Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser.
Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine, which displays the same product’s availability and pricing at different e-retailers. As of 2020, customers can shop online using a range of different computers and devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablet computers, and smartphones.
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More and more people are switching to online shopping for a wide range of things, from airplane tickets to shoes to houses. It can be incredibly convenient to sit at home and shop for practically anything you need. Here are a few of the pros and cons:
Shopping in bricks and mortar store is less flexible with a need to travel, possible issues with parking, and fixed hours. But, those that prefer online shopping have the convenience of being able to browse and buy things at any time. The ability to avoid travelling is certain to appeal to those that don’t have their own transport, those that are housebound, or simply when the weather isn’t pleasant.
When shopping in a traditional store, there is less competition and you have to simply accept the price in the store that has the items you want. However, it is really easy to compare prices when doing online shopping. There are plenty of price comparison sites that make it possible to check the price of a particular item across a long list of different vendors. Plus, online shopping stores can provide more incentives to return as a repeat customer, such as special deals or discounts when signing up for the monthly newsletter.
Online shopping stores aren’t limited by the amount of floor space to display their stock. They have the option of displaying the most impressive choices that could never fit on the shelf space of the bricks and mortar store. Also, when shopping online, it is really easy to move onto the next store if the preferred item isn’t available.
Read customer reviews
Most of the online shopping stores give easy access to customer reviews for virtually any products. This helps to create a more informed purchasing decision. The reviews give a more detailed view of a product compared to the limited information provided by the manufacturer.
Unable to try things on
A particular issue with buying clothes online is not being able to try things on, seeing how it’s made, or feeling the material. Unless you are shopping for an item of clothing that is familiar, there are every chance things will go wrong and receive a poorly fitting item. Even though most stores accept returns, it is still an inconvenience to have to keep returning goods until the right size and look is achieved.
Also, it is rarely possible to talk to a salesperson immediately if assistance is required. While there is the option to send a message, this may not be answered for 24 hours or longer.
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Another major setback with respect to online shopping is the issue of Fraud. Some online stores are set up purposely to dupe unsuspecting buyers. If the website is poorly secured too, hackers can easily steal a buyers credit card details and defraud them
An Avenue for Spamming
Some online shopping stores also collect customers’ details and sell them to affiliate marketers. This creates space for them to send unsolicited messages to the customers.