Web shopping is a phenomenon that first emerged in the 1990s. With the growing popularity of the internet, online shopping allows customers to shop different stores from the comfort of their home or computer. The success of online stores like Amazon.com has led many away from in-store shopping toward web shopping. On the web, people are capable of easily comparing products while bargain shopping or discount shopping. Many, however, have raised questions over the costs of online shopping and whether web shopping is safe.
At online stores, customers are able to browse through thousands, sometimes millions, of products. By simply clicking on the product they wish to buy, they are already on their way to a purchase. The next steps, entering shipping and billing information, complete the process. The ease of web shopping has increased over the years, and many major retailers allow for customer logins and easy “one-click” shopping. This gives more speed to an already quick solution, without having the hassle of waiting in lines.
Web shopping allows picky or bargain shoppers to go from website to website quickly, without having to drive store to store. On the internet, they are able to quickly check the prices and descriptions of products, and click over to compare them to another product. Many customers also benefit from other customer reviews that are popular on many sites. Previous buyers of a certain object can leave details about what they liked and did not like about the product, the retailer, or the shopping experience.
Among the inconveniences of web shopping is shipping. While shopping in stores, customers may walk out with their products, essential if the item is needed right away. Shipping items online often takes at least 3-5 days with standard shipping, and at varying costs. These shipping costs remain high for some sites, and even higher for 2-day or overnight shipping. There is, however, quick shipping for those who do not wish to wait, and many sites offer free shipping with orders of certain amounts.
Many have also questioned the safety concerns of shopping online. With the tenacity of hackers and scammers, some are weary of submitting their personal information online. Major retailers like Amazon.com, eBay.com, or many sites associated with actual retail outlets have secure and encrypted payment methods. However, many smaller, newer, or privately owned sites do not offer such security. Submitting credit card information and sensitive passwords and personal identification numbers to these sites may be risky in some circumstances.