Online shopping has been around for a while now. Since the advent of the internet there have been many ways to buy goods online. The real boost came with the introduction of the World Wide Web and the prevalence of internet browsers on just about every computing device available as well as the emergence of some key big players in the market.
Both Amazon.com and eBay launched in 1995 and it is really from then on, that the growth skyrocketed. According to Statista ecommerce in 2017 accounted for 15% of internet retail sales while in November of 2020 that figure had more than doubled to 36%!
Nowadays the expectation is that any major supermarket, chain, or large retail outlet will have an online presence capable of making transactions. This prevalence, the fact that it is everywhere is not the sole reason that many people, with good reason, prefer to do the bulk of their shopping online.
Better for your pocket
Firstly, it is very cost effective. There are financial benefits that are not immediately obvious that make it better for your pocket. Niels Larssen of Persian and Modern Rugs has seen a sharp rise in online sales in 2020
When shopping online you have access to a vast array of goods unlike in a physical shop where you are restricted to what that shop stocks or the items that chain supplies. This means you have the option to shop around with just the click of a mouse and compare prices looking for the best combination of price/value to suit your needs at the time.
This variety lets you browse not only comparable prices for the same products but a dizzying array of other, equivalent products that could be just the job.
There is another hidden cost benefit. How many times have you entered a shop only to come out laden down with goods that you just ‘happened to spot’ but did not actually need? Online shopping provides protection against the ‘impulse buy’ and over the course of just a few trips this can save a surprising amount of money.
Depending on the items you are buying or the frequency you purchase many places offer either free delivery or a reduced charge delivery subscription. This often easily offsets the cost of fuel, travel, public transport, parking charges and any other ancillary expenses.
Then there is the cost of the snack, coffee, or lunch. Depending on the amount of time a physical shopping trip takes this is an often ignored, further cost that the virtual world does not have.
So, all in all it should be clear how much can be saved with online shopping. This is often a big pull for people.
Information rich and easy convenience
As we have already noted there is a large variety and you can do price comparisons easily. There is another benefit to this. Reviews of the products from existing users are generally available. This lets you make an informed assessment about new products. You can see what other experience others have had and this lets you make better buying decisions. This is both informative and much more convenient than depending on reading labels, a visual check, or the opinion of a single salesperson if you can find one and you share the same tastes.
The convenience is not just restricted to comparisons. You can shop at any time of day or night regardless of opening hours. You do not have to prepare yourself to make a journey or fight your way through crowds. Even while shopping you are not being jostled by others as you browse.
One other convenient aspect of internet shopping is the fact you do not have to carry around and load up your purchases.
For some items, the delivery aspect is a real blessing. If, for example, you had been heading over to Kalusto Furniture website to buy a furntiurethe fact that you would not have to arrange van hire, pay for the hire (advantage number 1, cost) and could get free next day delivery makes the online purchase option an easy decision.
More control over the whole process
Tied in with the convenience of doing the shopping anytime is the additional bonus of being able to control when a delivery is made.
With grocery shopping, as an example, the list can be gradually added to on your online order as you notice the need. You then have the control to schedule when is handy for you for a delivery and may even be able to arrange repeat deliveries of regular staples. This puts you and your needs firmly in the driving seat. You can plan at your leisure rather than putting together a slap dash list last minute.
Depending on what you are buying another advantage is the absence of any high-pressure sales staff. The choices you make are yours alone and you will not be talked into a purchase you later regret by a salesperson looking to meet their quota.
Discreet and flexible
As part of the enhanced control, you have over the shopping you also have the flexibility to determine where your goods are delivered. This makes it extremely easy to arrange surprise presents for people remote or even in your own home. Whether this is a gift, a care support package or indeed supplies for somewhere you plan to be on holiday at the delivery time it is easy to arrange.
Since no human interactions are necessary it is also handy if what you want to buy is more personal or for some other reason you are uncomfortable with the eyes of others on you while buying. This can take the pressure off the whole experience if you need something to support a medical condition as just one example.
While consumer rights are well protected here in the UK distance sellers are required to provide additional levels of protection for you. Your right to return is a statutory guarantee as is your right to change your mind for certain goods within a particular timeframe. This removes the worry of making the wrong choice.
Also, in today’s post Covid-19 world there is the obvious further protection of not just your finances but your health. Your potential exposure to infection is vastly reduced.
All in all it is easy to see from these five broad categories and the numerous additional bonuses each provide why internet shopping is the preferred choice for so many nowadays.