Online shopping witnessed spending of £178 million per week during January 2009. This means 3.7 percent of overall retail sales were through internet shopping. During 2008, online retail sales experienced steady and steep growth rate. It accounted for 3.1 percent in January 2008 and went up to 3.5 percent in December 2008. The trend is expected to continue as more and more people are showing interest in this arena of shopping.
Online shopping is extremely convenient and attract shoppers with lucrative offers. Almost every thing that is purchasable appears on the various online stores. It is impossible to summarize the entire list but few examples are books, gadgets, accessories, clothes, groceries, movies, music, shoes, heath and fitness products, cosmetics, eatables and travel tickets etc. Great variety of the products adds on to the excitement of buying online. Best holiday packages to the world’s greatest destinations are planned online within a short span of time. Even food joints accept delivery orders over the internet. Online shopping avoids the unnecessary wastage of time and money.
Initial cost to start a shop includes land prices, cost of the stock, construction rates and many more hidden costs. Additional to these costs are the running expenses of the store. On the other hand, selling products online requires no such setup and initial cost is very low. This allows attractive discounts on the deals and makes internet shopping economical for the buyers and profitable for the sellers. It is a win-win situation at both ends. The reduced cost is forwarded to the shoppers as discounts. This encourages the clientele to depend upon e-shopping for everything. The web stores offer discounts throughout the year and deals become very lucrative during peak seasons. The discounts vary from one shopping portal to another for the same product. Everyone tries to provide their products at cheapest possible rates to attract customers. Therefore shopping sites reduce their profits by offering heavy discounts to increase the volume. This calls for the concept of comparison shopping. There are many sites which offer comparison between the prices of same product on different sites. This allows user to view all deals at one location and make the best purchases. Companies and shopping portals distribute discount codes to attract internet shoppers toward their sites. The code number can be entered before leaving the shopping portal to avail discounts. Online shopping is becoming interactive and consumers share their views on various social shopping communities and blogging sites. They provide their personal experience with the products to help others make the right choice. The social shopping brings fun and excitement to the shopping experience.
Few other aspects about internet shopping requires careful attention. First is the Free Delivery advertised by sellers. It is not truly free as the delivery expenses are included in the product’s cost. Dealers accept shipment charges depending upon the distance. Therefore products delivered from close locations attract low shipment charges and other additional costs. Online dealers provide warranty for their products but the returns are difficult due to long distances. It requires the user to ship back the product and pay some additional charges in many cases. Maintaining privacy of the information supplied by buyers is another crucial issue. There are no law preventing this and sellers are free to get your information. This leak of information results in more direct-mail marketing, spam e-mails and telemarketer calls.
The online shopping is gaining continuous popularity and is becoming a growing trend among shoppers. The advantages of internet shopping are too attractive for people to resist. It is time to accept the new ways of shopping and enjoy its benefits.