Advantages and Disadvantages of Shopping Online

Introduction

One of the fastest growing trends in the contemporary world is online shopping. It refers to a process through which people acquire various products or services online instead of visiting physical stores. This observable fact has been occasioned by a high rate of technological advancements and the growing uptake of internet across the world. E-markets have changed the shopping culture, with more people preferring to buy things through online platforms over the conventional way of going to stores. The growing popularity of online shopping shows that it is quite advantageous. However, some people are yet to embrace this idea owing to various risks and inconveniences associated with buying things online. This essay will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of shopping online.

Advantages of Shopping Online

One of the biggest benefits associated with shopping online is convenience. Online stores give buyers the opportunity to shop at their convenient time, unlike physical stores that operate within certain timeframes. In addition, shopping online eliminates the need to queue waiting to be served in a congested space. For people who have phobia for crowded places, online shopping provides the most convenient platform because visiting stores on weekends and holidays is quite hectic due to the high number of shoppers. The fact that some products such as e-books are instantly available to a buyer as soon as a payment is done encourages more people to prefer shopping online. The global coverage by online stores has also led people into embracing this new element of buying things. The reality that someone can assess and buy things from another country at the comfort of his or her home makes online shopping a convenient option, thus the reason for its growing popularity.

Online shopping is also advantageous because shoppers tend to benefit from discounted deals. Products sold through online stores are competitively priced in comparison to those sold in physical stores. The reason for this is that products bought online come directly from the manufacturer, thus eliminating intermediaries who often require commissions. Additionally, the ability of a buyer to compare prices of a product from different stores before making a purchase helps one to get better prices. Online shopping also offers different varieties to buyers because one can get multiple brands of a product from a single store. The stock in online stores is plentiful compared to that in retail stores because all the latest international trends and products are available for purchase long before they are shipped to various retailers across the world.

Online shopping gives a buyer more control over the things to buy since there is no pressure from shopkeepers. Many a times, when someone walks into a store to make a purchase, the likelihood of spending more than one had planned for is often high. This phenomenon is occasioned by the convincing done by shop attendants when promoting new products. This can easily lead one to buy things they had not intended to buy. However, this challenge has been addressed by online shopping because the decisions on the purchases made are free of influences by second parties. Online shopping is advantageous to buyers because it offers a high degree of privacy. Online shopping is better when buying products such as adult toys, lingerie, and undergarments compared to visiting retail stores for privacy reasons. Many people prefer online shopping because it makes it easy to send gifs to friends and relatives regardless of their location. Products bought online as gifts are often packaged, shipped, and delivered to the desired address without the sender having to worry about anything. Other notable benefits include online invoices for every purchase, easy refund and return policy if a buyer is not satisfied with a purchased item, as well as the ability to save time spent moving from one store to another.

Disadvantages of Shopping Online

One of the biggest disadvantages of shopping online is the high risk of fraud. This challenge is necessitated by the fact that buyers give their card information online when making payments. Such personal details can be easily hacked and leading one to be easily deceived. Hacking, identity theft, and counterfeit products are some of the common frauds associated with shopping online. In addition, some of the websites that support online stores are unfriendly and fraudulent. Online stores can be guilty of giving inaccurate descriptions for products with the aim of attracting more buyers. Others contravene their privacy policies by selling the contact details of their customers to other businesses for marketing purposes. This often poses a great risk to the buyers because their online accounts can be easily hacked and money stolen.

Buying things from online stores can be challenging due to delays occasioned by shipping problems. Unlike in physical stores where buyers get their product as soon as payment is done, online shopping does not offer this guarantee because items can be detoured or delivered to the wrong address, thus delaying their delivery date. The inability to bargain for and get a touch of the items bought also makes online shopping highly disadvantageous. It is important for a buyer to see and even touch a product to ascertain its quality and bargain for a better price before making a payment. This element of shopping is nonexistent with online stores because one gets to pay the exact amount listed against a product.

Poor sales support also makes online shopping less attractive. Physical stores often have sales assistants who help buyers in case they have questions regarding the products they intent to buy. This plays a pivotal role in improving the customer experience because cases of blind purchases are greatly reduced. Lack of such services for online shoppers can be very costly because chances of buying the wrong products or those that do not meet their desired quality standards are high. Although buying goods from online stores is highly convenient, it can easily lead people to suffer from a lack of shopping experience. It is fun when one gets to move from one store to another comparing the quality and prices of various products on display. Most people use the opportunity to visit retail stores as family bonding time. However, online stores cannot provide this experience, as people only need an internet-enabled device to view the products they need and make a purchase. Additionally, the ability to bargain the price of goods with sales executives and shopkeepers also helps a buyer in gauging the genuine quality of a product with its price tag. With online shopping, the buyer is left to trust his or her instincts in terms of getting the good value for money spent.