ONLINE SHOPPING. PROS & CONS.
The online shopping industry has absolutely exploded to the point that there are now many people who would prefer to buy products and services online. And it has its own advantages and disadvantages that all individuals should consider and understand beforehand.
Me as far as working on selling media, making visuals for brands with high ROI and last working for mayor websites like Zaful or Suscong, I personally prefer the shopping on store experience, trying the items and feeling the fit on you have nothing to do with the shopping online experience. And as a professional of the online visuals, I will honestly say that our pictures are aimed to bring sells regardless of the type or quality of products we are shooting.
Heres a complete list on the in and out I have experience and learn from working online and online on the retail industry:
- Convenience: You don’t even have to travel the long distance, jostle with other customers during festive seasons rush, traffic and face difficulty finding proper parking spaces. It remains functional 24/7 and products are delivered to your home or office. In China and USA, the delivery perfectly works on 24 hours and the return in 1 week, which personally allows me to do a rampage of shopping try and then return whatever I don’t like.
- Ease of browsing: You can easily browse through products on your laptop or smartphone anytime, anywhere without having to go to different outlets. It saves you time and effort.
- Variety: It offers as much variety of different products. These large varieties give you a vast choice which is not available in offline shops.
- Discounts: You get some amazing discounts and deals online which are hard to get from offline retailers. This is also one of the major reasons for consumers like millennials purchasing online. And since online sellers don’t need to pay the rent and employ salespeople, they can offer products and services at a considerable amount of discounts.
- Consumer Review: Is one of the benefits of online shopping which helps you learn about the performance and quality of the product. Online company will request the somebody who received the product to post their reviews on the portal so that other customers can read and decide for themselves if they want to purchase or not.
- Price Comparison: As an online shopper, you can effortlessly pull up a number of online sites and compare the best prices of products, features and best deals available. You need not run to different shops and retailers to see where you’ll get the cheapest price. My favorite places to look for are Google Shopping or Price Grabber
- Bank offer: Online retailers tie-up with banks and you can get some great discounts at check out by paying through certain credit and debit cards.
- Ease of Delivery: From buying a microwave to a fridge to an AC, every product is delivered right to your doorstep. Sending gifts is cheaper, as you just need to change the shipping address to have the package delivered.
- Privacy: While shopping online, there is always a boundary that is being preserved. When you buy private stuff you obviously don’t want the salesperson to be interfering you around.
- Time-saving: Time is essential for us. We obviously do not have an entire day to spend buying clothes or stuff for the house.
“Regardless of your preferred choice remember to keep your ID safe and to do a proper research of the websites you want to buy from.”
- Safety and security: When you shop online, companies constantly spam you with email and text messages until it boils your blood. There are many hackers who are just waiting and look for opportunities. So, you will be under risk of online fraud.
- Size issues: When it comes to buying clothes or shoes, it is possible that the product might not fit size wise. You cannot try out products before purchasing them.
- Defective product: When buying electronic products, you can end up getting defective products as you cannot try it out at a shop or outlet before bringing it home. If a product is on discount, really cheap or compared with other stores is an “incredible offer” don’t trust.
- Fake products: Many times when shopping for branded items like M.A.C, Nike etc. chances are the products sent you might be fake or counterfeits. Most of the Adidas, Nike, Fila, Zara found on really cheap price turns out to be either with a minimum defect from the factory or counterfeited. There’s a big difference in the factory discounted product and the counterfeit. Most of the high-end brands incinerate the products that have a defect and that is why the fake ones look so different and you can spot them easily. FYI.
- Customer support: If you’re shopping from relatively new retailers 100% chances are you might run into trouble when it comes to returning a product. Yes. You can get assistance from the comfort of your home, anytime and anywhere. However, the downside of that would be the waiting of the reply that wouldn’t be immediate. Most of the Chinese site doesn’t have a call line. Be aware.
- Return Policies: In case you are not satisfied with the product and want a replacement, you need to call the customer care to lodge a complaint, wait for the courier to pick up the product or replacement and get the money back which usually takes time and take shipping charges. When buying for international websites, even when the item is “Free Shipping” the shipping cost is included on the price of the item, most probably is that either you have to pay for the return or they will send you to Paypal where you in 75% of the cases will lose the complaint.
- Shipping uncertainty: Some retailers can take up to a month to ship your product depending on where you are. If their website is not equipped with good tracking, you are left hanging about the status of your parcel. If buying from UK within UK and USA within the USA you can complain weekly and even pick up on the nearest Zara or Monki store. Don’t trust Free Shipping will be on time from the other side of the world, it will never be on time mostly because the Aduana transfer from country to country has a different respective procedure and there are always daily issues. The average time form China is 2 weeks to Europe and 3 to the USA or South America, honestly.
- Tangibility factor: Online portals can only offer pictures, specifications and features of the products which might not be sufficient in some cases to undergo informed buying. There are no guarantees for purchased goods as it is intangible until the product is at hand. I have had several cases of companies contacting me to shoot their items and the website might look fantastic, but once I have signed up to do the job the things I have received are just awful and also something I would never sell. Don’t trust reviews either, as you can upload them on bulks.
- Shipping Charges: You must wait for the product to arrive. There is also a possibility for not receiving the order because of the wrong address and sometimes, you will need to pay a higher price for shipping, than for the product. This can be higher than the product cost. This means that the cost of shopping online is more than double for that item when compared to shopping in-person.
All said and done, online shopping has made life quite easy even though it comes with its share of drawbacks as well, it depends on everyone experience and excitement about giving a long walk to the mall. Regardless of your preferred choice remember to keep your ID safe and to do a proper research of the websites you want to buy from.