When Amazon.com launched its online retailing strategy in 1995 and began to reap benefits, many analysts viewed doing business and shopping online with great optimism (Denise, 2004). They anticipated for a day when people would be able to order their shopping items from the comfort of their homes. Consequently, customers would see little or no need at all to physically visit traditional in-stores to make their purchases. It is now a decade and a half down the line and online shopping has taken the business world by storm with more and more companies opting to test the sweet waters of online retailing. Analysts foresee a rapid growth of online shopping in the next decade or so though some reports still show a significant number of consumers across the world who have never attempted to do their shopping online. The growth in popularity of online shopping points to the presence of certain advantages, which are not available in traditional shopping. At the same time, it alludes to the existence of differences between the two types of shopping. This paper shall discuss the growth of online shopping around the world and provide statistical evidence of this growth in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It shall also elucidate the differences between online shopping and traditional shopping.
The Internet has significantly transformed how consumers shop for goods or services. While traditional in-store shopping still dominates in some industries in various countries, it has done little to increase convenience, efficiency, and ease of shopping and making travel arrangements. According to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company in March 2010, there are some products that are universally bought online while others are yet to attain a considerable share of trade. The survey indicated that books and clothing took the lead as the products most purchased online. The 2010 results agreed with the trend that had been observed in the previous year where 46% of global consumers confirmed having purchased books online during a period of three months before. Within the same period, 41% of global consumers said they purchased clothing online (Global Trends in Online Shopping A Nielsen Global Consumer Report , 2010).
According to Global Trends in Online Shopping A Nielsen Global Consumer Report, (2010), more customers have showed increased willingness to use online services to purchase tickets for air travel and for making hotel reservations. While this is a sign of economic growth in most world economies, it also depicts the fact that the use of online services is spreading further to unexploited areas. In fact, the 2010 statistics by the Nielsen Company point to a 9% increase in the number of consumers intending to purchase airline tickets online from the previous year. In the future, online shopping is anticipated to take more dominance in the purchasing of products such as cosmetics, computer hardware, groceries, nutrition...