Online shopping is a method by which consumers buy goods or services from a retailer through the medium of the internet, without there being an intermediary source. For example, if a person wishes to buy a product from Sony, he can go to their website and purchase the product directly from the company website without there being an intermediary retailer. The advent of internet and advancement in technology has revolutionized the way we do our Shopping as there is some online shopping portal that has grown and cater to the avid online shoppers. Whether it is apparel or jewelry, mobiles or mobile accessories, computers or a TV you can shop for all of it online. Shopping online has its challenges, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Online shopping offers many advantages, including:
- You have access to these online shops from the convenience of your home, office, school, almost everywhere provided you have an internet connection.
- Usually, there are many discounts and offers available online which are not there in the store.
- The online stores are always open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- A review written by a consumer can be read instantly about the product and comparison can be made about the alternatives available.
- Products can be purchased from anywhere across the globe, giving us a wider selection range, though there may be excess shipping costs involved.
- You don’t need to put up with a salesperson standing on your head.
Some of the disadvantages of online shopping include:
- Delivery costs are sometimes high depending on where the product is purchased from. Sometimes the cost may be greater than the value of the product itself.
- We cannot physically touch or feel the product. Many assumptions need to be made on the quality and features of the product. Reviews, descriptions, and photos are the only way a purchase decision can be made.
- Many products purchased online have a return policy. Meaning, they can be returned to the online retailer or store if the consumer is not satisfied with the product sold. But delivery fees is levied on the consumer again which makes it very inconvenient.
- Privacy and security are genuine concerns for online shoppers. There is always a fear whether our credit card details are safe to be used online. Credit card fraud is very high, and the most cases occur through the online source. There also could be fraud on the part of the seller, regarding fake descriptions or completely fake products sold in the name of the original brand. But due precautions can be taken to ensure the safe transaction. For example, paying attention to HTTPS protocol, installing free anti-spyware tools or identifying the secure payment codes like VeriSign, SSL, etc. If you are careful and take care, online shopping can be a great experience.