Motorcycle Apparel Shopping: Buying Online Vs. Buying in Person

With the 21st century’s tech-oriented everything, shopping is not what it was anymore. Online retail stores have eased the buying process by doing all the work- from packaging to door delivery, and all you have to do is select your choices from the comfort of your home and pay (bless technology!). However, online stores have not totally replaced the functions of brick-and-mortar retail stores, and in some ways, physical stores still trump virtual shopping in many ways.

For bikers, getting proper gear is paramount to enjoying the two-wheeled cruise, and because things may not always be what they seem online, most riders prefer to see and feel their purchases before putting bucks on them. On the other hand, other bikers prefer the convenience of having their orders delivered straight to their doorsteps, and we can’t blame them for that.

Sadly, there is no one answer as to which method is better, and we can only provide insight on how to make the best of whichever way you choose.

To balance both sides, here’s a close-up comparison of both shopping options, using the pros and cons of both, and speaking from experience. We’ll also have a brief rundown of the best places to get the proper gear, either online or in person.

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Buying MotorCycle Apparel Online Vs. Buying In Person

The most important things to consider when buying motorcycle apparel is the fit, the quality, and for the art-inclined, the design. Now, here’s how either shopping method helps you satisfy those criteria.

Dressing Rooms Vs. Size Charts

For bikers that purchase their getup in-store, it is common knowledge that labels and size tags are not enough to confirm the fit of a clothing item. You cannot escape the hassle of dressing rooms, and probably getting in and out of different shirts before you find the perfect fit. For online shoppers, all they need is knowledge of their size on the UK/US size charts, and that’s it.

However, a physical shopper is more likely to get a good fit than a virtual shopper, because many manufacturers do not get sizing right. With online shopping, you may end up with clothes too tight, or large enough to size someone that weighs 50 pounds more than you.

A lot of online retailers make size charts specific to their products to reduce the occurrence of this, but it’s not something that you can get rid of easily. Things are not what they seem while online.

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A Million Options Vs. Limited Options

Physical shopping is painfully limited to the resources of the stores available to your area, and going through clothing rack after rack is terribly-time consuming. Some people are totally fine with that, and the rewards of patiently looking through wares on display are worth it to them. For the rest of us, it’s time that could be spent catching up on some of the new HBO series.

Online shoppers have tons of options at their disposal, and they can easily compare market prices without actually moving around. Plus, and this is a huge plus, online shoppers can sign up for emails from their favorite clothing stores, and get notified when there are mouthwatering deals on riding gear.

Picture Quality Vs. Real-Time Quality

Another huge factor that contributes to the usefulness of physical stores is that buyers can appraise their purchases in real-time. Bikers, especially, get a lot of printed designs and leather products, and the quality of these are very tricky to decide. Online stores easily have appealing stuff because one great picture can represent a whole stock of ten thousand items, which may be of questionable quality. At least one in every five online shoppers has an ‘It-looked-great-online’ tale. However, online stores have options for item return, but most shoppers absolutely hate the extended time spent waiting for correct purchase.

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Instant Purchase Vs. Not-So-Instant Purchase

The ironic thing about buying apparel online stores is this: You feel like it’s a faster way of getting your stuff, but in reality, it takes longer than strolling into a physical store and getting out with your purchases, right then. Even with the popularity of the two-day shipping option, nothing gets your new clothes to you faster than buying them in a physical store and walking out the door with them.

With online purchases, the wait is killing. You can’t wait to try your clothes on already, but you have to. Sometimes for two weeks.

Emotional Payoff vs Precise Purchases

Physical stores are out to get you- it is hard to stick with the shopping plan when you go out shopping in person. You need a leather jacket, but you end up buying the gloves that caught your eye and you absolutely couldn’t resist. Then maybe some motorcycle apparel from Ridezza and some new socks.

It’s a tricky trap. This is not to say that online retailers don’t encourage impulse buying, but it’s harder to get distracted when you can accurately input the search term for the particular item you need.

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However, online stores do not satisfy shoppers who aim to get more than just new clothes from shopping. Online shopping is convenient and all, but nothing beats the feeling of taking a day off to shop with friends, and physical shopping has maintained its appeal to some for this reason.

The Verdict

Haha, that subhead may have been a tad bit misleading, because there is no verdict.

Buying online versus buying in person is totally different—but one isn’t necessarily better than the other.

Both sides can dig deeper into the reasons consumers buy from each channel and tailor their brand message and aesthetics to that effect. This would help recognize unique value and selling points for each channel, and business owners can be strategic in what they sell, where, to whom and for what price.

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