Online shopping or e-shopping is a shopping pattern where products or services are bought over internet. The trend of online shopping has gained momentum in the past few years and is still catching up in US, UK including almost all developed and developing countries. The popularity of online shopping can be attributed to the penetration of internet even to the remotest corners of the globe. The changed education system and exposure to technology has also increased the adaptability of people to novel and different means of shopping. Online shopping facilitates hassle free, convenient and speedy shopping of different products and services.
Online shop or eStore is a virtual store in the form of shopping website that lists a plethora of products and services under different categories for instance Books, Gadgets, Accessories, Clothes, Groceries, Movies, Music, Shoes, Heath and Fitness products, Cosmetics, Eatables, Travel Tickets etc. The online shopper has to simply browse through the shopping website and select the desired product or service to be bought. During the course, the shopper can also make price and feature comparisons between the other products listed in the same category.
For instance, if one wants to buy a digital camera of Sony, he can also see and compare the features and prices of the cameras of the other players in the same category like Nikon, Canon, Kodak on the same platform. This gives a fair idea to the customer as to whether to make or not to make or change the purchase decision. Once the products and services to be bought through the shopping site are analyzed and finalized, the customer has to key in the delivery details like address, contact number etc and quits the shopping process after making the due payments via credit or debit cards. The product or service will be delivered to the customer’s desired address in the pre-quoted span of period.
Online shopping runs on the similar principles as that of conventional shopping with the major difference of ease and convenience attached to it. One can shop sitting back at home or from office without actually being transferred to the real and physical markets hence saving time, money and efforts. With the advent of web 2.0 online shopping has also become a lot more interactive and gives widened scope to the customers to post their products reviews, write Blogs on their experiences with the products and services or participate in forums on the shopping site itself. Users can also avail real time chat facilities(to gather more information) while browsing the shopping site.