The introduction of Internet to the population has revolutionized the modern civilization. The use of the Internet has increased more than a thousand percentages within the last five years and it promises to continue to keep on increasing. Many critics may view it as a trend but to a large percentage of the user, it is a necessity. It is almost connected to most of our daily activities, from educational purposes to entertainment purposes. A trend that has recently risen on the virtual web is online shopping. The advent of the Internet as a shopping medium has enabled shoppers to gain enormous shopping benefits.
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Shopping on the Internet offers convenience and time saving benefits for the consumer. Changing lifestyle and lack of time has limited many customers from spending the necessary amount of time needed to spend in a real store. Online shopping allows consumers to do their shopping at the convenience and comfort of their own home. All that is necessary is a computer connected to the World Wide Web. In addition, online stores are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so the consumer doesn’t need to follow the store hours. Online shopping also allows customer to shop virtually from any vendor on the globe. There is no transportation cost involved and the consumer doesn’t need to hassle with any bad weather or store lines or any other delay. Why should one dress up, drive the car though traffic in snowy winter to a brick and mortar store looking for a Christmas present when they can order the same product while sitting on the computer and sipping on a cup of hot coffee. The reason for such an influx of online shopping is because of the convenience it provides, which interests the customer more than the price.
In addition to the convenience, the Internet proves to be a powerful research instrument. Successful online store, such as Amazon.com offers customers a larger selection than any bookstore. In addition it also offers book reviews and many recommendations, which is unavailable in many bookstores. For a lower search cost, online shopping offers the customer a greater selection to choose from thus lowering the time spend for shopping around. As a result, it saves time but more importantly it offers the lowest prices to the customer. The Internet makes it easier for shopper to compare prices due to the wider range of information available between competing vendors. Research has shown that price selection and selection is more important to consumer than convenience. The money saved as a result of online shopping contributes a lot to its rising popularity.
Even within its rising popularity, not everyone approves of online shopping. Many people lack the feel of touch of the merchandise, lack of personal attention from the sales person. It lacks the close examination, which is felt necessary by many traditional shoppers. Also there is always the possibility of credit card fraud. Although many companies are emphasizing on their security features, there is always the risk on a hacker attacking the companies’ database and obtaining the credit card information. Then there is the possibility of fraud companies and misplaced items. The ordering must be done early if there is a deadline to follow because they have to take in consideration for the item to arrive to the consumer. Overall, even though there are risks to online shopping the advantages far outweigh the risks.
In conclusion, the future looks friendly for the aspect of online shopping. Researchers have estimated that within the year 2004, the number of online shoppers will exceed 11.2 million. More and more companies are taking their business to the World Wide Web, and in order to gain the attention of the population companies are coming up with more and more features to help consumers to make a decision. As a result, what started out as a trend now promises a bright future to the business industry?
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