Ten years ago only a very small percentage of Internet users did their Shopping Online. Many consumers considered shopping online as risky and hazardous.
It is a different story altogether today. Today millions of people the world over are happily doing their shopping online.
According to a news release by ACNielsen the world’s leading provider of consumer and marketplace information published in October 2005, one tenth of the world’s population is shoppingonline-627 million have shopped including over 325 million the previous month.
Over 212 million online shoppers mention books as among the last 3 items they purchased online.
Europe and North America have the highest incidence of online shoppers, with Germany, Austria and the UK topping the list, with at least 95 percent of Internet users having purchased online.
The popular shopping sites eBay and Amazon.com are reported to have recorded over 40 million visits during the year. The other popular sites such as Target Corp, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Shopping.com, Expedia.com too have recorded several million visits.
The popular items purchased being, Books, DVDs and/or video games, plane reservations,articles of clothing/accessories/shoes,electronic devices (including cameras, etc.)and computer hardware.
The consumer enjoys several advantages by making his purchases online and hence the growth experienced by this mode of shopping.
The biggest advantage is that you can sit in the comfort of your home and do all your shopping from any of your chosen online stores with the aid of your computer.
You can browse hundreds of items, compare prices and the shipping cost and make your decision.
The family members can sit around the computer in a relaxed manner without the interference of the sales personnel or the other customers and make a final decision regarding an important or valuable purchase.
There is no need to worry about the opening and closing hours. There is no need to hurry from your work place to make your purchase before closing hours.
Shopping hours are non existent. The online stores will be open 24/7 every day of the year.
You need not walk from store to store, worry about traffic or searching for parking lots for your vehicle.
Online stores often have generous discounts and special deals which you may not find in retail shops because of their lower overheads and operating costs.
For those who love to be unique and ahead of their friends and colleagues, online stores provide a great opportunity for them to purchase certain products that have not yet been released to the general market.
The advantage of Online stores is that they can be accessed by shoppers from any part of the world right round the clock. This is one of the reasons for the growing popularity of online shopping. EBay and Amazon.com are notable examples.
Having said this it must be mentioned that there are all sorts of scams in the Internet and online shoppers should learn to identify and eliminate them. It will be wise to shop in stores that are reputed, popular and reliable or in stores personally known to you.
The present day life style is vastly different from what it was several years ago. Time factor is a major player in today’s life style.
Shopping online appears to be the answer and people who buy online are motivated mainly by the ease and convenience of this mode of purchasing items.