Online shopping is the process of buying goods and services from merchants who sell on the Internet. Since the emergence of the World Wide Web, merchants have sought to sell their products to people who surf the Internet. Shoppers can visit web stores from the comfort of their homes and shop as they sit in front of the computer.
Consumers buy a variety of items from online stores. In fact, people can purchase just about anything from companies that provide their products online. Books, clothing, household appliances, toys, hardware, software, and health insurance are just some of the hundreds of products consumers can buy from an online store.
Many people choose to conduct shopping online because of the convenience. For example, when a person shops at a brick-and-mortar store, she has to drive to the store, find a parking place, and walk throughout the store until she locates the products she needs. After finding the items she wants to purchase, she may often need to stand in long lines at the cash register.
In contrast, online shopping helps consumers avoid these disadvantages. With online shopping, a person logs onto the Internet, visits the store’s website, and chooses the items she desires. The items are held in a virtual shopping cart until she is ready to make her purchase. The shopper can remain in her pajamas as she does her shopping, and the process can be conducted in the wee hours of the morning or late into the night. Online stores never close – they’re open 24 hours a day.
Despite the convenience of online shopping, not everyone chooses to purchase items and services online. Some people like the idea of physically going to a store and experiencing the shopping process. They like to touch the merchandise, try on clothing, and be around other people. Online shopping doesn’t permit shoppers to touch products or have any social interaction. It also doesn’t allow them to take the merchandise home the same day they buy it.
Other people may worry about shopping online because they fear their credit card information will be compromised. Since it’s necessary to provide credit card information when purchasing products online, people worry they may become the victims of identity theft. This discourages some consumers from participating in online shopping.
Another reason some consumers avoid shopping online is the fact that they worry that the products they purchase are not accurately portrayed in the website’s picture. They worry that the picture of the item may appear one way, but the actual item may look completely different – perhaps of lesser quality. It’s also impossible to try on apparel when conducting online shopping.
A consumer has to rely on body measurements in order to make sure the clothing will fit properly. If the clothing arrives in the mail and it’s too small, the consumer has to return the item. This is a potential inconvenience that some shoppers may not wish to face.
Normally when we shop from a regular store, we can see the item and at least visually inspect that it looks fine. You can select a co lour, size and can even speak to a sales person to clarify doubts regarding an item. I feel the biggest disadvantage of online shopping is we do not physically see the item till it arrives. May be you have seen it in the nearby mall but there is a possibility that the particular piece you have ordered may be defective. Misinterpretation or misunderstanding of items bought online is a common problem. Usually the photo of items you see online are much better than once you have the item in front of you.
Once you place you order the waiting game starts. You have to wait for a few days for the item to arrive which can be quite frustrating. Most experts believe that we are most excited about your “buy” in the first few days, so by the time your item arrives you will most likely be less excited then getting the item on same day you made the payment.