Why We’ve Fallen in Love With Online Shopping
Recent years have seen a boom in online shopping. From a niche activity confined to easily packaged products like books and CDs, it’s become many people’s first choice whenever they need to buy anything. But why have we taken to shopping online in such a big way and what effect is it having on our lives and the wider economy?
Door to Door
Internet shopping has shifted in the last couple of decades from being a simple substitute for a mail order catalogue to something much more sophisticated. Whether you’re looking for a loaf of bread, a lawnmower or even a car it’s now possible to buy it online.
This means more choice for the shopper and the ability to compare prices from several different outlets without having to trail around several shops. Most bricks and mortar retailers now have an online presence too.
You’re no longer entirely dependent on the postman to get your stuff delivered either. Internet shopping has seen a revolution in the delivery business to. We’ve seen the rise of courier services and businesses like the major supermarkets setting up their own delivery systems. Many retailers now have the facility for you to buy online and collect your purchases from a local shop so you don’t have to wait for delivery.
There are of course some risks involved when buying online. Many of the high profile data breaches of the last couple of years have involved retail companies. Consumers need to be confident in the sites they’re using in order to share their details. Businesses therefore rely on software testing services to ensure their online shopping services are up to scratch.
When buying you should always make sure that the site you’re using displays the padlock symbol or green HTTPS in the address bar. But use your common sense too, beware of deals that look too good to be true and never buy from links in spam emails.
People are naturally reticent about giving their payment details online and this has seen a rise in online wallet services so that people can pay without revealing their actual credit card or bank details.
Of course there are physical risks too. Your goods might go astray, the clothes you’ve ordered may not fit. Sellers need to have a process in place to deal with problems like this, they risk losing customers if their customer service isn’t up to scratch.
The rise of shopping online has had other, less expected, effects too. Companies such as Bugfinders who specialise in software testing have seen more demand for their services for example.
We’ve already mentioned the rise in courier services but that in turn has led to a boom in van sales as more people get their goods delivered. It’s likely that long term there will be an effect on our high streets and shopping centres too as some stores are forced to close and others switch to a click and collect model.
There’s no doubt that online shopping is now big business, but we’re only part way through the revolution. The rise of smart devices may mean that soon your domestic appliances will be able to order things for you.