Online shopping is a form of e-commerce that allows consumers to purchase products or services directly from a seller via the Internet using a web browser or mobile app. Consumers find the product of interest by going directly to the retailer’s website or searching among sellers using the shopping search engine, which shows the availability of a product and the price of different e-retailers. By 2020, customers will be able to shop online using a variety of computers and devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablet computers, and Smartphones.
An online store expresses the physical resemblance to buying goods or services at a regular retailer or shopping center; The process is called business-to-customer (B2C) online shopping. When an online store is set up to buy the business from another business, this process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. A general online store informs the customer about the specific product picture, product description, features, and price with availability.
Online stores typically enable shoppers to use the “search” feature to find specific models, brands, or items. To complete a transaction using a service such as a credit card, an interactive debit card, or PayPal, online customers must have Internet access and a valid payment method. The largest online retailers are Alibaba, Amazon.com, and eBay.
An alternative name for online shopping is “e-tailing”, “e-shop” or “e-shopping”, which is an acronym for “electronic-shopping”. An online store is also called e-web-store, e-shop, e-store, internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, online storefront, and virtual store. Mobile Commerce (or M-Commerce) describes purchases from an online retailer’s mobile device-optimized website or application software (“app”). These websites or apps are designed to enable customers to browse through a company’s products and services on tablet computers and smartphones.
One of the earliest forms of online business was IBM’s Online Transaction Processing (OLTP), which was developed in the 1960s and allowed real-time financial transaction processing. One of the applications was a computerized ticket reservation system called Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment (SABER) for American Airlines.
Here, the computer terminals located at different travel agencies were connected to a larger IBM mainframe computer, which simultaneously processes transactions and coordinates them so that all travel agents have access to the same information at the same time.
The rise of online shopping has evolved with the rise of the Internet. Initially, the platform served as an advertising tool for companies only by providing product information. At first, there were very few buyers online and they were a narrow part.
To complete a transaction, online customers must have Internet access and a valid payment method. In general, higher education levels and personal income correspond to more favorable concepts for online shopping. The rise of technology also increases the likelihood of developing a positive attitude towards new shopping channels.
Consumers find products of interest by going directly to the retailer’s website or searching among sellers using the shopping search engine. Once a particular product is found on a retailer’s website, most online retailers use shopping cart software that allows the consumer to deposit and adjust the number of multiple products, such as filling a real shopping cart or basket at a conventional store.
Follows a “checkout” process (continuing to resemble conventional stores) where the required payment and delivery information is collected. Some online stores allow consumers to sign up for a permanent online account so that some or all of this information is required only once. The consumer often receives a confirmation e-mail when the transaction is completed.
Less sophisticated stores take orders from customers by phone or e-mail (although for security reasons, full credit card numbers, expiration dates and card security codes, or bank account and routing numbers should not be provided by e-mail).
Pay the price:
Online shoppers usually use a credit card or PayPal account to make payments. Also, some methods enable users to create accounts and pay in alternative ways, such as:
- Billing on mobile phones and landlines
- In Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies
- Cash on Delivery (COD)
- Debit card
- Direct debit in some countries
- Different types of digital currency
- Gift card
- Invoices are especially popular in some markets/countries such as Switzerland
- Postal Money Order
- Wire transfer/delivery on payment
Some online stores do not accept international credit cards. The buyer’s billing and shipping address must both be from the same country which is the basis of online store operations. Other online stores allow customers from any country to send gifts anywhere.