Online shopping has been booming around the world since its emergence.
It was primarily aimed at selling non-physical products like software, videos, audios, books in PDF format, etc.
But later, it was opted to sell even physical products like personal and home utilities.
Some of the online stores with a wide reputation are Amazon, E-bay, click bank, commission junction, etc. But these are limited to few developed countries only. But with a change in habits and economy, online shopping has become quite popular even in developing countries.
Even though the customers will be skeptical about online shopping, they slowly get accustomed to it. The demand for buying products through online stores has grown rapidly due to options likes free shipping, cash on delivery, checking the items before accepting the delivery, etc.
Advantages and disadvantages of online shopping:
Though we see that online shopping is booming. Still, you can notice many people prefer traditional shopping. Hence there are many shopping malls sprouting all over. This preference for local shopping instead of online is due to many reasons. So first we go with advantages and then disadvantages.
Advantages of online shopping
Online shopping has many advantages like
1. Availability of all brands in one place.
Branded shops and showrooms are available in all the metro cities and also a few big towns and cities. But it will be difficult to buy a branded item for those staying in a small town or remote village. If one wishes to purchase a branded item, he has to travel to the city.
But online shopping has changed the scenario. One can purchase world renowned branded item using the internet from online stores by sitting at his home. Thus branded items have come to the people in remote areas or underdeveloped towns.
2. Availability of all sizes and models:
In general, branded showrooms are not available in small cities and towns. In case if there are shops selling them, they don’t have an inventory of all the sizes, designs and models what the customer desires to purchase. Maybe the shopkeeper is not able to provide all the models because the percentage of sales is low. But one can access all the sizes, colors and models according to his requirement by using these online shopping websites.
3. Buying from home Comfortably (instead of going through busy traffic, pollution).
In all the major cities, the traffic seems to be ever rising. This is more severe in highly dense populous cities. Further one may have to expose themselves to air, noise pollution and the severe sun heat. If all the people in the world start shopping online, it would drastically help the environment from carbon emissions.
Save the time of shopping.
- The distance of travel from home to shop also seems to be time-consuming. So if you buy an item from an online store, you can save a lot of time as you don’t need to travel.
- Sending of gifts to your friends on your behalf can also be possible with this online shopping.
4. Get heavy discounts.
Further online shops offer heavy discount than normal retail shops. This is because they have little maintenance costs and also their sales are quite heavy. They concentrate on the bulk amount of sales than how much gain they incur per sale.
5. Earn extra points on the purchase, and one can use these points for free redemption on mobile recharge, bus ticket, etc.
Some online shops also offer some points after purchase. This helps you redeem those earned points on any purchases. Like getting a bus or air ticket on discount, mobile or direct to home recharge, etc.
6. Secure and safe: Due to secure online payment integration like PayPal, pioneers like systems, the orders are trustworthy. Also, these payment gateways assure buyer protection. So, one can buy with peace mind without fear of being cheated.
7. Region-based pricing: Some online subscription varies in cost based on the regions. For example, a subscription could $10 in the USA, but while you browse it from another country, the price for the same could be low. To be able to buy the product at low prices, you can use VPN services like the cyberghost. They help you conceal your real physical location and help you to make purchases from a different location.
Disadvantages of online shopping
One cannot try them before buying: In the case of clothes, footwear, one can be satisfied with his purchase better than online purchase. This is because one can wear them and see how comfortable and stylish they look. This is not possible with online purchases.
Examining quality (by closure view) one cannot touch or see the product better in online. So quality is relied just based on the manufacturer and seller.
Chances of cheating. There are some online shops who do not deliver the right product after payment is done. This is disappointing to the customer. Also, they put misleading advertisements to gain more sales.
Chances of wrong goods delivered. Though one selects the desired model and puts an order for delivery. Many times there are chances of getting some other color or design of the same brand. This is because of the lack of direct communication between the retail crew (salesman) and the customers.
Waiting for items to arrive: In offline shopping, one can get the product immediately after payment. But in online purchase one has to wait for the product or item ordered to arrive by post or courier. (Not immediately available).
Service for goods can be a problem: If one purchase’s from local shops, any defects in the product can be rectified easily as the local shopkeeper helps the customer to get his product serviced easier. But in online purchase one has to contact the manufacturer directly to get his product serviced.
Improper choices: In offline shopping, the salesmen help you in making a good choice of dress or shoe during purchase. This is because they have quite good experience with the size and color which suits the customer. This help is not available on online shopping and one has to rely on his own sense during purchase.