Online computer shopping is a type of e-commerce where one buys items or services from a seller over the Internet. Typically there is a direct relation between the seller and the buyer without any other middle layer in online computer shopping. There are two types of online computer shopping depending on the type of buyer. If the buyer is an end-user who buys from a seller online it is called Business-to-Consumer (B2C). If the buyer is a Business who buys from the seller (another business) it is called Business-to-Business (B2B).
It could be considered just like a regular brick-and-mortar retail store where customers walk-in, looks around the items and some of them purchases the items. The difference is that the physical store is replaced by a virtual store in the internet cloud. Therefore, a buyer who needs any of today’s electronic gadgets like computer, laptop, smart-phones etc. can access the store via the internet and should have a means of paying online for the items they purchase. The concept of online computer shopping has revolutionized the way businesses are done today. There are various names given to online computer shopping viz. online store, e-store, e-shop, web-shop, web-store, online ordering portal, online shop, internet shop etc.
Online computer shopping provides buyers the convenience of buying items sitting in their home instead of going to the actual store to purchase it. There are many advantages of online computer shopping. The first and most obvious is ease of access. There is no need to get dressed, do all that walking or travelling to the physical shop and may be waiting in a queue to buy the item. In case of business-to-business, it helps businesses to buy materials that they will require to make goods or offer services. Mostly an online computer shopping is considered to be at lower costs as compared to physical store as there is no cost for associated with land space rental or purchase, paying for electricity, day-to-day maintenance etc. Since the Internet is always available, there is no store closing time when businesses or people cannot purchase from a web-store. Therefore, increasing production capacity by removing wait time of ordering production materials or services and increasing revenue as selling can continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Although there are tremendous advantages of online computer shopping, not everyone wants to buy online. Many consumers like the idea of physically going to a store and have that shopping experience. They prefer to touch the merchandise and try them (mostly clothing). Online shopping doesn’t enable shoppers to feel the products, try on clothing or provide the ability to socialize. It almost always doesn’t give them the advantage of taking the merchandise home the same day that it was bought. Another major concern with online computer shopping is compromised security or the fear that credit card information may be compromised. The worst nightmare of all buyers is the uncertainty associated with the integrity of the seller who may sell them the items inaccurately and not as portrayed on their website. The fear is that the picture of an item on the web-shop looks excellent and worthy of purchase, but the actual item may look entirely different or degraded quality. Lastly, if the consumer has to return the items, that could be a potential inconvenience as the consumer might have to pay for return shipping.