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Online Shopping Essay

Online shopping (sometimes known as e-tail from “electronic retail” or e-shopping) is a form of electronic commercewhich allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser.


English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich invented online shopping in 1979. His system connected a modified domestic TV to a real-time transaction processing computer via a domestic telephone line. his enabled ‘closed’ corporate information systems to be opened to ‘outside’ correspondents not just for transaction processing but also for e-messaging and information retrieval and dissemination, later known as e-business In March 1980 he went on to launch Redifon’s Office Revolution, which allowed consumers, customers, agents, distributors, suppliers and service companies to be connected on-line to the corporate systems and allow business transactions to be completed electronically in real-time.

[3] During the 1980s[4] he designed, manufactured, sold, installed, maintained and supported many online shopping systems, using videotex technology The first secure retail transaction over the Web was either by NetMarket or Internet Shopping Network in 1994.[7]Immediately after, Amazon.com launched its online shopping site in 1995 and eBay was also introduced in 1995.[6] Alibaba’s sites Taobao and Tmall were launched in 2003 and 2008, respectively.

Reasons for online shopping

1) Convenience: Where else can you do shopping, even at midnight, wearing your jammies? You don’t have to wait in a line or wait till the shop assistant helps you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes even if you are busy, apart from saving time and avoiding crowds. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24 x 7 and also reward us with ‘no pollution’ shopping. 2) Better Prices: I get cheap deals and better prices from online stores because products come to you directly from the manufacturer or seller without middlemen involved. Many online shops offer discount coupons and rebates. 3) Variety: One can get several brands and products from different sellers at one place. You can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on travel; you can shop from retailers in other parts of the country or even the world without being limited by geographic area… These stores offer a far greater selection of colors and sizes than you will find locally. If you find that the product you need is out of stock online, you can take your business to another online store where the product is available.

4) Fewer Expenses: Many times when we opt for conventional shopping we tend to spend a lot more than the required shopping expenses, on things like eating out, traveling, impulsive shopping etc. 5) Comparison of Prices: Online shops make comparison and research of products and prices possible. Online stores also give you the ability to share information and reviews with other shoppers who have firsthand experience with a product or retailer. 6) Crowds: If you are like me, you would like to avoid the crowds when you do the shopping.

Crowds force us to do a hurried shopping most of the time. Crowds also create a problem when it comes to finding a parking place nearby where you want to shop and going back to your vehicle later loaded with shopping bags. 7) Compulsive Shopping: Many times when we go out shopping we end up buying things which we do not require because of the shopkeepers’ upselling skills — or we’ll compromise on our choices because of the lack of choices in those shops. 8) Discreet Purchases: Some things are better done in privacy. Online Shops enable me to purchase undergarments and lingerie or adult toys without the embarrassment that there are several people watching me and my choices.

Product selection

Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine. Once a particular product has been found on the website of the seller, most online retailers use shopping cart software to allow the consumer to accumulate multiple items and to adjust quantities, like filling a physical shopping cart or basket in a conventional store. A “checkout” process follows (continuing the physical-store analogy) in which payment and delivery information is collected, if necessary. Some stores allow consumers to sign up for a permanent online account so that some or all of this information only needs to be entered once. The consumer often receives an e-mail confirmation once the transaction is complete.


Billing to mobile phones and landlines[13][14]
Cash on delivery (C.O.D.)
Cheque/ Check
Debit card
Direct debit in some countries
Electronic money of various types
Gift cards
Postal money order
Wire transfer/delivery on payment
Invoice, especially popular in some markets/countries, such as Switzerland Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies

Product delivery

Once a payment has been accepted, the goods or services can be delivered in the following ways. For physical items: Shipping: The product is shipped to a customer-designated address. Retail package delivery is typically done by the public postal system or a retail courier such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, or TNT. Drop shipping: The order is passed to the manufacturer or third-party distributor, who then ships the item directly to the consumer, bypassing the retailer’s physical location to save time, money, and space. In-store pick-up: The customer selects a local store using a locator software and picks up the delivered product at the selected location. This is the method often used in the bricks and clicks business model. For digital items or tickets:

Downloading/Digital distribution:[15] The method often used for digital media products such as software, music, movies, or images. Printing out, provision of a code for, or e-mailing of such items as admission tickets and scrip (e.g., gift certificates and coupons). The tickets, codes, or coupons may be redeemed at the appropriate physical or online premises and their content reviewed to verify their eligibility (e.g., assurances that the right of admission or use is redeemed at the correct time and place, for the correct dollar amount, and for the correct number of uses). Will call, COBO (in Care Of Box Office), or “at the door” pickup: The patron picks up pre-purchased tickets for an event, such as a play, sporting event, or concert, either just before the event or in advance. With the onset of the Internet and e-commerce sites, which allow customers to buy tickets online, the popularity of this service has increased.

Types of Buying Behaviour.
There are four types of buying behaviour.

1. Complex buying behaviour is where the individual purchases a high value brand and seeks a lot of information before the purchase is made. 2. Habitual buying behaviour is where the individual buys a product out of habit e.g. a daily newspaper, sugar or salt. 3. Variety seeking buying behaviour is where the individual likes to shop around and experiment with different products. So an individual may shop around for different breakfast cereals because he/she wants variety in the mornings! 4. Dissonance reducing buying behaviour is when buyers are highly involved with the purchase of the product, because the purchase is expensive or infrequent. There is little difference between existing brands an example would be buying a diamond ring, as people believe there is little difference between diamond brand manufacturers.

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