The ever-increasing influence of the internet on our everyday lives can be seen in virtually everything we do. Perhaps that influence is no more palpable than in the area of e-commerce. People can purchase their insurance policies online, they can set up bank accounts, apply for credit cards and loans, and book hotels, holidays, car hire, and flights.businessinside They can also purchase more or less any item they might wish to buy. Online shopping has become a regular feature of many people’s lives and it undoubtedly brings with it certain advantages that are not available to the personal shopper. However, as with most things, there are also certain disadvantages. In this article, we look at some of those benefits and measure them against the disadvantages in the hope that the readers will find some assistance in deciding whether online shopping is for them or not.
Without question, the greatest benefit of online shopping is that the shopper is not required to leave the comfort of his armchair or office desk. Time, transport costs, parking costs, queues, and the effort involved in transporting goods home, frequently from a store that is situated on the outskirts of town, can all be avoided by engaging in online shopping. Additionally, although some stores provide a twenty-four-hour opening, the overwhelming majority do not, whereas twenty-four-hour shopping on the internet is the norm.aimsinstitute No one can argue, therefore, that one of the greatest appeals of this type of purchasing is its ease.
A second benefit is the range of choices available to the internet shopper. Millions of products can be compared by online comparison engines, resulting in the potential for considerable cost savings per item purchased. This price benefit can be even greater because the online shop does not have the running and administrative costs of bricks-and-a mortar enterprise.travelingplace If you are looking for a particular type of product, perhaps only available from specialist stores, the range available on the internet is almost certain to be wider than you would find on a trawl of your local stores.
The third benefit of online shopping is the protection afforded by the Distance Selling Regulations, 2000, which allow the purchaser the right to cancel the agreement at no cost within a fixed period.
Finally, as mentioned above, online shopping allows for a real and accurate comparison between the products and prices of a myriad of retailers. To even think about trying such an in-depth comparison by personally visiting that number of stores would be entirely impracticable.
One of the major disadvantages of online shopping is the necessity to have a personal computer or at least access to one and, of course, the ability to master its use sufficiently well to make use of the internet shopping market.firstpost Although members of the public who come within one or other of these categories are definitely in the minority, it remains a disadvantage of this means of shopping.
When you shop in a real market, you can see, feel, and even try out the goods that you are buying. No such facility exists when you buy online. The most you will be able to achieve is to see a picture of the goods that you are interested in acquiring.fitnessbuilder Whilst invariably this will provide an accurate representation of the product, the fact remains that, contrary to the popular saying – the camera does occasionally lie!
There can sometimes be a significant delay in receiving your goods that have been acquired on the internet, whereas, of course, you have immediate access to those that have been purchased in a store. You also have to organize your schedule to be at home whenever the goods are delivered. Additionally, there are sometimes some quite significant delivery costs involved, which do not apply if you collect the goods yourself from a real store.
The major disadvantage is the scope for compromise of your personal financial information. Whilst this risk has been reduced by the development of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to protect the integrity of your financial details, it remains essential that a purchaser uses great care in divulging financial information online,atotalnews particularly to a site that he is not familiar with. The concern about releasing personal financial information on the internet remains the single most cited reason, anecdotally, for people avoiding online shopping, despite all its apparent benefits.
Without a doubt, there can be real benefits in availing yourself of the many opportunities to shop online. There are also real (and perceived) disadvantages. Ultimately, it is a personal matter for the consumer, whether to embrace the opportunity offered by the internet or continue with his existing personal shopping practices. There is inevitably good – and bad – to be said about both.