It is safe to say that the internet has changed the way we live our lives, whether it is the way we connect with friends on social media sites, the way we play games, and the way we shop. Even for the minor proportion of people who do not purchase products over the internet, tend to search prices and product specifications online before buying from any retail shop. This paper will examine the history of online. It will also explore the benefits and risks of online shopping. The last portion of the paper will include safety precautions that users can implement to prevent fraud and security breaches. First: Origin of online shopping.
According to Salman Siddiqui, author of “ The Evolution Of Online Shopping- 60’s to the 90’s”, The term online shopping or “ Web store” was invented and pioneered by Michael Aldrich, an English inventor (2002.) In 1979, Aldrich connected a domestic television to a real-time multi-user processing computer, creating a system that is use between businesses. In 1990, however, Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser, which were opened for commercial use a year later. In 1994, the trends of online banking and the integration of online pizza ordering took place. Ever since then the internet has experience exponential growth, making possible for people all around the world to buy anything they want, whenever they want.
Second: Benefits of Online shopping:
According to Diana Ransom, author of “ Personal Business: Online Shopping Sites With Extra Benefits”, online shopping includes many benefits that include: price and selection, information and reviews, accessibility and convenience, money saving, Buying Old or unused Stuff at low prices, and discreet purchasing (2007). One of the main benefits of online shopping is the variety of prices and selections that are offered over the World Wide Web. When online shopping, a costumer may use different websites to compare prices and bargain for the ones that they want such as eBay, Price Grabber, and Biz Rate. Online-based stores also offer a wide variety of selections for users to choose from. The second benefit of online shopping is the ability to find relevant information and reviews from other costumers. In today’s world, most companies depend on the Word of Mouth method to market and promote their products. Therefore, they allow costumers to comment and rate their products and services. Online stores must also provide relevant information about the products such as text, photos, and multimedia files that will assist the consumer with their purchasing decision.
There are also many websites dedicated to share reviews for different products and services such as Yelp, and Angie’s list. The third benefit of online shopping is accessibility. Online-based stores are easily accessible to all consumers all around the world. With an internet connection, people are able to browse online stores and purchase products at the convenient of their own homes. On the contrary, to visit a retail store requires driving there. According to Virginia Postrel, author of “Economic Scene; Selection ranks above price among the benefits of shopping online”, consumers are also limited to the operating hours of such store (2004). The fourth benefit that online shopping offers is saving money.
According to Anamika, author of “Top 10 Benefits of Online Shopping,” Establishing an online store allows the owner or merchant them opportunity to cut down the prices of their products significantly, by reducing labor costs (2013). Online shopping also provides consumers with the chance of buying old or used products at lower prices such as electronics and used books. Examples of such websites include Amazon, eBay, and Chegg. Online shopping is also extremely beneficial for purchasing antiques that cannot be found in retail shops. The last benefit that online shopping offers consumers the ability to shop discreetly. Some consumers might uncomfortable going to retail shops to buy things such as underwear, adult toys, or medicine; therefore, they shop online.
Third: Disadvantages of Online Shopping:
Although online shopping can be found extremely convenient, it can also involve long wait periods, high shipping costs, product disappointment, problems returning unwanted products, and fraud and security breaches. Nowadays, consumers do not have to move very far to shop. Instead, they can browse the internet to get the latest trends in fashion and electronics. Many times costumer are able to find good deals on the web; however, many of these deals do not come from the United States.
When one visits their favorite store of choice, many things can affect the sales environment. The smell, the efficiency, and the décor of the place can help determine the sale. Much of what the customers pay for comes with the luxury or cultural scent that the product offers. The Electronic Commerce is a growing industry, but it still does not make up for that aspect. Sometimes the online picture of a product can be deceiving by making it look fancier or cleaner. It is very difficult to determine how comfortable a product really is when it comes to material without seeing or touching it. This can lead to the customer’s dissatisfaction upon the products arrival. It is unlikely for consumers to be satisfied with a product and wish to return it. In fact, that can happen when buying an in store product as well. The only part that makes a difference in online shopping is the extra trouble that a costumer must go through when trying to return a product. In online products, many companies offer compensation with undesired products; however, it can be tricky.
Online companies understand the hassle that shoppers suffer from when having to mail something back and having to wait a long period of time to get the product reimbursed or compensated. This strategy in online shopping can boost sales, and cause customers to avoid returning the product. Customers realize that if online shopping companies do not mail a return-shipping sticker on the product, costumers will have to pay out of their own pockets just to return the product they were not satisfied about. However, one of the biggest disadvantages of online shopping is the risk of fraud and security breaches. Because consumers are not able to inspect the merchandise before purchasing, they are placed at a higher risk of fraud when online shopping rather than in a retail store. Merchants are also at a risk of fraud because they cannot prevent purchases that are made with stolen credit cards. That is why it is very important for both consumers and merchants to follow precautions when online shopping to prevent fraudulent transactions and security breaches. Last: How to prevent Fraud.
According to Bravetta Hassell in his article “Online shopping tips help consumers stay protected” The best thing that the consumer should do to protect himself is to deal with websites that are infamous with their good reputation (2013). Hassel also mentions 10 important safety tips that should be followed to ensure safety over the internet. The first tip is to always keep copies of documentations for each transaction. Second, consumers must avoid using a debit card and instead use a credit card when purchasing products online because the liability on the lost card is only $50. On the other hand, the consumer is always held responsible on all the transactions made on the debit card. It is also important for consumers to protect their computers before making a transaction online by installing an anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
Animaka. S. (2013). Top 10 Benefits of Online Shopping. Retrieved from: http://anamikas.hubpages.com/hub/Online-shopping-sites-benefits Hassell, B. (2013, Jun 18). Online shopping tips help consumers stay protected. McClatchy – Tribune Business News. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.woodbury.edu:880/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1368622489?accountid=25364 Postrel, Virginia. (2004). Economic Scene; Selection ranks above price among the benefits of shopping online. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/22/business/economic-scene-selection-ranks- Ransom, D. (2007, Jan 14). Personal business: Online shopping sites with