The Pizza Shop by Pizza Hut was the first online shop established in 1995. Since then online shopping has come a long way owning the advantages it offers to the consumers. It saves the time, is cheaper and now the online retail industry offers every range of products available, be it books, clothes, music, movies… Anything! The most selling of all these products is books. In 2012, the best-selling book on Amazon was Steve Job’s autobiography.
Around 50 percent of the online community shops or has shopped online in the past. 78 percent of users use the internet to buy and research products. And according to studies, the reviews of products on online shopping sites also have influence on the choice of buyers. 40 percent of online customers admitted to consult the reviews before buying anything.
Also Read: 5 Problems You Might Face While Shopping Online
Even social networking sites help retail websites expand their reach. 74 percent of consumers seek social networking sites to guide their purchases. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account for 22, 28 and 23 percent of social-generated e-commerce sales respectively. This market is expected to be worth $30 billion by 2015.
The number of U.S. shoppers that estimated to be 137 million in 2010 is expected to grow to 175 million by 2016. Currently, the average monthly users of Amazon number 94 million. The e-commerce sale of U.S. has grown from $72 billion in 2002 to $256 billion in 2011. Forrester research estimates that this number is expected to grow to $279 billion by 2016.
The website that started as an online bookstore in 1995 is the current champion in the industry, Amazon. It has 209 million active users and the products are shipped from 89 fulfillment centers all around the world. On its peak day on November 26, 2012, up to 306 products were sold per second. In its second quarter in 2012, Amazon’s website had averaged about 100.5 million new visitors per month.
But as the world is moving towards online shopping, there are still some who oppose it. Statistics from online payment company PayPal show that 20 percent of people who abandon or fail to complete their purchase do so because of security concerns regarding their credit cards. Security issues are the biggest threat the online shopkeepers have to deal with. And although these websites try their very best to conduct a secure payment, there are a few steps we consumers could take too to improve the online shopping aroma.
Start with a trusted site: Everyone has heard of some reputed online shopkeepers whether they shop online or not. If you are new to this world, it’s better to start with the familiar sites. You are less likely to be cheated by some reputed website. However, beware of any alterations in the name. A mere replacement of .com with .in could leave you cheated.
The presence of HTTPS: Never bother using a website that doesn’t have a secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption installed. The presence of SSL is made clear when the URL of the site shows HTTPS instead of HTTP for the regular websites.
Use common sense: Have the common sense to recognize a fake website through the products it has to offer. Websites asking too little for a visibly expensive object or offering heavy discount coupons or generous gifts want nothing but the password of your credit card.
Know your product: Check everything related to the object of your choice before filling in the credit card details while you go for online shopping. Packaging cost, delivering cost, guarantee or warranty and its phase, returning procedure, cost of returning; have as much knowledge about the product as is available.
Password strength: A strong password is a must for any fund transfer. Because the simpler it is, the easier it is for a hacker to break through. For example, names and phone numbers are considered to be typical passwords of people.