Indeed, online shopping is the process consumers go through to purchase products or services over the internet. According to sociological perspective online shopping is arguably the most predictable way to shop. The main idea of shopping online is not in having a good looking website that could be listed in a lot of search engines and it is not about the art behind the site. A theory can be used in terms of online shopping, because online shopping is becoming more and more popular and website that wants to gain more shoppers will use four major principles of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control.
Online shopping has become extremely routine and predictable, which is one of its great appeals to the consumer. Online shoppers commonly use credit card to make payments, however some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative means such as debit card and various types of electronic payment proccessor. These stores are usually available 24 hours a day and many consumers have Internet access both at work and at home. Online stores must describe products for sale with text, photos and multimedia files, whereas in a physical retail store, the actual product and the manufacturers packaging will be available for direct inspection. Online shopping widened the target audience to men and women of the middle class. It provides more freedom and control than shopping in a store.
Shopping has been a way of identifying oneself in todays culture by what we purchase and how we use our purchases. Shopping has evolved from single stores to large malls with different services such as offering delivery, attentive service and store credit and accepting return. Shopping portals are important tools in Search engine marketing and make it simple to compare pricing and purchase with confidence.
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. For customers it is not only because of the high level of convenience but also because of the broader selection, competitive pricing and greater access to information. Designers of online shops should consider the effects of information load. The notion of information load is directly related to concerns about whether consumers can be given too much information in virtual shopping environments.
Compared with conventional retail shopping, computer shopping enriches the information environment of virtual shopping by providing additional product information, such as comparative products and services, as well as various alternatives and attributes of each alternative. Some online stores provide or link to supplemental product information, such as instructions, safety procedures, demonstrations or manufacturer specifications. Some provide background information, advice, or how to guides designed to help consumers decide which product to buy.
One third of people that shop online use a search engine to find what they are looking for and about one fourth of people find websites by word of mouth. Online shopping provides more freedom and control than shopping in a store. A weakness of online shopping is that, even if a purchase can be made 24 hours a day, the customer must often be at home during normal business hours to accept the delivery. One of the hardest areas to deal with in online shopping is the delivery of the products. Online shopping is relatively a new concept and most people though it will not stand the test of time but now we have evidence that it is doing pretty well even in a perceived or real recession.
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