-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 2016, customers can shop online using a range of different computers and devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablet computers and smartphones.
An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a regular “bricks-and-mortar” retailer or shopping center; the process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. When an online store is set up to enable businesses to buy from another businesses, the process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. A typical online store enables the customer to browse the firm’s range of products and services, view photos or images of the products, along with information about the product specifications, features and prices.
Online stores typically enable shoppers to use “search” features to find specific models, brands or items. Online customers must have access to the Internet and a valid method of payment in order to complete a transaction, such as a credit card, an Interac-enabled debit card, or a service such as PayPal. For physical products (e.g., paperback books or clothes), the e-tailer ships the products to the customer; for digital products, such as digital audio files of songs or software, the e-tailer typically sends the file to the customer over the Internet. The largest of these online retailing corporations are Alibaba, Amazon.com, snapdeal, and eBay..
Benefits of online shopping – :
*Convenience- The convenience is the biggest perk. Where else can you comfortably shop at midnight while in your pajamas? There are no lines to wait in or shop assistants to wait on to help you with your purchases, and you can do your shopping in minutes. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24/7, and also reward us with a ‘no pollution’ shopping experience. There is no better place to buy informational products like e-books, which are available to you instantly, as soon as the payment goes through. Downloadable items purchased online eliminate the need for any kind of material goods at all, as well, which helps the environment!
*Better prices-:Cheap deals and better prices are available online, because products come to you direct from the manufacturer or seller without middleman being involved. Many online shops offer discount coupons and rebates as well. Apart from this, online shops are only required to collect a sales tax if they have a physical location in our state, even if we buy from a store across the world.
*More variety-: The choices online are amazing. One can get several brands and products from different sellers all in one place. You can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on airfare. You can shop from retailers in other parts of the country, or even the world, all without being limited by geography. A far greater selection of colors and sizes than you will find locally are at your disposal. Apart from that, the stock is much more plentiful. Some online shops even provisions in place to accept orders for items out of stock and ship it when the stock becomes available. You also have the option of taking your business to another online store where the product is available.
*You can send gifts more easily-:Sending gifts to relatives and friends is easy, no matter where they are. Now, there is no need to make distance an excuse for not sending a gift on occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so forth.
*Fewer expenses-Many times, when we opt for conventional shopping, we tend to spend a lot more than planned. There are other outside expenses on things like eating out, transportation, and let’s not forget impulse buys!
*Price comparisons- Comparing and researching products and their prices is so much easier online. Also, we have the ability to share information and reviews with other shoppers who have firsthand experience with a product or retailer.
*No crowds- If you are like me, you hate crowds when you’re shopping. Especially during festivals or special events, they can be such a huge headache. Also, it tends to be more chaotic when there are more crowds out and this sometimes makes us feel rush or hurried. Grumpy, annoying, and smelly people also annoy me when I’m out shopping. Plus, parking becomes a huge issue. All of these problems can be avoided when you shop online.
*Less compulsive shopping- Often times when we’re out shopping, we end up buying things compulsively that we don’t really need. All because shop keepers pressure us or use their selling skills to compel us to make these purchases. Sometimes, we even compromise on our choices because of the lack of choices in those shops.
*Buying old or unused items at lower prices-The marketplace on the Internet makes it much easier for us to buy old or unused things at rock bottom prices. Also, if we want to buy antiques, there’s no better place to find great ones.