it's almost their duty to spend their money at home.

"I think eventually it's gonna cost the local stores a lot of business," Long Beach resident Mike Wren says. "There's no sales tax online, and that's revenue that's coming right out of this area's pocket every time somebody spends it."

But others say online shopping is tempting.

"In the future, I would consider doing online shopping because you know you don't have to be beothered with crowds, you know you don't have to look for a parking space, you don't have to worry about people bumping into you," Keith Barnes says.

Retailers say they're fighting that urge by providing better customer service so shoppers will continue to come back for more.

Overall, surveys show fewer than 20 percent of internet users bought gifts online this year. Experts say what's more common is for people to browse and compare prices online, and then buy things in person.