Online Shopping: Pros and Cons

online shoppingOnline shop (or e-shop, e-store) is a website selling goods through the Internet. It allows users to generate a purchase order, choose a payment method and delivery order, pay for the order in their browser or via mobile application.

Online Shopping is gaining popularity with each year. However, this does not prevent many people from doubting the availability and reliability of online stores. Let’s look at all the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce.

PROS of online stores

1. TIME SAVING

In order to purchase the right thing, you do not need to go to the dozens of shopping centers in the search for that particular bicycle or pair of boots.

Purchases can be made at any time, as such online stores operate around the clock. Buying something online, you can save at least two hours, which you would spend on a trip to the shopping mall.

Moreover, for the maximum convenience of their customers, online stores offer you a search by a number of parameters: from the size and color of the goods to information about the manufacturer’s country and the warranty period, which also save so much time.

Many shops, analyzing your requests, offer similar things that may be of interest to the buyer.

2. MONEY SAVING

As a rule, the prices for goods in online stores are much lower than in conventional retail facilities. This is due to the fact that the cost of opening an e-commerce store is significantly lower – the company’s owners do not need to rent expensive premises in areas with high pedestrian traffic and keep a large staff.

Another plus of online stores is the regular sale/clearance, which are not as frequent in regular boutiques.

3. A WIDE VARIETY OF GOODS

Online stores offer a wide variety of goods from clothes and shoes to goods for children or, for example, your home and garden. Moreover, in some cases certain goods can be bought at online stores only.

With the help of e-stores, finding the goods of your liking is much easier than searching for it at the conventional shopping centers.

4. THE FULL GOODS’ CHARACTERISTICS

You can find full goods data on the websites of online stores – starting from the dimensions, sizes and ending with information about the country in which the thing is manufactured, which sellers in the usual shops can keep silent about.
Besides that, online stores give your ideas who this or that item can be good for.

5. PAYMENT CONVENIENCE

There are a few payment methods at online stores: cash payment by the fact of receiving the goods, a bank card transaction (VISA, Master Card, etc), PayPal or web money.

6. DELIVERY CHOICE

You can choose the most convenient delivery method for you: by mail, by courier or independently pick up the goods from the office of the online store. In the latter case, you do not have to pay for mail or courier services.

CONS of online stores

1. THE PRODUCT CAN BE EVALUATED VISUALLY ONLY

There is no possibility to look at the chosen goods, try them on, check them in action.
Acquaintance with the acquired goods occurs only when it is received, and cases when the actual does not correspond to the desired one are not uncommon. However, online stores are interested in selling products and having a good reputation, as competition is pretty high, so they sell exactly those things that are listed on their websites.

Many online stores allow the customers to first check the goods in action, and only then pay.

All controversial issues can be solved on the phone calling a Customer Service operator (their details can be always found on the bottom of the website), who often work around the clock.

The goods can always be returned (the client of the online store can cancel the order within a certain period of time, indicated by the e-store owner, without explaining the reasons, if the goods were not used and the product’s appearance was fully preserved), but in this case you still have to pay for the delivery, except for the companies, which offer you free shipping and returns (check their return policies prior to placing the order).

2. THE RISK OF BEING DECEIVED

Another disadvantage of online stores is the risk of being deceived – there are many reviews of deceived customers on the online forums that ordered things and they turned out to be fakes or damaged, and the store management refused to return money.

In general, there are quite a few ways to deceive trustful buyers and the most common are:

  • Incorrect prices;
  • Lack of goods;
  • Sale of goods from past collections for the full price;
  • Forgery;
  • False information about the manufacturer, etc.


  • Before making an online purchase, you need to check the reviews of the selected store to get a quality item at the end.

    3. PROBLEMS WITH RETURNS

    You can receive a defective product. Choosing clothes and shoes at the online store, you can make a mistake with the size. In the end, you might simply not like the item or it doesn’t suit you when trying on, although the online images looked great.
    In such cases, you can demand the exchange of goods or return money for it. But the trouble is that the procedure for the return and exchange of goods in some online stores is complicated to such an extent that many simply do not even want to do anything about it. Therefore, before making a purchase on the Internet, be sure to study the terms of return and exchange.

    4. DIFFICULTY WITH DELIVERY

    It is not possible to receive the selected item immediately. Not all online stores have a regular one available. But even if the trading hall is there, it presents a limited assortment, consisting of the most popular positions. Therefore, if the customer wants to make a quick purchase and not wait for delivery, he will most likely not be satisfied.

    The fact is that the delivery schedule is made at least one day in advance, and it is almost impossible to make changes in order to organize an urgent delivery. Therefore, it is more useful to make planned purchases online, and a regular store is more suitable for spontaneous purchases.

    In addition, you will have to be patient. It takes time for the packages with your items to be delivered.

    5. REGISTRATION

    In order to make purchases online, most often you need to undergo a registration procedure, which, however, does not oblige you to buy anything.
    However, after registering, you will start receiving letters with information about sales and promotions conducted by the online store, which could be useful, too.

    Nevertheless, you can always unsubscribe from the mailing by going to the store’s website and remove your email address from the list.

    TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN BUYING ONLINE

    There are a few simple recommendations when buying goods at online stores. Remember that you have the same rights as customers in physical stores:

    Carefully read the information on the product, study its characteristics, color, dimensions and so on.

    Before making a purchase in a particular online store, you should take care of the issue of its reputation and pay attention to some equally important details:

    1. Before you make a purchase in an online store, you should read reviews about its work, product quality, delivery times.

    It is best to get acquainted with reviews on third-party resources, and not on the site of the online store itself, where bad messages can be deleted.

    The opinions of other buyers need to be known, and there is no problem with finding this information. However, experts claim that the more reviews on the site, the more suspicious. Most often, scammers themselves write comments about products in their online store. And they hire people who do it for money.

    But if there are no reviews about its work or the available ones seem doubtful, it is better not make any purchases at such an online store.

    2. High ranking in the search engines, such as Yahoo, Google, etc., says a lot about the reliability of the store. In order to learn the rating of the store, it is enough to write its name in the search engine and get acquainted with customers’ reviews.

    3. When choosing an online store is recommended to pay close attention to the appearance of the site. If its sections are filled with up-to-date information, such a store can be trusted.

    4. Most reliable online stores post on their websites information about the history of the company, indicate the countries in which they work. However, if this data is not available, it does not yet mean that they are scammers – the company may be new on the market.

    It will be useful to check the site through any site verification service. This is another way to make sure that the online store exists in fact. Such services allow you to see whether or not all of the information is genuine.

    This practice is especially common in the US and Europe. In addition, using the site verification service, you can find out whether the seller works legally and what the attendance of his site is. To do this, go to, for example, CY-PR.com and enter the domain name in the central form.

    The system will give out all the information about the site, including the speed of work, the statistics of attendance, the number of indexed pages in search engines, etc.

    5. The website of the online store should contain information and requisites. You can find them in the sections “Contacts” or “About the store”. If any of above stated is absent, a potential buyer should be alert.

    Be sure to have contact information with the address, e-mail and phone number of the online store. In case of any doubt, you can call the call center, and if you receive an answer instead of an answering machine, you can solve all the disputable issues with them.

    E-mail, registered on available for all mail services like Yahoo, Gmail etc, should alert (e-mail of the store should not be registered on free e-mail services). If there is no information about the company’s e-mail on the site, it is likely that the website is not trustworthy.

    By the way, a lot of useful information can be found in social networks, for example, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. These Internet sellers should have been placing data about themselves and their products for a long time by now to attract customers and followers.

    Another tip that helps you to make sure if the online store is real is the presence of their social media links on its official website.

    The location of the store can also be found – just look for the address using Google maps and check what is actually there.

    It might be useful to call the number that is written on the site. Then you can ask why the store is not at the place indicated on the official website of the online store.
    It is necessary to find out where the central office and storage facilities are located. It often happens that the address of these two premises is the same. This is only possible with new stores. Pay attention to what and how the online store administration have to answer.

    6. As a rule, secure online stores are characterized by a rich assortment of products. However, you have to consider that there are companies selling a narrow and specific range of products, for example, garden furniture or air conditioners only.

    7. The price of the goods is usually indicated in the national currency, where the online store is located, including taxes, and excluding the cost of delivery. The price of the goods must include VAT. If the price is indicated in dollars or euros, it is mandatory to have information about your national currency exchange rate to the dollar or euro in this particular online store.

    8. Information on the cost of delivery should be specified separately, and information about the payment for the goods and the conditions for their delivery should be clear.

    Be sure to find out if the store accepts returns of the goods.

    9. On the website of the online store there should be a clause about the protection of confidential information about the client. When choosing a site where you want to buy this or that product, always read the “Privacy Policy” section. Reliable stores always notify their customers which technologies they use when transferring data about your payment systems.

    The most secure payment system is PayPal, thanks to which buyers are protected from fraud, when money is withdrawn from the card.

    In the event that the online store does not work with PayPal, you can trust sites that offer to pay for goods with VISA, Master Card, American Express cards.

    By the way, using the sites of payment systems, you can check the online store for fraud. Most modern payment systems require their users to have all the necessary data and their confirmation. Owners of online stores should also indicate only true data about themselves.
    This makes it easy to find out whether the seller is working legally. You just need to pay attention to the “Payment” section on the site. If there are ways to pay through one or more payment systems, it means that the online store does not hide its activities.
    In addition, by the purse number, for example WebMoney, you can check all the data about its owner.

    ADVICE:

    It is not worth paying for the purchase, if after confirming the order, the online store employees begin to make excuses, claiming that the payment system service is temporarily not available or down. In this case, the buyer can offer to pay for goods by postal order.

    If you plan to shop frequently in online stores, it is recommended to get a separate credit or debit card or electronic wallet, where you can put a small amount of money.

    Any purchase made online should bring you satisfaction and less stress. Style Guide has brought hundreds of reliable and trustworthy merchants at one place for you at Merchant Catalog, where you can get acquainted with them, learn more on their products or services and see highlighted products and/or up-to-date promotions and deals. We hope you have had a great experience with us. To follow latest news, please follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Thank you!

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