The emergence of the Internet represented a great variety of tools that facilitate our everyday life. With the help of Internet such ordinary activities as studying, watching movies, paying bills, shopping can be performed without going out. For now online shopping is the most attractive for people. According to the researches in 2017 online shopping sales are predicted at the level of $370 billion, while in 2012 the estimate value was $231 billion (Abramovich, 2014). There are different opinions regarding making purchases online.
The first advantage of online shopping is its convenience (according to the statistics 71% of shoppers believe that it is better to make deals online than in stores) (Geoff, 2014). To make a purchase, people only have to use computer. There is no longer a need to go out and spend a lot of time for reaching the store by driving a car or catching a bus. All the desired things can be reached just in few clicks.
The second attractive point is that products which are selling online are usually cheaper than those that are proposed by traditional shops. There are a variety of seller who ready to propose lower price in order to get and keep the customer as online competition is very tough.
But here is the other side of the ‘moon’. Quite often online purchases have a lot of hidden costs such as shipping and handling or different membership fees. According to the survey 74% are not willing to buy online, because of the high delivery charges, while only 49% are not satisfied with this idea because of high prices (Charlton, 2011). Customers claim that information provided on the online store pages should be transparent and easy found.
The other concern related to the online shopping is privacy and security. There are number of cases which shows, that online payments are not secure. It can happen that the payment may be interrupted by a technical glitch and the money will be written off from the balance. Also there is a chance that the payment account can be hacked and the customer will remain without money and purchased thing. Thus, online sellers have to protect customers’ security by all means.
On the contrast, online shopping can represent a vast variety of items, available for customers. Unlike the physical stores that can offer limited array of products, online stores can represent almost everything, starting from simple apparel to complicated industrial vehicles.
The only tricky point is the quality of product. In real life you can comprehensively evaluate product quality (try it on, taste, smell, and touch), but you will lack this option in online store. Online sellers can offer only the picture of the product.
One more point to the ‘advantage basket’ of online shopping is the ability to launch e-commerce business. Nowadays it is much easier for people, who cannot afford buying or renting a shop, but willing to sell goods, to start small business. This factor is also important, as leads to the reduction of unemployment.
On the other side, there are a great amount of scam and fraud companies. According to recently released official crime figures, the number of frauds has risen by 60% within the last five years (Barrette, 2013).
The last advantage of the online shops is its availability. Most of them are working 24/7, 7 days a week 365 days. Such availability gives customer a freedom to shop at his own convenience and pace.
The only problem is that product cannot be used instantly, as after buying it in retail store. Online shopping requires patience, because some items can reach the customer’s door step within 2-3 days, and sometimes even longer, depending on the location.
There are a lot of opinions regarding the online shopping. On one hand it is an easy and convenient way of buying goods, on the other hand people should pay extra attention to what and where they are buying online. In my opinion in future the vast majority of people will make transactions online, that is why online sellers have to improve security system and protect their customers.
Abramovich, Giselle (2014). 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Online Shopping.CMO by Adobe. Retrieved from http://www.cmo.com/articles/2014/5/6/Mind_Blowing_Stats_Online_Shopping.html
Geoff (2014). 40 Online Shopping and Ecommerce Statistics. Selz Blog. Retrieved from https://selz.com/blog/40-online-shopping-ecommerce-statistics-know/
Charlton, Graham (2011). Why do consumers abandon online purchases?. Econsultancy. Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/blog/7730-why-do-consumers-abandon-online-purchases
Barrette, David (2013). Fraud cases up 60 per cent as criminals head online. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10387332/Fraud-cases-up-60-per-cent-as-criminals-head-online.html