Does Online Shopping = No More Shopping Trips?
The short answer: no.
Online shopping has actually been found to lead to increases in shopping trips. However, shopping trends also show that shopping trips tend to reduce online shopping (Zhou & Wang, 2014).
Essentially, ↑ online shopping leads to ↑ shopping trips
BUT ↑ shopping trips leads to ↓ online shopping
Increased online shopping often means that consumers want to go to brick-and-mortar stores to try on the products and experience the commodities. Several factors are responsible for shopping trends including socioeconomic status, internet use, location (urban/not urban), age, gender, education level, gas price, and travel time to brick-and-mortar stores (Zhou & Wang, 2014)
How Different is the CO2 Impact?
Under most conditions, online shopping causes lower CO2 emissions than brick-and-mortar shopping. However, when travel distance is small, brick-and-mortar shopping produces less CO2 emissions than online shopping and shipping (Wiese et al., 2012, p. 2). This is especially true when travel occurs in a more sustainable way, like biking or walking!
So…Where Do I Shop in Middlebury?
Middlebury has some awesome brick-and-mortar shopping locations within walking/biking distance! Visit go/bikemap to see a Midd student’s awesome map with bikeable/walkable destinations in town!
Plus! Shopping local supports Middlebury and Addison County while ensuring that you can know where your products come from!
Zhou, Y., & Wang, X. (Cara). (2014). Explore the Relationship Between Online Shopping and Shopping Trips: An Analysis with the 2009 NHTS Data. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 70, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2014.09.014
Wiese, A., Toporowski, W., & Zielke, S. (2012). Transport-related CO2 effects of online and brick-and-mortar shopping: A comparison and sensitivity analysis of clothing retailing. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 17(6), 473–477. Scopus. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2012.05.007