I absolutely ADORE online shopping! Once I know what I want to buy for a friend or a family member, I like to go online and spend a minute or two searching the web (and often eBay) to find the item and buy it. No time wasted!
Compare this to the way my mother buys things. She figures out what she wants to get someone. She spends the first day calling lots of stores trying to find the thing to no avail. She spends the next ten days or so roaming malls trying to find said item, often settling for something less than what she wanted. She wants to be given "points" for the time spent. She thinks her method counts more than my own. Ha!
Another big factor for me is that I absolutely despise large groups of people when shopping. In the South, lots of people try to converse with you casually, ... and although I love people, when I'm shopping I just want to get the heck out of there! It takes a lot of concentration for me to shop, ... even grocery shop, and people break my concentration.
Another word about grocery shopping, if you are lucky enough to have a grocery store that allows you to shop online with free pickup and a free personal shopper (with some kind of points/rewards system), for goodness sake DO IT! When I moved to this mountain town the thing I missed most wasn't my friends or my home, ... it was my darn personal shopper, Angela, who did all of my shopping for FREE with Lowes Foods To Go. I just put my points/rewards to this service, and it was always free. The lady shopped hours for me, grew to love my kids, would only accept a small tip, ... she saved me literally HOURS of time! **sigh** I miss that service. As soon as it comes here, I'll be one of the first to take advantage, trust me.
HOWEVER, I have to say that buying clothes online is a big mistake in most cases. Because different companies have different sizing techniques and forms, there's just no way to be sure. I spend more time sending stuff back (albeit with free shipping) than is worth it to me. Unless you know the sizing of a particular company (like, I'm really safe with Chadwicks), then just go to the mall, for goodness sake.
Another big significant factor is, because I live in a very special area (the mountains of Western North Carolina), there is no better way to buy a special gift for a friend across the country than to go to one of our local artists/craftsmen personally and buy, buy, buy!
As an end note, I have to say that there is a great advantage to buying things used off of Craigslist for a LOT less money AND for taking advantage of customer reviews, such as on Amazon.com.