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Evolution Of Online Shopping: Advantages And Disadvantages

Online shopping

The internet has eased a lot of things. From gathering information for your research to getting contact details of various institutions, the internet has it all. The internet also ushered in a new era of shopping. Now, you can buy everything at the click of a button. But when did it start, and how is it going?

E-commerce businesses made their debut in 1992 with Book Stacks Unlimited by Charles M. Stack. The August 12, 1994 article in New York Times titled, “Internet is Open," recorded the first retail transaction on the Internet. The present e-commerce giant Amazon started its journey in 1995 and is one of the first US websites to sell products on the internet. Today, the company is the most popular one in the industry.

The present generation completely relies on online shopping to get what they need. But are you aware of the industry and why it has gained this popularity? This essay on online shopping will clarify all your doubts.

Read on to know all about online shopping.

Read also: How To Write An Academic Essay: An Ultimate Guideline

Online Shopping: The Beginning of a New Era

A few years back, a handful of people were aware of shopping on the Internet. Presently, the scenario is entirely different. You will not believe it when someone says online shopping was non-existent even a few years back. Now, studies show that around 2.14 billion people across the globe shop online. Also, experts project that the global e-commerce market will grow to $6.4 trillion in the next one or two years.

What you see today took years to materialize. The earliest mention of online shopping can be traced back to 1979 when Michael Aldrich demonstrated real-time transaction technology using a domestic television. The idea came even before the World Wide Web was introduced.

Later, online shopping made its way to the forefront, thanks to Charles Stack's Book Stacks Unlimited (, followed by Jeff Bezos’ By 1999, online shopping was able to grab the general public's attention.

Young educated males formed the majority of online shoppers. However, by 2001, women contributed to 52.8% of the online shopping population.

Online shopping is a game-changer in the business world. The topic is still an interesting one for discussion. In the following section, you will understand the significance of online shopping and its contribution to changing consumers' buying habits.

Read also: How To Write Thematic Essay - Tips And Examples

Advantages of Online Shopping

Time is a serious concern for all. No one has the time to relax, all due to their work pressure and several projects. Going to markets to buy things has taken a backseat a long time back. Online shopping solved the problem for all. Today, you can order things online and get them delivered within a short time.

So, what made online shopping so popular? Here’s an answer:

  • Convenience

E-commerce has helped make things easy. You would not have imagined that someone could deliver a laptop when you place an order. You would have to go to a store, check the product, and talk with the staff to buy a laptop. Now, you can use online shopping websites to get all these done without stepping out of your home.

The websites and apps are also easy to use, and customers can browse through millions of products and choose one to buy. The websites share detailed descriptions and proper images to help you make an informed decision.

  • Time-saving

You reached home tired. But there's no food at home, and you are not willing to cook anything. What would you do? Go out and buy some food from a nearby fast food joint? Of course not. Take a rest, and order some food online. It will save both your time and effort.

It is one of the biggest perks of online shopping. It saves time. You might not get all products delivered on the same day, but it will save you time and let you buy one from the comfort of your home. You don’t have to look here and there for the best food or the best laptop. You can simply search for recommendations, check reviews, and buy one without stepping out.

  • Cost saving

Wondering how shopping can save money? Earlier, it was not possible except during festive seasons when retailers offered discounts on products. Online shopping websites have made it constant. You can find maximum products at a price lower than the market.

Suppose you are looking for a branded shoe. Retailers will charge a lot of money for such shoes. However, when you look for the same product online, you will get it at a much lower price. There are instances where the same product is offered at different prices on the same shopping website.

So, if you are willing to buy any product online, do a comparison, check the delivery charges, and buy one that fits your budget.

  • Exhaustive variety

Do you know how online shopping and essay writing are different from each other? Online shopping offers a variety of products, while essays are restricted to the topic your professors assigned. You will be spoiled with choices when you decide to buy products online.

Some consider this to be a benefit, while others feel it is a disadvantage. Experts believe it depends on the customer. If you are not sure about what you want to buy, you will be confused by so many options. But if you specify the product or the price range, you will get what you want.

So, if you need a storybook, specify the name of the author or the book to get appropriate results.

  • Finding quality products

A misconception that still persists among many is that online shopping websites do not provide quality products. Websites like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Alibaba, and others have been proving people wrong since time immemorial.

These websites keep things transparent. You will find genuine customer reviews for each product. It is one of the best ways to evaluate the quality of products. Amazon also shares images from customers to help new buyers know more about the product.

The transparency proves the authenticity of the websites as well as the products. So, if you are searching for Bose or JBL earphones, you can be assured of getting a genuine one from these websites.

  • Peace of mind

From being one of the least trusted industries to the most trusted one, online shopping websites have come a long way. Earlier, people were skeptical about buying products online. ‘What if the products are damaged? What to do if I pay and don’t get the product? Will they replace or offer a refund in case the products are damaged?’ These questions were common when you thought about buying online.

These got answered with time. Now, you will not think twice before ordering things online. The websites guarantee refunds and return, thus reducing the risk of making an online purchase.

All these changed the perspective of buying products. However, everything comes with a price. There are a few things that still need attention. The following section will take you through some disadvantages of online shopping.

Read also: How To Write A Descriptive Essay - Complete Guide & Examples

Disadvantages of Online Shopping

Despite many perks, online shopping still has some limitations. If you dig a bit deeper, you will understand why a certain section still trusts offline shops. Here are a few disadvantages of online shopping:

  • No trials

Online shopping falls behind essay writing websites at one point. Students get to see samples and avail of essay writing services. But online shopping websites will not let you try things on before making a purchase. No doubt they offer access to reviews, but that might not be enough.

For instance, if you are buying vegetables online, you will not get to check the quality. Instead, you have to rely on the images provided. It is a big problem in online shopping. The touch-and-feel factor is completely missing. It is why many refrain from buying products online.

  • No personal support

You have ordered food from a restaurant, and it got delayed. You are unable to contact the delivery person or the restaurant. What to do? It is a big disadvantage of online businesses. Customers do not get immediate support from the websites. You will be redirected to their chatbots and have to wait for a long time to get a solution.

It is, again, a major difference between essay writing websites and online shopping. Academic writing services respond to queries quickly and offer a solution. The e-commerce websites are working on this issue. It is expected that the problem will be solved soon.

  • Delivery charges

Some e-commerce websites charge hefty delivery charges. Many customers do not checkout when they see the delivery charges. However, with giants like Amazon offering Amazon Prime subscriptions, the problem will be solved very fast. Amazon Prime subscription offers free delivery for all products. So, when the market leader is making such offers, others are expected to follow soon.

  • Privacy and security

There are many new e-commerce websites that came and left without making any difference. Most of you are afraid of sharing personal information online. The chance of your bank information being compromised is high in e-commerce. While the big players have solved this issue, there's still fear among all. It is difficult to understand if a website is real or fake.

Further, social media platforms are helping many new businesses flourish. You will be redirected to a website you have never heard of. There’s a high chance of your bank information being compromised. It is why privacy and security are still a concern in e-commerce.

  • No support for local retailers

Online shopping is a major reason many retailers are going out of business. With the entire population relying on the Internet, retailers are losing business. This problem cannot be solved by the companies. The authorities must step in to support local businesses. The rise of online shopping can end all local businesses. As a result, people will lose jobs, thus hurting the economy.

If you find any essay writing samples about online shopping, go through them to gain in-depth knowledge of online shopping. An immediate solution is necessary for this problem. Online and offline businesses are equally essential for a better economy.

  • Less contact with the community

E-commerce has eased the buying process. But it is also a reason people don’t want to go outside. Online shopping, in some way, is hampering social interaction. It is not good to sit at home and do everything online. You need to go out, talk to people, and live in a world outside the internet.

The present generation works online and shops online, thus not getting any chance to interact with others outside. E-commerce websites can compete with retailers, but it is, in no way, a substitute for human interaction.

Online businesses have changed people's perceptions about making purchases. But like everything, this also has scope for improvement. The authorities and business owners must work together to mend things for a better future.

To end,

Online businesses have ushered in a new era. Its contribution to the business world cannot be denied. Also, the fact that it has some drawbacks must be addressed. Considering how online businesses are shaping up, it is crucial to work on the problems. The internet holds the key to the future, but the world outside is equally important. It is important to create a balance for a better future. The authorities must take up the task of addressing issues and creating a balanced environment.


Q.1. What are the issues of e-commerce?

Ans: There are a few serious issues of e-commerce, such as:

  • Cyber and data security
  • Online identity verification
  • Attracting the perfect customer
  • Customer loyalty
  • Converting shoppers into paying customers
  • Competition and competitor analysis
  • Price and shipping
  • Product return and refund policies

It is crucial to address all these issues for a better future.

Q.2. Which one is a threat to e-commerce?

Ans: E-commerce has to deal with various threats. There’s always a risk of fraud, malware, security breaches, and illegal sharing of data. Businesses must take these into account and find ways to deal with the same.

Q.3. What is the main purpose of e-commerce?

Ans: E-commerce businesses allow all to buy products over the Internet. It is not necessary to visit a store to get your goods. You can simply order it online and get it delivered at home. E-commerce provides the platform to make transactions over the Internet.

Q.4. What are the three main types of online business?

Ans: You will come across three main types of online business:

  • Business-to-business
  • Business-to-consumer
  • Consumer-to-consumer

There are many websites that fall into one of these categories. Customers choose a website as per their requirements You can find the names of the websites when you search on the internet.

Q.5. What are the main components of e-commerce?

Ans: The three main components of e-commerce are:

  • Sourcing a product
  • Storage and warehousing
  • Fulfillment and shipping

A company cannot run if these are not fulfilled. Online businesses rely on distributors to source products. They also rely on partners to deliver products on time.

Q.6. What are the three steps of e-commerce?

Ans: An online business will go through three steps before it reaches the top:

  • Start-up and fast growth
  • Plateauing growth or consolidation
  • Renewed growth by implementing change

It is important to understand all these if you plan to own a business. With e-commerce taking center stage, it is crucial to know all about it.

Q.7. What are the most important parts of e-commerce?

Ans: The most important parts of e-commerce are:

  • Dynamic pricing
  • Supply chain and management
  • Customer engagement
  • Video and other types of rich content
  • Shipping and returns
  • Product Quality
  • Loyalty and marketing programs

All these form the base of online businesses. You can check websites like Amazon to know more about the same.

Q.8. What are the most profitable e-commerce businesses?

Ans: The most profitable e-commerce businesses are:

  • Beauty and health products
  • Selling second-hand products
  • Smartwatches
  • Smart home products
  • Online educational courses
  • Selling e-books
  • Content writing
  • Kids' toys and games

If you dig deep into the field, you will understand how each of the ones mentioned here has been successful. E-commerce platforms earned fortunes selling these products. It is crucial to select the right segment to succeed in the business world.

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