The Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

shopping is becoming more and more popular each year as people embrace the convenience, selection, and low prices available when shopping online. In this article I speak to some of the pros and cons of online shopping.

There is something to be said for walking into a physical store and being able to see, touch, and easily ask questions about a product. One could argue that brick and mortar shopping is a more engaging experience, often filled with background music of some sort, along with the sights and sounds of other customers and clerks available to provide assistance when needed. Different products can be compared side by side with very little effort. One benefit of brick and mortar shopping is its organization, which allows one to locate the right department and the right shelf pretty easily. Everything the store offers is made available via a layout of straight-forward, logical departments. Online sites provide an organizational layout and text search capability, but this different way of locating a product of interest is one online shopping difference that takes some getting used to. Other benefits of brick front shopping is being able to get out of the house, exercise a bit, breathe some outdoor air and avoid cabin fever (this type of activity was quite important in the winter when I lived in Chicago).

People that are cautious in nature might find certain features of online shopping a bit hard to get used to, such as getting acclimated to what would be the equivalent of searching for merchandise with tunnel blinders that only permit a very narrow view of what is directly ahead of one’s eyes. Brick and mortar stores are physically arranged to make it more probable that certain items will be seen more than others. Online stores also provide focus on certain products over others. Most websites contain product descriptions, but the descriptions can be either too general or too detailed, making it difficult to compare two or more products on their features. If the shopper has a question that is appropriate for a human being such as a clerk in a store, where does the online customer go to ask the question? There is something lost in not having an informed person available to provide an immediate answer. Many popular online shopping sites now provide customer reviews-independent reviews provided by customers that have bought each product. These reviews go a long way toward providing enough detailed information about a product so one can determine whether or not to purchase it.

In the USA online shopping malls and websites address the limitations found in the online shopping process by offering near enough to a no-questions-asked return policy to ensure the happiness of the online customer. Even so, one downside of online shopping is having to wait to obtain the product, depending on whatever mode of shipping is selected. If a product needs to be refunded or returned for whatever reason, there’s the inconvenience of returning the product. This often involves a phone call and trip to the local post office, after which one waits again to either receive a replacement or refund. Compare this to just running the item and receipt back to a local brick front store and having either a refund or an exchanged product in hand within a few minutes.

Let’s talk about security. In a physical store, cash can be used, and if a debit or credit card is used the shopper gets to see who processes his or her card. Also, one is usually not required to provide personal information such as a name and physical address. Not so with online shopping, as the item must be addressed and delivered to a person at an address. Cash cannot be used online, so what entity processes the card and captures the personal information over the web? And how well is the personal information protected? One way to greatly reduce risk when shopping online is to use virtual credit card numbers. These numbers are provided by credit card issuers such as Citi and Discover, and can be used only once, so even if the credit card information is captured by some other entity during the transaction, it cannot be used to complete a second purchase. I use virtual credit card numbers when I shop online, and I highly recommend this practice.

Let us look at the benefits of shopping online. If the four-wheeled vehicle in one’s driveway is expensive to gas up, then it’s an obvious plus to be able to shop the virtual market and save transportation costs. It is also a “greener” arrangement-computers emit little or no carbon even when powered. For those who find it tiring to deal with crowds, there are none in cyberspace, and no lines to wait in during checkout. The magical online domain has no weather to hinder one, either-all shopping is done within a sheltered environment, safe from inclement weather. And there’s no need to worry about keeping one’s children together and in sight when online shopping. But perhaps the best feature of all is the cost savings that can be realized online. Online items can more often that not be purchased and shipped for substantially less, because the price doesn’t include any overhead costs associated with having a physical brick and mortar store. In most cases there is also no sales tax either, unless the merchant maintains some type of physical presence in the state where the item is purchased. For example, Amazon.com only charges sales tax on orders that are shipped to Kansas, North Dakota, New York or Washington, and Overstock.com only charges sales tax on orders that are shipped to Utah. To sweeten the deal, many merchants offer special online coupons, coupon codes and promotional codes that provide additional discounts.

As an example of the money that can be saved when shopping online, I bought a “Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus” food processor and used the online comparison shopping engine at Shopzilla.com to find the best deal, which was at Etronics.com for $172 with no sales tax and free shipping. A local Sears store had it listed at $199.99 and would have charged about $16 in sales tax for a total of $216. In this particular case I saved $44 (20%) shopping online and using Shopzilla to put online stores in competition for my business. And it only took me about 10 minutes of effort. With the advent of cheaper computing and increasing levels of online competition, people are generally becoming used to accessing the world through the eyes of cyberspace. So it is the coming thing, and a tide that is not likely to be turned. We as a society have adapted to other significant changes over time, such as the advent and convenience of air travel, trains and automobiles over horses, and online shopping is yet another paradigm shift we will adapt to.

In summary, when looking at the pros and cons of online shopping, the pros outweigh the cons, especially for items that are widely available and for which the best price is being sought. Shoppers save time and money buying what they need online and virtual store owners can run their businesses on far less overhead. The fact that the pros outweigh the cons is evident when one looks at the sharp increases in online shopping that have occurred on a global basis over the past few years.

Online Shopping – Best Way to Shop and Save

We live in an era of style even in the busy and hectic life. At times, it becomes very difficult for most of people to go to market to shop. Keeping in view the growing demand of online shopping, entrepreneurs have created many shopping portals online that are very inspiring and profitable for the customers.

Online shopping is rapidly becoming the first choice of people in the world for modernized or traditional shopping. Gradually, online shopping is being accepted as the new and fashionable way of shopping. It is becoming popular because people have many other things to do in their busy life and shopping online saves time in numerous ways.

The process of shopping online has become very simple and easy. We have plenty of examples of sites that facilitate online shopping in the United Kingdom, where you can easily make purchases online with great offers and discounts. You can also find a directory of online shopping; which will help you to ensure safe access and security of your details. So you can shop online with great conviction. You can also easily get all the details about the range of products, services delivery, price, special offers and gifts, etc.

Online purchases are not only safer, but it is now easier than ever. Shopping online can be as easy as consumers wish it to be. Internet shopping can be full of fun, very easy and convenient. One advantage of shopping online is that one will be able to use the power of the internet to find the best deals available for items or services in the markets of the world. Search engines will help you to find high quality products in a simple and easy manner.

Another advantage of shopping online is one can also quickly find the offers of items or services with many different suppliers just by sitting at one place. Perhaps the best potential locations for shopping centers are available online. Online shopping is an online marketplace where numbers of stores of different brands provide their services under the same website for 24*7 that is made available everyday and every time of the year.

Shopping community generally refers to a group of buyers who are connected with each other online. They put forward their experience and information in the lengths of writings with the good and bad qualities of the goods that they have purchased. These comments and evaluations often help other buyers, especially those planning to purchase products via the Internet to make the right choice.

One of the main reasons that the consumers are not fine with shopping online is lack of awareness and knowledge about the quality of the products and retailers. While online retailers have a solid brand exposure to comfort the customers, which smaller retailers do not have. However, a major reason for the continuous growth in online shopping is due to the increasing confidence of customers in shopping the sites online. Other major factors are the wide selection of products that is available to customers online, the recent growth and efficiency of shipping companies dealing with Internet traffic, and growth of high-speed Internet.

While shopping online you can also send special gifts to your loved ones on special occasions, as there are online stores that provide the services to send gifts as well. Websites that are designed to send gifts online contain almost all types of gift items ranging from flowers to jewelry items, from chocolates to perfumes and games etc. that are designed for almost every type of special event in the life of the person.

Thus one can easily say that the online stores have brought a revolutionary and sensational change in today’s racing world with their great services and offerings. So do not waste your precious time in thinking about how to buy any product? Just go online and enjoy the facilities of the online store which will fulfill your desire with comfort and very conveniently. You will surely receive benefits in various online stores compared to shopping from the local markets.

Is Online Shopping Better Than Actually Going to the Malls?

In the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in online shopping. Despite difficult economic times, online shopping is thriving. There are a number of reasons why online shopping has become more popular than going to traditional ‘brick and mortar’ shopping malls.

Below are a number of reasons why online shopping is better than actually going to the malls:

1. Going to a traditional shopping mall requires getting ready, getting the proper clothing, doing your hair and make up, making sure you have your money, and getting in your vehicle and driving there. When you shop online, you just switch on the computer, connect to the internet, and start shopping. It is easy, convenient, and it does not matter what are wearing and what you look like.

2. Transportation can be a hassle when you shop at a traditional mall. You have to spend money on fuel, fight the traffic, locate a parking spot, and carry all your purchased items to the car. With online shopping, you don’t have to worry about transportation hassles and often your packages are delivered right to the door. If you don’t have a car, taking a bus can be a real hassle when going to a mall.

3. Shopping malls are well-known for the crowds. It can be frustrating trying to get the items you want to purchase. With online shopping, there are no pushy crowds and you can relax and enjoy your online shopping experience.

4. Shopping online is better for the environment. Most online retailers keep their items at a central distribution centre so there is less energy being used which is better for the planet. Retail stores have such energy consuming things as lights and heating and cooling units. As well, shipping from online stores is better on the environment. According to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, “shipping two 20 pound packages by overnight air – the most energy-intensive delivery mode – still uses 40 percent less fuel than driving 20 miles round-trip to the mall or store.”

5. Online shopping is a definite time saver. Most people shop on the weekends. Many shopping experiences at a traditional mall can take an entire day. Online shopping saves time so you can enjoy the rest of your weekend. Or, you may have the weekend free if you online shop during the weekday. You can shop any time of the day or night.

6. You can save a lot of money when you online shop. There are many deals on the internet just waiting to be scooped up. As well, most online shops offer free shipping on a certain amount purchased. You are also paying a cheaper price because online stores have less overhead.

7. Shopping online gives access to millions of different products. When you go to a shopping at a shopping mall, you only have access to what the stores have in stock so you end up going from store to store trying to find what you are looking for. Sometimes, it is not always available. When shopping online, you almost always find what you are looking for. You can also comparison shop to find the deals.

Online shopping is continuing to grow at astounding rates. With improvements in secure payment processing, the online shopping industry shows no signs of slowing down. More consumers are discovering that it is a great way to find exactly what you are looking for at a low price.

Your Ultimate Shopping Guru – 5 Reasons Why Online Shopping Is the Best

Internet today have changed many people’s lives. It made their lives easy and comfortable. So comfortable that almost everything can be done online – socialization, work, pay bills and shop without leaving their homes.

Above all, one activity done in the internet which is online shopping is growing tremendously. A recent study in US alone found that nearly half of the population is purchasing online. This is because a lot of people have discovered the advantages of online shopping.

Convenience

This is one reason why people love to shop online. Shopping on the web allows consumers to shop at the convenience of their own home. People who have disabilities, ill or those who are too busy to go to stores can still purchase what they need online.

Imagine how crowded shopping malls are during holidays or weekends. Shopping online can avoid crowds that make people irritated waiting and falling in line just to pay for the items that they have just bought. And problems finding a parking place can be eliminated.

It is very convenient because consumers can shop anytime of the day without worrying about store hours. Online shopping gives consumers the ability to shop at a time that is convenient to them.

Moreover, shopping online makes it easier to send gifts to relatives, friends and loved ones since most online shopping websites offer fast and reliable shipping options. It’s a great way to surprise loved ones too.

Accessibility

Anyone with an internet access can just log and can look and purchase for items they want no matter where in world they are. No need to waste time and energy to go to stores that are too far just to buy items they want.

Through online shopping, people can shop overseas without even traveling.

Affordability

Shopping online can save money from traveling expenses, food and impulsive shopping. Used or old stock items can be easily found online which are much cheaper such as books and furniture.

Sometimes is it is even tax free. Those online stores that don’t have a physical store in some state don’t have sales tax.

Best Buy

Easy access to the product’s information gives the consumers better choices. Aside from the information that is available at the online store, consumers can easily search the internet for more information. Moreover, they can look for the product reviews and ratings which are great help to the consumers in making wise decisions.

Aside from the information, product reviews and ratings, online shopping gives consumers wide range of choices. Going to traditional stores usually limit the choices of consumers which force them to buy things that they don’t really like.

Confidentiality

There are things people want to buy in private. Items such as adult toys, sexy lingerie etc, through online shopping consumers can do discreet purchases.

Even with these advantages of shopping online, a lot of people still don’t trust online shopping for security reasons. However, there are simple solutions for this problem.

Shop Online Securely

• Find out about a merchant by visiting its website. Look for guarantees, warranties and return information.

• Look for online shops that have symbols like unbroken lock or key, URL that begins with https:// and sites that have SSL or “Secure Socket Layer”, this means that the consumers and the merchants can only view the payment information.

• Look at the privacy statements to know how the consumer’s personal information will be used. Reliable merchants always make this information easily available to the consumers.

• Always pay purchases with a credit card, check card or PayPal.

• Always keep records of transactions. If it is possible, always have them printed.

There are so many advantages of shopping online that attracts consumers to shop online – convenience, accessibility, affordability, best buy and confidentiality. However, there are few consumers who don’t trust online shopping. On the other hand, with these simple tips on how to purchase online securely, consumers can enjoy the wonderful benefits of online shopping and be satisfied.

How Does The Existing Economical Situation Influence Online Shopping?

Now is the time for businesses to make a decision to get online. Factors such as the decrease in the number of customers, rise in cost of fuel, growth in the number of people who shop online, oblige companies to shape their online presence.

Consumers are also driven to shop online as it is less expensive to buy your goods online than spending money on the gas and driving to the stores.

In an article from April 2011 it is mentioned that UK consumers prefer to make use of e-commerce websites when they take pleasure in shopping as gasoline prices are rising gradually. A study carried out by the Institute of Grocery Distribution determined that 52% of consumers in UK will cut down their shopping journeys if the prices of gas keep on going up.

Rather than driving to the shopping malls, people will choose to take advantage of the neighborhood shops or buy their groceries and luxuries by means of online shopping. 33% of the respondents to the study declared that online shopping would be their alternative in resisting the high costs of gas.

Derived from these results, plenty of sites are currently presenting to people opportunities of shopping online. An example is qpons-r-us.com which is an online coupon website that wishes to supply people with pleasant shopping experience. An additional example is My Shopping Genie that hands over various places where you can locate what you are looking for and also presents you the results according to the price. My Shopping Genie is a free application that works from your computer and it does the price comparison for you. It assists you with finding the best deals online.

Study illustrates that with the costs of living increasing, more people are searching for online coupon websites to obtain the extra discount off their acquisition. As a result more websites similar to qpons-r-us.com appear. For that reason My Shopping Genie advises companies to offer coupons via the application to the consumers of the genie. With the growth in the number of people who are choosing now shopping online, companies have huge benefits by having their existence online and offering coupons to their clients.

Online shopping presents benefits for customers too: time saving, money saving, broad variety of products and brands to choose from, shop from home, etc.

Online shopping turns out to be more and more popular. An editorial from April 2011 illustrates that UK online shoppers spend £ 5.1 billion in March this year which is £ 82 per person. The first quarter of 2011 faced an 18% increase compared with the same period last year.

Ideal Shopping Direct, the independent TV and online shopping company, testified that its total sales expanded by 13.5% in the last year. What is fascinating is that the main proportion of its increase comes from online selling, which increased by 70%.

Mintel, the market research company, forecasts that UK online clothing sales will increase 60% by 2015. They discovered that in 2010, 34% of UK shoppers bought cloths online compared to only 25% in 2009.

These results demonstrate that companies would profit from offering to their customers options to shop online. Consequently companies should invest in the newest online technology and integrate e-commerce into their marketing strategy.

There are by now a large number of retailers that are turning to smaller stores or online presence. Some examples are Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Office Depot. Due to the consumer shift to online shopping, Best Buy is concentrating on their online sales, while reducing the size of their stores. Online shopping is going to be a benefit for the company itself but also for its clients as the lower cost structure permits online retailers to present lower prices.

The possessors of big shopping malls or other companies should not be frightened by this revolution but instead should take advantage of online shopping and integrate it into their marketing strategy. Benefit from sites such as My Shopping Genie and be open for market changes.