Eighty one percent of internet users research products they want to purchase online first. Twenty six percent of internet users have used online auctions and eighty three percent of internet users have made online purchases. With this phenomenal trend there are, however, still some sceptics regarding online shopping. Here’s a look at both some positives and negatives about online shopping. |
The benefits of online shopping are well-known. It is very convenient, time saving, crowd-less, private and can be done from your home, at any time – day or night. Online shopping also offers a really large choice for buyers to suit the very many diverse tastes of clientele. Shoppers are no longer limited to products offered by their local retailers because the majority of online sites offer shipping to just about any location. Buyers are becoming used to a richer, faster, and more socially interactive shopping experience. Consumers today are now much more comfortable buying products via the internet and more confident and computer savvy in their use of online stores. Shoppers are increasingly able to find suitable the deals they want online. According to research, taking the demographics of the shopper into account – in general – the online shopper has a higher the level of education, income, and occupation of the head of the household, the more favourable the perception of non-store shopping.
Shoppers who avoid online shopping may not trust that it's safe. They are sometimes not confident about how to do it and they may think it is inefficient. Some consumers simply enjoy the physical shopping experience of a store. Identity theft is the most frequent concern that consumers have about shopping online. This remains a very real concern. Security creates a concern. Privacy and data security are at the forefront of shoppers that do not want to shop on line.
With the advent of online shopping, businesses no longer have to open an actual store. For the most part, opening an online business is much cheaper than a retail storefront. Unlike a retail store, there is no rent to pay or other utility bills directly related to the store. The cost for an online business is mainly for web hosting and technical support. You do not have to furnish the inside of the store, purchase inside and outside signage or display units. Online site owners can manage the work themselves or rely on a relatively small staff. With an online store, costs are directly related to the website, shipping and accepting online payments. Business owners pay for their desired domain name and may pay someone develop their website and e-commerce platform. The start-up costs can be expensive, but in the long run it is less expensive than opening a retail storefront. A retail storefront will perform better for a business that sells a select amount of products, while an online store may work better for a business that carries an extensive selection.
Having a large customer base is one of the most important facets of starting a successful retail business, online or offline. With a retail store, the customer base potentially limited to the surrounding area, whereas with online, the customer base is vast. With retail store, business owner’s options for attracting new customers are limited. With retail one is confined to the retail space. When online, changing signs and logos takes mere minutes and it is convenient, quickly and easy to change the products that are for sale and the way they are presented on the web-site. There are major advantages and disadvantages of shopping online. The decision to purchase online or in store often depends on the circumstance. In the end, it comes down to the preferences of the buyer. Some people are die-hard online shoppers, some avoid online purchases at all costs or don’t know how to use the internet, and some are somewhere in the middle.
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