The way we used to shop has changed to a great extent. Brick and mortar stores are on the verge of brink, and we have been witnessing a considerable growth in the sphere of online shopping. But, is online shopping safe? Does online shopping do more good than harm? Well, that is something that would need a massive degree of debate.
And that is precisely what we would be doing today. Let us check out a few merits and demerits of online shopping and attempt answering the question – How do I know if my online payment is secure?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping? The table here should give you a better idea –
|Advantages of online Shopping||Disadvantages of online Shopping|
|Ease and Convenience. |
Saves much time.
Shop from anywhere
|Wait for deliveries. |
No instant gratification
|A Huge range of products||Chances of fraud and delivery of wrong products|
|Comparison of products. |
Access to an instant review
|Theft of identity and other data breaches|
|Get access to all the details of the product.||Lost contact with community|
|Better prices||No support for shopping such as local sales staff|
|A great for gifting anonymously||May not support the local merchants|
|Control over your buying||Chances of being duped by scammy websites|
|No crowding||Returns take time|
Let us discuss some of these pros and cons of online shopping in a finer detail in the subsequent sections.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping- An Overview
As with practically everything around us, online shopping too has its own Pros and Cons. The success would be dependent on how you use the technology and what kind of precautions you would take. Understanding the Pros and Cons of online shopping can prove to be extremely effective in arriving at the right idea for buying online.
Advantages of Online Shopping
Let us first count the pros and advantages offered by online shopping. To begin with, online shopping provides analytical buyers with a great option to indulge in a thorough research before finally taking a call on the purchase. That can indeed be one of the prime benefits of online shopping.
1. It offers you the convenience of shopping
Online shopping makes your shopping more convenient. That should be the prime factor that attracts most of the buyers to online shopping. You can shop from the comforts of your home or office, and it should not take more than five to ten minutes of your time if you have already finalised the product you want to buy. Even cancelling the transactions is much easier than doing it at the brick and mortar shops.
There are no lines to wait for. You need not get ready and move around the city. So much so that you can even make your purchases in the dead of night in your nightwear! In today’s pandemic times imposed on us by Coronavirus, it should be the safest ever option to shop.
The benefits of online shopping can include –
- It saves you time and efforts put into the shopping
- You have access to a wide range of products
- Get all the details about the product you want to buy. You can even refer to the reviews before placing order.
- Comparison of different products in the same category
- The convenience of shopping from anywhere at anytime
2. Better pricing
The prices available on online shopping portals for your chosen products tend to be considerably lower than in the open market. The products come to you straight from the manufacturer or distribution partners. No middlemen and sellers involved, making it a rather easier option in the long run. Moreover, you can compare prices across different products, manufacturers and sellers to arrive at the best price possible.
Many online shopping portals provide you with better deals and discounts on special occasions. Further savings would include the cost of fuel and parking. If you regular shopper on a particular online shopping portal, you may even end up getting exclusive deals and offers.
3. An excellent Gifting Option
Online shopping can be one of the excellent options for gifts. If you are planning to send something to your loved one who is quite far away, sending a gift or visiting them can include a huge logistical problem. Online shopping portals have their own well planned and streamlined logistics solutions. This can go a long way in assuring a better option for gifting something to your loves ones hassle-free.
Most of the online shopping services come with a gift wrapping facility at a nominal cost. Option for sending a customised gift message further makes it a highly personalised gifting solution. Online shopping portals run special drives and offer special discounts on occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day and Women’s Day.
4. Great Price Comparisons
Online shopping lets you compare the prices of different products rather easily. This is something not much possible in a physical store. It can even invite wrath from the shop owner if you indulge too much in it. Online shopping has not such issues. You can take days to compare the products and take your call.
It can be one of the excellent options for window shopping. You can browse through the products and mark them for future buying. The availability of user reviews on the site would be something you would find rather impressive than the sponsored reviews you would otherwise find over the print and online media. You can even check out the seller reviews if you want to.
5. Control over your Buying
In the case of buying from physical shops, we are likely to fall prey to what is known as impulse shopping. Moreover, the sales rep may try to sell you something that you really do not need. In the case of online shopping, you know what you want, and you would proceed with a single goal of checking out those products alone. You can even compare the prices and take a call.
In essence, no one can dictate terms on what you would want to to buy. You will have an absolute control over what you want to buy and how you would buy those products.
What should you and should not buy online?
Well, when buying things online, you need to exercise caution and be able to differentiate between the products that you should buy online from the ones that are best bought in a traditional manner.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
Well, having understood a great deal about the advantages of online shopping, how about checking out a few Cons of online shopping as well? As with any other service, online shopping too has its own set of demerits. Understanding both advantages and disadvantages of shopping online can prove to be extremely efficient and important to get access to a better etiquette of buying online. A few demerits of online shopping can include the following.
1. You need to wait for the deliveries
Unlike the traditional shopping, you will NOT get access to the product you have bought. Deliveries can take around a week which can be a huge waiting time. However, a host of online shopping portals have been making it a point to expedite the delivery schedule. Ideally, you would get your products within a span of 3 to 4 days.
Even then, except for when you are living in a metro city, you will need to wait for a minimum of 3 days until your product is delivered. Any sort of improper inventory management at the seller’s point or an inadequate planning from the logistics partner can make you wait for more than a week.
2. Risks of fraud
Online scams and frauds have been increasing to a considerable extent. While the technology has opened the doors for us and has been helpful in hassle-free shopping and payments, it has become equally disturbing to notice that the same technology is exploited by the scamsters to commit several types of online frauds.
Some of these would include credit card scams, phishing, counterfeit products and unreliable websites that masquerade as genuine shopping sites. The risk of fake products has also increased manifold over the past few years. To stay safe from such frauds, make sure you are buying items only from the reliable online portals. Avoid suspicious-looking and unknown portals even if they offer you great discounts.
3. Identity Theft
This has been one of the recent developments when it comes to the wrong use of technology. There are chances in the online world where your data and other sensitive data is compromised and used by the hackers for their own advantage.
Data privacy can be a casualty if you are not careful enough when dealing with the online stores. You may continue to receive a huge number of promotional messages and other alerts that may be of no use to you. With the popular and well-established stores, the risk would be considerably lower as they would let you customise your preferences as to whether you want to receive the promotional messages or not.
Technology brings in a lot of advantages with it. Of course, there are a few disadvantages as well that one should be willing to put up with. The trick lies in what you would focus on and how effective you are in reaping the benefits of the advancement.
Online shopping is no different. Learn to indulge in the positive aspects of online shopping, while taking care to stay safe from the disadvantages that it may bring you. Striking the right balance is what would make the right choice. A good knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping can be helpful in achieving a risk free shopping at ease.