Individuals need to buy items like clothing, and have a choice to either shop online or do traditional shopping. Online shopping has changed the manner in which people do shopping presently. This essay will discuss the phenomenon of online shopping, factors that have contributed to the success of online shopping for instance; the security of on line transactions, internet penetration, availability of online payment methods, and the convenience of online shopping. It will also explore commodities traded online and the future of online shopping.
Online shopping is also called e-shopping or electronic retail. It is a type of electronic commerce that enables customers to directly purchase goods or services from the buyer through the internet using a web browser (Consumer.ftc.gov, 2016). It entails customers in front of a screen making orders for selected commodities through sending an e-mail or clicking the website. The virtual purchasing process entails the initial registration on the website, studying available commodities, selecting the products and means of delivery, choosing the conditions of performance and delivery (for example, physical address, other special conditions, and date).
There are various factors that have contributed to the success of online shopping and they include the following;
The security of online transactions. Online shopping is successful because of increased security in online transactions. The majority of the clients usually check for the security of their private information for instance, data on their credit cards. As a result, most businesses have ensured that their businesses that their transactions are secured and safe. Before making any transactions, customers check if the ecommerce business has the correct and valid SSL certifications (Cheung and Lee, 2006).
Internet penetration has also made online shopping successful. Because of advancement in technology and easy access to the internet, most people prefer online shopping, leaving traditional traders out of pocket. The majority of the youth population likes using the internet 24 hours a day. This has made it easy for individuals staying in small town to order branded products that are not available in his town (Pérez-Hernández & Sánchez-Mangas, 2011). Almost individuals within all age brackets are finding it easy to embrace technology and enjoy benefits associated with it. For instance, the youth find it easy to search for website and purchase various items like clothing and electronics, instead of spending a lot of time visiting electronic shops. Online shoppers take an advantage of this by ensuring that their shops are professionally designed.
Availability of online payment methods is another factor that has made online shopping successful. This is because customers can make payments for their orders at the comfort of their homes. The majority of internet users use variety of payment methods that are convenient to consumers for instance, online banking, credit card, and PayPal.
Online retailers are also very convenient. This is because they operate 24 hours daily, and most consumers have access to internet at their workplace and at home. Other online businesses for instance internet schools and cafes offer internet access as well. This saves time for consumers because they are forced to move from one shop to the other in search of items. Most customers are concerned about the ease of taking back the product in case it has any problem.
Consumers use online services because they save time and are convenient. On the other hand, some consumers avoid using online services because they are concerned about security.
Online shopping has been successful for various commodities and services for instance; commodities like electronic equipment (televisions, smartphones, music systems among others), computing devices and accessories, books, jewelry games, health and safety products, clothing for both children and adults, kitchenware and accessories, and car selling companies sell their cars online. Study services are also offered onlinefor instance one can study a diploma, degree, masters, and PHD through the internet. Other services include paying school fees and booking for a flight, and online banking and this is done through the use of a credit card, PayPal, and electronic money transfer.
In future, online shopping is anticipated to attain its maximum point. Retailers of all categories are expanding the products they offer, increasing in-store pickup, providing free shipping, and utilizing social media. It is becoming difficult to differentiate between online shoppers and bricks and motor because all of them are coming up with new ways to increase consumer base online (Fernie, 2005). Be it through a computer, tablet computer, mobile device, or in-store pickup, they are implementing new ways that will be both bad and good for customers.
Online shopping may be affected negatively because of the indirect outcome of new legislation that requires all online retailers to collect sales.12 states have laws either implemented or awaiting approval. It will be a disadvantage to online shoppers because they will be expected to pay taxes. Online shopping is anticipated to explode in future because of various trends explained below;
One of the trends is in-store pick up. Several businesses have implemented in-store pick up for their customers that place orders online. Additionally, retailers like Kmart and Sears have made another step of bringing all items bought online to the client’s car. Furthermore, in Chicago, Kmart and Sears deliver products to their customer’s home.
Secondly, smaller retailers that lack a massive network of stores like Sears or Wal-Mart may open pick up depots at designated locations for goods ordered online.
Most online businesses plan to use mobile apps. The most leading cell phones and apps are smartphones and they are used globally. Online retailers will opt for mobile apps that will enable them to compare costs and send out coupons. This is because it will make carrying out businesses easier.
The most of the individuals visit retail sites to access user-generated video. Retailers are allowing their clients to upload video clips using a new purchase or modeling new clothes. It is anticipated that this trend will pick up very fast.
Most online retailers use social network like Twitter and Facebook to sell their products. Customers can increasingly follow or like their preferred retailer and get information on deals. For instance, JCPenny is using Facebook to make sales and over 12 million customers like Victoria Secret on Facebook. Truly, this is a big population to do business with.
A retail based social network is one trend that the majority of the experts don’t think it will work out. A case in mind is Sears that is trying to come up with its own social network for its customers. The success of social networks will play a vital role in enabling online shopping.
Even though everyday deals and flash sales may be considered a congested playing field, there are also other sites that are reproducing at a faster rate like Ruelala. Based on the many items that they sell, usually within short period, the majority of the individuals are expected to begin using this trend.
Furthermore, there has been an increasing trend in cross border or global e-commerce; even small online retailers now sell commodities beyond their country’s borders
In conclusion, online shopping has become the easiest way of doing business globally. It has become successful because of factors like the security of online payments, increased population that use the internet, availability of online payment methods, and the convenience associated with the use of online payments. The anticipation of online shopping to attain its maximum point is related with factors trends in online shopping like in-store pick up, pick up depots, the use of user-generated video, everyday deals and flash sales, and a retail based social network among others.
Cheung, C. M. K., and Lee, M. K. O. (2006), “Understanding Consumer Trust in Internet Shopping: A Multidisciplinary Approach.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 57 No. 4, pp. 479-492.
Consumer.ftc.gov(2016).Shopping Online | Consumer Information.Consumer.ftc.gov.
Fernie, J. (2005). Online shopping. Bradford, England: Emerald Group Pub.
Mennig, M. (2001).Shopping online. London: Cassell& Co.
Pérez-Hernández, J., & Sánchez-Mangas, R. (2011). To have or not to have Internet at home: Implications for online shopping. Information Economics And Policy, 23(3-4), 213-226.