Computers and the internet have indeed changed our way of life in many aspects. From entertainment, socializing and online shopping that is coming to take over the way humans are used to buying the things they want. Online shopping is the process by which people buy both services and goods they want from the merchants through the internet. Today more than ever many individuals are using the internet to buy a wide range of items from airplane tickets, clothes, books, hotels, auction, computer software among many other goods and services. With the discovery of the internet, merchants show an opportunity to sell their various product via the internet especially because majority people in the world no spend significant time on the internet. Online selling has proven to be profitable for companies with billions of dollars being exchanged every year. Companies such as eBay, the Amazon and Walmart are living example that online selling does work looking at how the number of customers flows every year. So, why is online shopping getting all this positive attention? Why are there still some people who do shop via online? This paper will describe and discuss the importance of online shopping showing why it is rapidly replacing the traditional way of shopping and also highlight its critics.
The Online shopping era
Online shopping also sometimes known as E-commerce has for the last decade been integrated into the American culture. Due to the growth of social media and technology sites, online shopping has become even more famous and applicable. Various online selling companies have taken this business seriously, and they have ripped the benefits as well. It is important for businesses around the world to online shopping in their business. By learning tactics and strategies as well as keeping up-to-date with social media, businesses have become successful when it comes to online shopping. Remarkably, about 79 percent of individuals in the United States do their shopping online (Jiang, Ling, Zhilin and Minjoon, 202). Online shopping is not limited to age though working individuals most probably with families of the age between 32 to 44 lead when it comes to online shopping.
Reports show that more than 1.94 trillion dollars goods and services were sold online that is e-retails sales worldwide in the year 2016. It is also estimated that e-retail sales or the online shopping will grow up to 4.2 trillion dollars by the year 2020. That’s a growth estimate of 12.1 percent (Lian, Jiunn-Woei, and David, 140). Amazon.com Inc. is the largest online retailer with a revenue of $ 135.98 billion in the year 2016 showing just how online shopping has taken over the world of shopping. eBay, Netflix, Alibaba, Walmart group are the other leading multi-billion online companies various factors influence consumers to use the internet as their way of shopping, and there are individuals who almost entirely depends on the internet to do their business.
Benefits of online shopping
several reasons make people do online shopping among them;
Convenience is the most driving factor for individuals to do online shopping. A study is done on individuals who practice online shopping revealed that 98 percent of those people do it because of convincing (Rose, Neil, and Moira, 30). About 20 years ago, it was probably out of this world to think that one can shop anything they want from the comfort of their homes, even in the bedroom at any time. Online shopping completely removes the worry of making lines of shopping or even waiting for the shop attendant to assist you to do your shopping. More so, you can do your shopping in only a few minutes. What online shopping offer individual is an opportunity to have a “no pollution” shopping practice and a platform where one can shop 24/7. Online shopping merchants have greatly invested in technology to make sure that consumers shopping happens at their convenience. They predict what the customers may need and incorporate it into the shopping websites. There is certainly no better place for consumers to get informational products such as book (e-books), which are instantly available when they pay. Additionally, online shopping makes it possible to do away with those bulky materials (such as books) by making them downloadable and in the process helping in conserving the environment. The following was a survey asking individuals why they do online shopping (Moshrefjavadi, Mohammad Hossein, et al., 81).
Another important aspect of online shopping is there are better prices and cheap deals that are available to the esteemed customers. The online shopping companies get their products directly from the original seller or manufacturer, and there is usually no trader involved, the, therefore, have better chance to set their prices at low prices. The online retailing companies have the advantage of not requiring much staff and maintenance services which helps them to low their prices and attract customers. Majority of online retailers do offer rebates and discount coupons to their customers (Lian, Jiunn-Woei, and David, 130). Though this may be a method of advertisement, millions of customers always benefit from this constant discounts coupons. Another thing that helps online shops is that they only sales tax and this gives them the liberty of offering incentives such as lowering the prices.
The available choices in the online shops are quite amazing. Consumers can get a variety of products and brands from hundreds of sellers all in one location. Moreover, consumers can get the global trends without having to spend money regarding transport. What even better is that people can shop from global retailers (getting a wide variety of goods and services) without any geographical limitation. Online goods offer a much better selection of sizes and colors than any local retailer. In online shops, the stock is usually plenty to choose from.
Fewer expenses and price comparisons
When individuals go for fabulous shopping, there is a great chance that they will shop for things they did not initially need leading to more spending (Delafrooz et al.., 141). Also, in the traditional shopping, there are other expenses such as transportation, impulse buys, and eating. Online shopping also offers an efficient platform of researching and comparing various products thereby making the customer arrive at the best choice of product. Additionally, consumers have a chance to see reviews done by other consumers who had done shopping previously in that online shop.
No crowds and compulsive shopping
Most People hate crowds especially when they are shopping. Some say it’s like being harassed yet you are using your money. Crowds during special events or festivals can cause a headache. In crowds, one meet all kind of people some who can be pretty annoying and snoopy. Parking is also a problem when doing traditional shopping. Additionally, when one goes for shopping, they find themselves buy things they do not necessarily need all because of the shopkeepers who keep on insisting that one should buy a certain product (Al-Debei et al.., 711). In Online shopping one certainly, does not need to worry about all this as it just you and a computer or a phone.
Comparison of traditional and online shopping
Not everybody believes that online shopping is great and some do offer some valid critics. Online shopping is said to have some shortcoming such as not being able to see items as it is with traditional shopping physically. Also in online shopping one have to wait for the items they ordered to arrive, and if one needs the items urgently, it can become a problem. Also, there are risks of mishandling when ordered items are being shipped, and sometimes the quality of the product is affected. Online shopping is also said to have issues when it comes shipping charges as some are usually high and also it can be very costly when one wants to return merchandise that they feel is not of the quality they initially enquired.
Traditional shopping is rapidly becoming quite polar. When consumers want to shop nowadays, they are very categorical on what they want to purchase. They already have in their minds the product they want to purchase. The consumers can be the goal-oriented shoppers who are usually very strict with time and want to be given the service immediately, and they can also be experience oriented consumers or shoppers who find the shopkeeper very officious and irritating (Rigby, 70). Online shopping offers solution these two types of consumer and in the process making traditional shopping to become polarized.
In conclusion, the internet brought many important things in human lives and among them is online shopping. Online shopping is becoming the new order of shopping all over the world, and this can be seen by the growth of online retails companies. Online shopping has many benefits among them; convenience, better prices, it offers more variety, has fewer expenses, price comparison and no compulsive shopping or crowds in online shopping. As much online shopping has its critics, it has proven to have more pros to the consumers who use it.
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