Online shopping is now more and popular each year as people embrace the convenience, selection, and low prices available when shopping online. In this article I speak to a few of the pros and cons of online shopping.
There is something to be said for walking in to a physical store and being able to see, touch, and easily ask questions of a product. One could argue that brick and mortar shopping is really a more engaging experience, often filled with vocals of some sort, combined with the sights and sounds of other customers and clerks available to offer assistance when needed. Different products may be compared alongside with almost no effort. One advantage of brick and mortar shopping is its organization, which allows one to locate the right department and the right shelf pretty easily. Everything the store offers is manufactured available via a layout of straight-forward, logical departments. Websites on the internet provide an organizational layout and text search capability, but this different means of locating something of interest is one online shopping difference that takes some getting used to. Other great things about brick front shopping is being able to get out of the home, exercise a bit, breathe some outdoor air and avoid cabin fever (this form of activity was quite important in the wintertime when I lived in Chicago).
People which are cautious in nature may find certain features of online shopping a bit hard to get accustomed to, such as getting acclimated to what would be the exact carbon copy of searching for merchandise with tunnel blinders that only permit a very narrow view of what is directly before one’s eyes. Brick and mortar stores are physically arranged to create it more probable that certain items is likely to be seen a lot more than others. Online stores provide focus on certain products over others. Most websites contain product descriptions, nevertheless the descriptions may be either too general or too detailed, which makes it difficult to compare two or more products on the features. If the shopper includes a question that’s befitting a human being such as a clerk in a store, where does the online customer go to ask the question? There is something lost in not having the best person available to offer an instantaneous answer. Many popular online shopping sites now provide customer reviews-independent reviews provided by customers which have bought each product. These reviews go a considerable ways toward providing enough detailed details about something so it’s possible to determine if to buy it.
In the USA online shopping malls and websites address the limitations found in the online shopping process by offering near enough to a no-questions-asked return policy to guarantee the happiness of the online customer. Nevertheless, one downside of online shopping is having to wait to acquire the merchandise, depending on whatever mode of shipping is selected. If your product needs to be refunded or returned for whatever reason, there’s the inconvenience of returning the product. This often involves a telephone call and trip to the area post office, after what type waits again to either receive an upgraded or refund. Compare this to just running the item and receipt back to a nearby brick front store and having either a refund or an exchanged product at your fingertips in just a few minutes.
Let’s speak about security. In an actual store, cash may be used, and if your debit or bank card can be used the shopper reaches see who processes his / her card. Also, one is usually not required to offer personal information such as a name and physical address. Not so with online shopping, as the item should be addressed and sent to a person at an address. Cash can not be used online, what exactly entity processes the card and captures the non-public information over the internet? And how well is the non-public information protected? One way to help reduce risk when shopping on the internet is to use virtual bank card numbers. These numbers are provided by bank card issuers such as Citi and Discover, and may be used only once, so even though the bank card information is captured by some other entity through the transaction, it can not be used to accomplish an additional purchase. I use virtual bank card numbers when I shop online, and I suggest this practice.
Let us consider the great things about shopping online. If the four-wheeled vehicle in one’s driveway is expensive to gas up, then it’s an obvious plus to be able to shop the virtual market and save transportation costs. It can be a “greener” arrangement-computers emit little or no carbon even though powered. For individuals who believe it is tiring to cope with crowds, you will find none in cyberspace, and no lines to wait in during checkout. The magical online domain doesn’t have weather to hinder one, either-all shopping is done in just a sheltered environment, safe from inclement weather. And there’s no need to be worried about keeping one’s children together and in sight when online shopping. But probably the best feature of all is the price savings that can be realized online. Online items can more frequently that not be purchased and shipped for substantially less, because the cost doesn’t include any overhead costs related to having an actual brick and mortar store. Typically there’s also no sales tax either, unless the merchant maintains some form of physical presence in the state where the item is purchased. Like, Amazon.com only charges sales tax on orders which are shipped to Kansas, North Dakota, New York or Washington, and Overstock.com womens shoes only charges sales tax on orders which are shipped to Utah. To sweeten the deal, many merchants offer special online coupons, online coupons and promotional codes offering additional discounts.
For instance of the money that can be saved when shopping on the internet, I bought a “Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus” food processor and used the online comparison shopping engine at Shopzilla.com to find a very good deal, that was at Etronics.com for $172 without sales tax and free shipping. A nearby Sears store had it listed at $199.99 and might have charged about $16 in sales tax for a total of $216. In this specific case I saved $44 (20%) shopping on the internet and using Shopzilla to place internet vendors in competition for my business. And it only took me about 10 minutes of effort. With the advent of cheaper computing and increasing quantities of online competition, people are often becoming used to accessing the world through the eyes of cyberspace. So it’s the coming thing, and a tide that’s not apt to be turned. We as a society have adapted to other significant changes with time, like the advent and capability of air travel, trains and automobiles over horses, and online shopping is yet another paradigm shift we shall adapt to.
In conclusion, when taking a look at the pros and cons of online shopping, the pros outweigh the cons, especially for items which are widely available and for which the very best price is being sought. Shoppers save time and money buying what they want online and virtual store owners can run their businesses on much less overhead. The fact that the pros outweigh the cons is evident when one talks about the sharp increases in online shopping which have occurred on a global basis in the last few years.