Online shopping – Benefits and Hazards
Online shopping, also known as electronic commerce is a service that is offered by some companies whereby customers are able to view relevant catalogues online and make purchases of the products or services via the internet (Zappala & Gray, 2006). This can be implemented using simple shopping cart applications, or using advanced ecommerce software. The concept of online shopping is beneficial to both the organizations that use this platform, as well as to the customers. The model presents several challenges to businesses and shoppers as well.
Online shopping presents several benefits to organizations. To begin with, using online shopping, organizations are able to supply products to national and international markets. They also incur reduced inventory and overhead costs (Zappala & Gray, 2006). This is due to the use of a pull-type supply chain management system, whereby organizations do not spend many resources acquiring unnecessary inventory, as production is based on requests made by the customer. Secondly, by implementing a pull-type supply chain management, customization of goods and services can be done to suit the consumers’ needs (Kühn, 2010). It is also important to note that the cost involving paper-based information is eliminated because virtually the whole transaction is executable online.
Online shopping offers customers a number of benefits as well. What most customers enjoy is the fact that online shopping is not time constrained, so most people with busy working schedules find much convenience in doing their shopping online. The convenience is enhanced even further by the concept of 24-hour shopping, as well as the use of electronic catalogues, which exposes the customer to a wider variety of products and services. This enables customers to carry out extensive research on product quality, their prices and reviews, before choosing the one that suits them best (Chafer, 2006). What is more, costs of purchasing...