Online shopping has come a long way from its incarnation as a computerized ticket reservation system almost 60 years ago. Nowadays, it is possible to buy online virtually anything from dresses to haunted rubber duckies. The internet has made shopping much easier and also more difficult, both at the same time. How is this possible? Read on to find out.
The exponential progress of the internet has revolutionized the way many things are done, including shopping for women:
- Online shops are open all day, every day, at least until the internet is out. This is good for busy women who do not have the time to go to brick-and-mortar shops or the energy to jostle through a crowd for a good pair of shoes.
- You can shop as you are, where you are. There is no need to put on dresses and makeup or worry if your bag matches your outfit. You can shop wearing anything you want right in the comfort of your own home.
- There is no need to leave the house, burn precious fuel, and hunt for an elusive parking space, something full-time moms and home-based women will appreciate very much.
- The variety of products to choose from could come close to being infinite, but this would not pose a problem as you can go from product to product or store to store with the click or swipe of your finger. This is impossible to do in a conventional shop.
- Comparing prices is similarly convenient as products being sold by different sellers can be compared side by side or browsed through with a swipe or click. More discounts are also offered online compared to physical stores because of stiffer competition.
- You would not have a store clerk to talk to directly, but online customer product reviews could be a better reference for product quality or performance.
- More convenient payment methods are available online, doing away with cash or swiping your card. Just set up your account and you are good to go.
Now for the flip side of the coin. Online shopping offers its own challenges:
- What you see is not necessarily what you get. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping, as you cannot closely inspect or even try on anything before making a purchase. All you have to work on are some pictures and feedback from other people to make your decision. Testimonials from others may not work on some instances where preference is very subjective such as choosing dresses, bags, or jewelery.
- Shipping costs may apply for some purchases, depending on who you buy from or how much you purchase. Do not get too excited by the low prices posted and take shipping costs into account when buying stuff online.
- You may have to wait a day or more for your purchase to arrive. Also, delivery can be unreliable sometimes, causing more shipping delays. You may even end up with products damaged in transit. This can be refunded, although it normally takes anywhere between 5 to 30 business days.
- The anonymity provided by the internet can be taken advantage of by would-be scammers and cybercriminals who manage to get hold of and use your bank details to make their own purchases. There are measures you can take to beef up online security.
Whether you buy from a brick-and-mortar shop or go online, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. But it is always better to have more options to choose from, especially for the modern-day woman who balances family, career, and personal goals.