Online Shopping

A Look At Online Shopping

Buying products from an online retail outlet, web shop, or virtual shop is rather like buying from the old fashioned mail order catalogues.

Online outlets promote and highlight their products with photographs, text and multimedia files. The basic idea is that the customer selects on an order form and pays with credit/debit cards or electronic payment.

The goods are despatched, usually by couriers to the buyers given address, but in the case of media based products such as e books or films or music, these can be almost instantly downloaded to the customer’s computer.

There are many advantages to online shopping and a few disadvantages, just to balance the experiences a little.

One obvious advantage is the and ease with which you can compare prices from a number of retailers across a wide product selection and the convenience of doing so from the comfort of your own home, not even having to get the car out.

Most of these retailers have moved with the times and refined their delivery/ courier systems and have openly user friendly return and credit facilities in place.

Online shopping simply requires access to a computer and a payment method such as bank cards or a Paypal account. At the outset of the very concept of online shopping it was perceived to be a higher social status and income level phenomena but with the subsequent falls in the cost of computers and the meteoric rise of the smart phone and tablets, it is something open to a huge percentage of the world’s population.

It is becoming second nature in the West world, but is appealing to those in emerging markets who struggle to find certain items in their local outlets.

A few disadvantages live alongside online shopping. There are those who like to browse with both their eyes and hands, to feel, to see, or perhaps to physically compare the items.

For some products this isn’t so necessary, for example, sells memory sticks that are generally well understood as products and can be easily purchased from anywhere, whereas clothing, shoes etc. generally have a touch and feel that shoppers prefer to touch and try before purchase.

One of the implications is that it’s common practice for clothing returns to be much higher as people return unwanted items that don’t meet requirements.

Certain items such as shoes and clothes sometimes just have to be tried on, and shop assistants are on hand to answer any queries. For some, going to a town centre or shopping centre it is a source of entertainment, from meeting people to just people watching.

Some people of course, will perceive these as disadvantages, seeing assistants as pushy sales staff and shop layouts as cunning psychological money extractors.

Shops, at the push of a computer key are open 24 hours a day, useful to you perhaps during your lunch break or when everyone else has gone to bed!

It is also sometimes useful to find the item you’re looking for in a bricks and mortar shop to ensure that the product is the one you want, the checking the price online by comparison before you make your purchase.