Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping

Online shopping has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade and the primary reason for its success is the rapid changes in technology due to which internet and mobile have reached every corner of the world making online shopping a breeze. Online shopping refers to purchasing of goods and services by the consumers over internet, in order to understand more about online shopping let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping –

Advantages of Online Shopping

  1. The biggest advantage of online shopping is that it gives plenty of choices to the consumer, gone are the days when a consumer had to depend on the local shopkeeper for all his or her needs. Nowadays consumer can switch from one shopping website to other with one click and browse thousands of products and select the best one to suit his or her personal needs.
  2. Another benefit of online shopping is that customer gets good price discounts on these websites which help them save money and also due to price discounts customer can bargain with local stores. So for example if a customer is getting a particular brand of mobile at $300 at amazon and the local store is selling it at $350 then the customer can bargain with the shopkeeper and get the product at discounted price. Hence in a way online shopping helps the customer in making more informed decision and also help them in knowing about the various products and services available and about the price of products.
  3. Another benefit of online shopping is that it helps in saving lot of time as far as customers are concerned because in this age where every minute counts people do not have time as well patience to stand in queue of shop and wait for their turn when they can order items with a click and get the product delivered at home.

Disadvantages of Online Shopping

  1. The biggest disadvantage of online shopping is that since the products are visible only and they cannot be touched or checked there is this inherent risk that product may not turn to be as desired by the customer at the time of placing the order. So for example if the customer is ordering jeans online then fabric quality, it’s fitting, texture etc… will be known only when the product is delivered to the customer.
  2. Another limitation of online shopping is that if you are purchasing a big ticket item then shipping cost does not matter much whereas if you are purchasing a low ticket item then shipping costs can be discouraging and sometimes it can be more than the price of product itself and hence in a way due to presence of shipping charges online shopping is not ideal if one wants to purchase lower priced items. So for example if you are purchasing a $10 dollar item and shipping charges are $5 or $10 then the cost of an item is $15 or $20 which is more than what you buy from local store.
  3. Another limitation of this medium is that in case of defective products it is cumbersome process to return the goods back to the seller as only a few websites have clear and good return policy while others policy may not be trustworthy and clear and hence this return process of defective products will always remain a grey area as far as online shopping is concerned.

As one can see from the above that online shopping has benefits as well as limitations and any individual thinking of doing online shopping should keep above points in mind and then take the decision accordingly.

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