The Growth of Online Shopping Will One Day

The growth of online shopping will one day lead to all shops in towns and cities closing. Do you agree or disagree?

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 14 General Training Test 1 Writing Task 2.

Sample Essay

One day, all brick-and-mortar stores will close because of the growth of e-commerce. I disagree with this statement for two reasons: customers can get experiences in physical stores that they cannot get online, and many products require hands-on inspection before purchase.

Firstly, offline stores offer customers experiences that are unavailable online. This is because these stores are more than just places to shop; they are also where people socialize. For example, at Starbucks, people meet friends and talk about their lives while enjoying their drinks. Placing a coffee bean order through an impersonal Internet store, such as Amazon, will never allow this level of gratifying social interaction. This means that there will always be a place for retailers who offer socialization.

Additionally, certain products are better bought in person. It is true that people are now making more online purchases of items like clothing and tech gadgets since these items have little or no difference from the ones sold at physical stores. However, good agricultural products, for example, will always come from a local market. This is because, at a grocery store, a person can see, touch, and even smell the produce to ensure freshness and wholeness. Fresh fruits and vegetables ordered online, in contrast, may suffer bruises during shipping and are usually unreturnable, a situation that will keep the local market in operation.

In conclusion, not all actual shops will be replaced by online platforms because their environments offer customers experiences and products more suited to in-person than online purchase. (251 words)

How to Vary Your Language

Shops in towns and cities
  • Brick-and-mortar stores
  • Physical stores
  • Offline stores
  • Actual stores
  • In-person purchase/purchases (“Purchase” can be either countable or uncountable.)
Online shopping
  • Online purchase/purchases (“Purchase” can be either countable or uncountable.)
  • Online stores
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Online-shopping platforms

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