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The Advantages And Risks Of Online Shopping

958 words - 4 pages

The Information revolution is changing our daily lives. With the rapid development of computer and internet, online commerce become quite common and plays an important role in the modern world. The online business has booming development in these few years. US online retail sales raised an average of 11% in the first three months of 2009 (“US Online Sales Up,” 2009). The growth of online sales may due to the growing number of consumers who shop online. In the case of Asia, survey reported 77.6% of Internet users have online shopping experiences in 2003 (as cited in To, Liao & Lin, 2007). Online shopping is very different from traditional shopping. Consumers cannot touch and check the product before purchasing it, which means they are at higher risk of fraud than traditional shopping. Consumers also have other concerns such as credit cards security of online shopping. Then questions should be raised: what is the advantage of online shopping? Why people shop online? In following paragraphs, the advantage of online shopping for the consumer and consumer’s motivation to shop online will be reviewed and discussed.
The main advantage of online shopping is convenient. Online shops open 24/7. People who live in remote areas do not need to speed long time on the traveling to the stores. Consumers who come from other cities/countries can easily buy the native and specialty goods by just a click instead of going to that cities/countries themselves. The relevant information of products can be received from any location in seconds. Study showed that 72% of online shoppers preferred surf online than go to retail store to attain information about a product (Lokken et al., 2003). Online shopping also has greater price information (as cited in Solomon, 2007, p. 354). In traditional shop, consumers need to go around and take notes in order to have a clear comparison of different products’ price and features. While in the internet, consumers can use online tools to compare product price and features. It takes less effort for consumers to make better decisions. Another advantage of online shopping is it is enjoyable and fun. According to Wolfinbarger (n. d.), many consumers find enjoyment through shopping online. They even like to visit and browse the shopping websites although they do not have something want to buy in mind.
Some advantages of online shopping are presented. Those advantages may relate to consumer’s motivation to shop online. The starting point of motivation is needs. Needs can be classified into the utilitarian needs and the hedonic needs. The utilitarian needs are in the practical side. For example, the needs of basic foods and cloths are utilitarian needs. They are the survival need. Hedonic needs can be regard as on the opposite side of utilitarian needs. They are in the pleasurable side. The needs of purchasing of fashion wear, cosmetics and expensive sport car can all be classified into hedonic needs. Shopping motivation in utilitarian...

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