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News Letter



Anil Maheshwari

Online shopping is the process consumers go through to purchase products or services over the Internet. An online shop, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping mall. The metaphor of an online catalogue is also used by analogy with mail order catalogues. Online shopping is a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.
Buying online introduced new ways of reducing costs by reducing the number of staff needed. It is a more effective way of getting products to people and spreading into different demographics.
Benefits of online shopping
- Bargaining power of consumers. They enjoy a wider choice.
- Supplier power. It is more difficult for consumers to manage a non-digital channel.
- Internet increases commoditisation or commercialisation.
- Threat of new entrants. Online means it is easier to introduce new services with lower over-heads.
- Threat of substitutes.
- Rivalry among competitors. It is easier to introduce products and services to different markets.
- Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day.
- Searching or browsing an online catalogue can be faster than browsing the aisles of a physical store.
- One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services with many different vendors.
- Shoppers find a greater selection online in certain market segments (for example, computers and consumer electronics) and in some cases lower prices. This is due to a relaxation of certain constraints, such as the size of a "brick-and-mortar" store, lower stocking costs and lower staffing overhead.
- Shipping costs reduce the price advantage of online merchandise.
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. For many professionals this can be difficult, and absence at the time of delivery can result in delays, or in some cases, return of the item to the retailer.

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