Shopping in the marketplace can be very exhausting. To spare yourself from the hair yanking hassles, with just a few clicks, you can now shop for your desired items. This is the advantage caused by online shopping. Also known as e-shopping and electronic retail, e-shopping enables the buyer to purchases goods and services via the internet. In online shopping, the consumer will directly buy the products or services at shopping center or in a brick-and-mortar retail store. Hence, the process is termed as business –to consumer shopping. On the other hand, if a business purchases goods or services from another business, it is referred to as business to business e-shopping. Currently, the largest online retailers include eBay, Amazon and Alibaba.
The existence of online shopping is attributed to English merchant namely Michael Aldrich when he pioneered online shopping way back in 1979. Aldrich worked with system of revised domestic television and connected it to a processing computer by means of a telephone line. With this, he was aware that the altered TV technology is a viable channel of communication. By March of 1980, Aldrich worked with the launching of the Redifon’s office revolution. This feature allows customers, consumers, distributors, suppliers, agents and service providers to make a business transaction in real time with the help of electronic technology. Furthermore, in the same year, he had been able to design, manufacture, sell, install, maintain and support large number of e-shopping systems. These systems are predecessor to the Internet. This includes Microsoft MS-DOS, IBM PC and the World Wide Web or WWW.
The first WWW browser and server have been built by Tim Berners-Lee during the 1990s. This breakthrough has been enabled for commercial application in 1991. After that, it has been followed by other inventions in technology. As such, online banking has been introduced in 1994. Not only that, the opening of the first e-shopping system which is the Intershop also took place. In the same year, the Internet Shopping and Netmarket have also been introduced. Apparently, Amazon had launched its shopping powerhouse in 1995. The same year, EBay has also launched its site. Tmall and Alibaba’s Taobao have also been launched in 2008 and 2003 respectively.
In order to cater to the needs of online shoppers, retailers continuously increase their products and services before they offer them out in the online marketplace. This is done by means of pretail intended for testing, building as well as management of the demand.
For a rule of a thumb, online customers need to have both an access to the internet and authentic method of payment in order to be allowed to shop online. Without the said prerequisites, one can never get the benefit of online shopping.
In general, customers who gain a higher degree of education as well as personal income tend to have a more beneficial perception of e-shopping. Aside from that, maximized exposure to technology increases the chance for the development of favorable perspective toward the new shopping platform. Ideally, this is the reason why online shopping is well embraced by those who are IT literate.
One of the best things about online shopping is that there is a huge selection of products. Aside from that, the process of selection is also very easy and convenient. In finding the desired item, the online buyer should pay a visit to the website of the retail company. There are also available alternative online stores with the help of a shopping search engine.
Once the online shopper finds the product of his interest, majority of online retail companies utilize shopping carts software. This tool will enable the customer to obtain large number of products as well as to adapt to quantities. As such, the analogy of shopping cart software in shopping at conventional store is the basket.
Check out process basically follows after the payment as well delivery of necessary information. There are some online stores that enable their customers to opt for a sign-up for long term online account. In this way, the delivery of the information will only take place once. In order to let the buyer know that the transaction is complete, he or she usually receives an e-mail confirmation.
As it has been said earlier, online buyers need to have an access with valid method of payments. In an online shopping, PayPal or credit accounts are commonly used. In addition to that, there are also possible alternatives which include mobile phones billing cash on delivery, debit cards, gift cards, postal money order, wire transfers and electronic money of different types
There are some online stores that reject international credit and debit cards. There are those that require the address of billing and shipping in the same state. Furthermore, there are also shops that enable online customers to send their gift regardless of the location.
Delivery of the product
After the payment has been processed, the next thing that will come to the scene is delivery of the product ordered. There are several ways of delivery and it includes the following:
The item is shipped to the address of the customer. This is made possible with the help of a retail courier or public postal system.
- Drop shipping
In this delivery method, the item is passed to a third party who will be responsible for the shipment of the product to the designated address.
Obviously, this is only applicable to digital products which include movies, images, music and software.
- Will call
The customer will be picking up the pre-bought ticket intended for a specific event just like a concert or a play.
Online shopping offers lots of beneficial aspects over dealing with the hassle of shopping in conventional stores. With e-shopping, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of personally going to the store to buy your product of interest. As long as you have an access to the internet and you are accessible to any of the allowed method of payments, you can purchase your desired items in just few clicks. Hence, it will surely improve your shopping experience.