With the advent and introduction of the internet to homes, work-places and schools everywhere, a new world has opened up for everybody. Online shopping is a blessing for parents with young children, the elderly who may struggle to get out, or people who may be house-bound through disability.
Online shopping means that people are able to buy products which were unavailable to them before. Customers can compare prices within minutes and a few clicks of the mouse, rather than having to spend ages pounding pavements.
The online customer also has the ability to track a product, which may not be available in the same way from buying in a shop. Online shopping however, is not all about buying products, it can be about selecting/buying services, and also being able to gauge other people’s opinions.
There is often a price bonus from online shopping as well as the other benefits already mentioned. Because companies do not have to spend out on lots of employees and other overheads such as a large ‘selling’ space, lighting/heating etc, therefore, the cost of the products can be reduced, so customers pay less for items.
Another advantage of online shopping is being able to buy directly from private sellers. This replaces a lot of classified adverts that you may find in local newspapers, and means that people can buy and sell possibly more quickly than traditional classified adverts may have allowed. The other bonus that this creates is a promotion in recycling.
There are a huge number of products and services available on the internet, and possibly one of the most useful is the number of supermarkets which now offer buying and delivering of your groceries – the only disadvantage of something like this however, is the minimum spend requirement that the majority of stores have, meaning that it is a very expensive way of just buying bread and milk for example.
Other disadvantages of online shopping mean that the customer cannot feel/smell/see the product physically. The customer can often see a photo of the product, which is a good representation of the product, but only 2D maybe there’s an argument to trying to develop a 3D internet – something for the future maybe!!
There are some statistics that online sales only account for 10% of retail figures, however, a number of companies which I have information for state that they’re online sales are up, and in fact account for the majority of sales.
Online shopping, although does have some disadvantages, on the whole it is a real benefit to customers everywhere.