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 wide reputation are Amazon, E-bay, click bank, commission junction etc. But these are limited to few developed countries only. But with 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 of 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 to 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 at one place.
Branded shops and showrooms are available in all the metro cities and also 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 all the way to the city.
But online shopping has changed the scenario. One can purchase world renowned branded item using internet from online stores by sitting at his home. Thus branded items have come to the people in remote areas or under developed towns.
2. Availability of all sizes and models:
In general, branded show rooms are not available in small cities and towns. In case if there are shops selling them, they don’t have inventory of all the sizes, designs and models what the customer desires to purchase. May be the shopkeeper is not be able to provide all the models because the percentage of sales are 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 in 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 sever sun heat.
Save time of shopping.
- The distance of travel from home to shop also seems to be time consuming. So if you buy an item from 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 purchase, and one can use this 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 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, payoneers like systems, the orders are trust worthy. Also, these payment gateways assure buyer protection. So, one can buy with peace mind without fear of being cheated.
Disadvantages of online shopping
One cannot try them before buying: In case of clothes, footwear, one can be satisfied on his own 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 of 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 desired model and puts an order for delivery. Many times there are chances of getting some other color or design of same brand. This is because of lack of direct communication between the retail crew (sales man) 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 purchases 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 helps you in making a good choice of dress or shoe during purchase. This is because they have quite good experience about 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.