Online Shopping Essay
Online shopping is a process in the form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to buy goods and services over the internet using a browser.
It is also called as business to business online shopping. People can surf several web stores which offer a variety of products online from the comfort of the house.
Shopping can be done through desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones etc. The most popular among the online stores are Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Myntra.
Online Shopping Initiation
The concept of online shopping was first introduced by Michael Aldrich in 1980. In March he started Redifon’s Office Revolution, which permitted consumers, agents, distributors and suppliers to be connected online.
By using videotex technology, he designed, installed, manufactured, sold and supported many online shopping systems. The first-ever shopping store name was Tesco store.
Types of e-shoppers
As online shopping is gaining popularity rapidly, e-retailers have managed to segregate customers and target them accordingly. There are deal hunters who always seek discounts and offers and then buy a product.
Such customers always try to shop during festivals. Then there are brand buffs that prefer a particular quality brand. These types of shoppers are not price-sensitive and buy a particular brand, even at a high price.
Other ones are the wish listers who keep on scrolling, searching, selecting and adding the products to the wishing list to buy them later. They keep on postponing their purchase for many reasons.
The most special ones are the shopaholics who don’t care about the discounts, offers or whatsoever as they keep buying all-round the year and are still not satisfied and keep waiting for new arrivals.
Advantages of Online Shopping
Most online shopping stores offer lower prices as compared to offline stores. They also provide a great bargain deal and save more money.
Price comparison is hassle-free and quick. Due to such low prices, more consumers get engaged in online shopping as don’t have to shell out extra money.
The introduction of the discount system has brought great relief to consumers, especially to savvy shoppers who get motivated to buy more during discounts.
The stores are always littered with special offers and online coupons round the year. Moreover, during festivals and special days they provide more discounts in the form of the half-price deal; buy one get one free etc. Premium members enjoy free delivery and the early arrival of the package.
An online store is a platform for diversity. This means that it supplies goods with many varieties. Customers can choose and select from abundance as they find numerous options which suit their requirement and budget. From kids to adults there is variety in large numbers.
The stores are open 24/7, which makes a purchase as easy as ABC. Consumers who are busy and are unable to visit offline stores can buy at night.
It can be bought at any time of the day. By one click you can make the purchase, pay online or through cash on delivery system and also gets the product delivered to your doorstep.
The system of tracking order enables people to know the status of their product through shipping details and exact arrival date. Furthermore, if the received product is defective, damaged or wrong in size, it can also be returned easily without following long formalities.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
Lack of touch and feel:
When it comes to electronics and clothes, customers find online shopping redundant as they cannot touch them and try them on to fit their perfect size.
Delay in delivery:
On some online stores, improper inventory management and long duration result in a delay of the product. Though selection, buying and paying is simple, but the product to arrive at your doorstep takes one to two weeks.
Lack of interactivity and communication:
The offline showroom sales attendant provides personal attention and guides us to choose the perfect one. Also, the service to speak to the sales representatives at times proves faulty as the lines seem to be busy all the time.
Lack of close examination:
There is no facility to touch and feel and to examine the product closely. The images shown are sometimes misleading. The colour, size and appearance may differ in reality.
Chances of mishandling while shipping:
After receiving the package, the product is broken, and you cannot return to the delivery agent unless you place a return request. Sometimes the product ordered never arrives, and a person will be exhausted in trying to reach the customer care and getting his/her problem solved. If the package is left with the neighbour because the customer is not at home, then there is a higher chance of stealing.
Many stores follow a pattern where a customer has to buy a product to reach a certain number to avail free shipping charges. So the customer ends up buying more and irrelevant products.
Frauds in online shopping:
The online payment is not as safe as it can be misused by miscreants. The rate of cyber crime is increasing as customer’s credit, and debit card details are exploited by culprits. Moreover, these culprits even call as imposters and try to steal money from the bank account.
There is a spurt in online shopping which is growing daily at a faster pace. Its user-friendly interface allows people to shop easily. The apprehensions and misconception on online shopping are fading rapidly as everybody has accepted it happily.
The chief reason behind the increase in customers for online shopping is that it does not cost an arm and a leg as opposed to offline stores and saves a lot of time.
The e-retailers work very hard to meet the requirement of the customers as their objective is to render service to every buyer. They understand their customers well and plan and execute keeping in consideration with the advance trends and variation.
The disadvantages are not affecting online shopping as it helped businesses during the recession. The only concern is to expedite the delivery time and maintain a secure payment service.