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Background Report Summary
The use of online resources as a shopping platform continues to grow among people of different ages, gender, and economic status. Many people find it easier to look for a specific product online and buy it in order to meet their expectations (Lewis, 2006). The main advantage of this shopping approach is that a customer can access detailed information about the product and reviews of those who used it earlier before making a decision to buy.
As the number of online stores that offer different products increases, the number of people willing to shop online also increases. The decision of a customer to buy a product from a specific website depends on the reputation of the company and brand, which owns it (Huang & Lin, 2007). However, customers’ knowledge about the online platform also determines the buying behavior.
The majority of people who shop online are skeptical about giving personal information such as credit card, master card, personal identification documents, and other things. It is because of the security of their financial resources, which might be stolen by online fraudsters. Those who have no problem giving personal information do not have illustrative knowledge about online shopping platforms. Although many online stores and shopping sites have improved their security, a good number of these sites expose their customers to fraud. This is because of reluctance to change their technology.
The majority of people who use online shopping platforms are young people aged between 18 to 35 years. With the availability of modern technological applications, using an online platform has several benefits such as fastness, cheapness, and convenience (Yu & Wu, 2007).
- I frequently turn to online services when I need to buy a specific product
- 35.7% strongly agreed, 44.3% somewhat agreed and 10% had no opinion at the mom. The rest somewhat disagreed and strongly disagreed.
- I shop online more frequently now than I did a year ago
- 40% of the respondents strongly agreed, 24.3% somewhat agreed, 15.7% had no opinion, and 12.9% somewhat disagreed. The rest strongly disagreed.
- When deciding if I should buy a certain product online, I make my decision based on the reputation of the online service.
- 45.7% of the participants strongly agreed, 35.7% somewhat agreed, 14.3% had no opinion while the rest somewhat or strongly disagreed.
- I consider the possibility of a confidentiality breach when I submit my personal information to the online service.
- In this context, 31.4% strongly agreed, 42.9% somewhat agreed, 17.1% had no opinion while the rest either somewhat or strongly disagreed.
- When I shop online, I am aware that financial information may be stolen.
- 34.3% strongly agreed, 35.7% somewhat agreed, 8.6% had no opinion while 14.3% somewhat disagreed. The remaining participants strongly disagreed.
- I use online services because I believe that they are secure enough to provide decent protection of sensitive information.
- 20% of the respondents strongly agreed, 35.7% somewhat agreed, 24.3% had no opinion while 15% somewhat disagreed. The rest of the respondents strongly disagreed.
- I think that online shopping is beneficial for the seller as well as the buyer, making it a mutually satisfactory attempt.
- 44.3% strongly agreed, 37.1% somewhat agreed while 12.9% had no opinion. The rest somewhat disagreed.
- I think that a younger audience is switching to online shopping more easily.
- 62.9% of the respondents strongly agreed, 24.3% somewhat agreed while 12.8% had no opinion.
- In my opinion, the resistance to change is the major barrier to the universal acceptance of online shopping.
- 32.9% strongly agreed, 30% somewhat agreed, 27.1% had no opinion while 8.6% somewhat disagreed. The rest strongly disagreed.
- I was familiar with other internet resources when I started sopping online
- 40% strongly agreed, 34.3% somewhat agreed while 20% had no opinion. The rest of the respondents somewhat disagreed.
- What are the negative factors you know to influence someone’s decision to not use online shopping services?
- Out of the 70 respondents, 30 cited quality service, 15 quoted the security of personal information, 13 quoted fraud, 4 cited credit cards while 7 said nothing.
- What types of products do you prefer to buy from the local stores even though you can buy them online from a trusted source?
- 19 respondents quoted clothes, 15 quoted electronic products, 11 quoted make-up products, 9 quoted food. The rest either bought nothing online or quoted other products.
- What research tools and techniques do you use before making online purchases if any?
- 13 respondents cited search engine, 24 said online reviews, 15 quoted keyword and others, 10 cited brand while 4 cited social media. The rest did not use any technique.
- What is your age?
- 31.4% of the respondents were aged 17-20, 34.3% aged 21-24 years, and 10% aged 25-28 years while 25.7% aged above 28 years.
- How long have you been shopping online?
- 24.3% have at most 1 year of experience, 24.3% have between 1-2 years of experience, and 17.1% have between 2-3 years of experience while 40% have more than 3 years of experience with online shopping.
- What is your gender?
- 57.1% of the respondents were females while 42.9% were males.
With the emergence of the internet and various technological platforms in the same context, online services have continued to improve for the past two decades. The rapid improvement in internet use and technology development has made many people embrace internet services (Huang & Lin, 2007). Many companies have established an elaborate presence of their business operations on their websites. Through their online platforms, they sell goods to customers who also pay for them online.
With the rapid increase in cheap electronic devices that can be used to access the internet, many people continue to embrace internet resources and services offered on the platform (Biswas, 2004). The results of the respondents selected for the online shopping survey show that many people continue to embrace the internet as their shopping platform.
Based on the results, many people tend to buy specific products online. This might be because of their prior knowledge about their online presence and the reputation of specific online businesses (Barnes & Guo, 2011). When people get good services from an online seller, they tend to increase their use of those services. Many companies have realized the benefits of increasing their presence and improving their services online (Huang & Lin, 2007). Since several companies offer better services to customers, many continue to trust them and buy products and services. From the results, the frequency of using internet services increases as a person continues to use it.
Security is a fundamental factor that determines business transactions conducted over the internet. Not all online companies selling goods and services are trustworthy. A customer can be a victim of fraudsters (Lewis, 2006). They take advantage of customers’ ignorance to steal their credit card information and rob them. Others do not deliver goods and services after receiving payment from the customers. Based on the results, a good number of online shoppers are aware of fraud and breach of security online (Huang & Lin, 2007).
A decision to shop online as investigated using the first questionnaire depends on various factors such as the mode of payment, quality of services, geographical distances, and security (Lewis, 2006). The majority of people consider the quality of services and security as the main factors that might have a negative influence on their buying decision. The quality of services determines whether the delivered product meets the expectations of the client or not.
Many people depend on reviews from the previous users and ratings of business websites (Biswas, 2004). Younger people have more information about online businesses than in older generations. They tend to buy fashionable products such as cloth, shoes, make-up, and electronic devices from the internet.
Online shopping is recommended for the younger generation that embraces modern technology. However, it presents several challenges that should be addressed to have full satisfaction with the services (Lewis, 2006). It is recommended that the user assesses the reputation of a website before shopping. They can do this by going through the reviews of past users. The payment platform they use must be assessed to ensure sufficient security.
It is also recommended that users evaluate the mode of shipping, its security, and convenience (Yu & Wu, 2007). The additional information that would be added in this research is the use of mobile applications as an alternative online shopping platform. It is because mobile devices have become part of every household.
Barnes, S., & Guo, Y. (2011). Purchase behavior in virtual worlds: An empirical study in second life. Information & Management, 48(7), 303-312.
Biswas, D. (2004). Perceived risks in online shopping: Do signals matter more on the web? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(3), 30-45.
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