Shopping – On The Net Or In The Mall?
More and more people are purchasing products and services on the net. You hear retailers complaining about disappointing sales every Christmas. You also hear statistics on how much business on the net is growing every year.
There are distinct advantages in purchasing on the net. You can compare prices from a hundred vendors, with out stepping out of your home, and purchase at the best price. You do not have to get in to your car on a rainy day or clear the snow from your driveway to go down to the mall to buy your product. Instead it is delivered to your cozy home by the postman or a courier. You can buy from all over the world and things not available in your neighbourhood store. You can browse unlimited varieties of merchandise and be made aware of products you never thought existed. You can book your holiday without the hindrance of a pushy salesman whose sole purpose is to get you to sign on the dotted line and bank his commission.
However, this article would not be unbiased if I did not mention the disadvantages of buying on the net as well. For starters, buying on the net isn’t for people who want to feel or try the physical product before purchasing, for example a dress or a pair of pants. It is also not for those who want instant gratification – people who cannot wait for what they want to buy. If you are someone who cannot sit down until you have the product in your hands at the moment that you want it, then rush down to the mall and by all means revel in your purchase. Returning something you do not like is also much easier when you buy from a store. Think also of how much fun it would be for a book lover to browse around in a bookshop for a few hours, hours that she wants to kill, and then leaving without buying anything. You can, of course, surf the Internet but that is not the same thing.
The seller has also some distinct advantages – she can sell out of her garage and nobody will be the wiser as long as the web site looks professional. She can cut down on costs as no retail space has to be rented or staff required. The seller does not have to carry any inventory as the merchandise can be ordered after the sale has been completed. Even customer service can be outsourced. The net is especially suited to the information sellers. Today you can publish your own Ebook and sell hundreds of thousands of copies. No printing, no :shipping, no hassle.
Thousands of businesses have sprung up on EBay and millions of web sites sell billions of dollars of merchandise and services round the clock. The Internet has truly liberated business and created income opportunities for millions of people around the world. And this is just the beginning. Where will the net take us in the next 10 years? – I have no idea just as I had no idea back in 1995, when the pioneers of the web first started doing business. But wherever we do end up, I can assure you that it will be fascinating and umpteen times bigger.