What is online shopping? Is it the same thing as going to the store? In a lot of ways, it is. You can still do some shopping from the comforts of your home and shop online as long as you have a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Buying from the internet also has its upsides and downsides compared to visiting a store and buying the items in person. Even before the pandemic, it has become a thing already. With the advent of coronavirus diseases, e-commerce sales grew more significantly due to the inability of people to go outside. In the United States alone, this number increased roughly to 30% in the first half of 2020.
Of course, there are tons of perks that you can get from online shopping. Many believe that its benefits can simply overturn the disadvantages that it has, especially if you are a wise consumer.
Advantages Of Online Shopping
Life is busy, and the internet has become our best friend. We are never short of a new way to get what we want. Online shopping has become the newest and most convenient way to buy stuff. You don’t have to be caught in long queues and crowded malls. Online shopping has changed the way we buy our necessities and wants. With technology and the internet, everything has changed. It gave us the opportunity to shop at stores faster, anywhere.
It Allows Product Reviews
Shopping online is a convenient way to make purchases, and it allows us to be selective in the products we buy. But aside from this perk, it is essential to note that most online shopping portals let buyers review their orders. Meanwhile, many online retailers let customers leave comments on product pages. Why are these features important? Well, it allows the buyer to offer a review of the product, which may help the customer make better choices next time—or it may suggest that the item is flawed. It also helps the community to address issues like fraud and scams.
It Often Offers Free Shipping
Free shipping is a thing when it comes to online shopping. Many retailers out there offer this particular bonus, especially during special holidays or occasions. With free shipping, you will be getting a product while paying its original cost only. Sometimes, shipping fees can be expensive to deal with, especially if you are living in areas distant from the retailer you want to make a purchase. Of course, many companies use free shipping as a lead for sales. In fact, people tend to spend more on products when free shipping is being offered.
Disadvantages Of Online Shopping
Returning Products Require You To Pay Fees
Despite all the advantages of online shopping, it’s still not universal. Because of the many ways that shopping online is different from shopping in-store, there are disadvantages of online shopping. One disadvantage that one should consider is the possibility of receiving a defective item. Once that happens, you have no other choice but to return it. However, if the retailer didn’t give you a return shipment label, you will have no other choice but to pay the entire cost of returning the product. This is a cumbersome process, as postal services can be expensive, especially if you are trying to ship a large or sensitive product.
Online shopping is compelling us to pay for the things that make us convenient. You see, not all the items that you can buy on the internet are taxable. However, things are different if you are going to buy goods like clothing and jewelry. The more expensive the product is, the higher the tax that you need to shoulder. Furthermore, interstate and international shipping charges are just around the corner. They can double the original price of the product. Various e-commerce websites require their sellers to pay 5% transaction fees. Of course, to recuperate the loss, these sellers will charge on the items they are selling. Shoppers will be receiving the end of that.
Possibility Of Fraud And Scams
Online shopping is a booming industry, and consumers are taking advantage of the convenience and pricing offered by online shopping, but it can also be prone to scams. Scams have been a part of the internet since their inception, but the evolution of online shopping has made it easier for scammers to target consumers. Online shopping is not only a lucrative business opportunity for scammers; it’s a safer way to make criminal purchases. The recent rise of online shopping has exposed sellers who were trying to take advantage of consumers.