No doubt about it, the internet has completely revolutionized the way we shop. According to the astute folks at Forrester Research, the independent technology and market research company, 192 million online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion this year, breaking down to an average of $1,738 per consumer.
Ever-influencing, the internet retail universe continues to spawn seemingly never ending online shopping enclaves that range from the luxe of Net-A-Porter.com to the all-inclusive Amazon.com, the huge online presences of QVC.com and HSN.com to the trendy furnishings of Wayfair.com and on to Lowe’s or Home Depot’s light bulbs-to-tractors inventory.
What’s fueling the consumer switch to e-commerce? Online retailers are constantly improving their websites and services with rich selling tools such as detail-revealing zoom capability, color swatching, and product subscription plans to accommodate customers. To consumers, convenience is the biggest perk. It’s a 24/7 opportunity.
Better prices are available online with the direct from the manufacturer model that cuts out the traditional middleman of conventional retailers. Many online shops offer discount coupons and rebates as well. Apart from this, online shops are only required to collect sales tax if they have a physical location in the state in which you reside, even if the purchase is from a store across the world.
More variety encourages choice from several brands and products all in one place. Global reach brings the latest trends from retailers in other parts of the country, or even the world. There’s an unlimited selection of colors and sizes and some online shops even accept orders for items out of stock to ship when they are once more available.
Sending gifts is easy and you can completely avoid the post office. Make selections online and they’ll arrive on time, attractively wrapped and accompanied by your personalized gift card. And you can frequently take advantage of free shipping.
Fewer expenses are incurred. Eating out, transportation and parking costs usually add up to more than the nominal costs for shipping online purchases. Many times, when we opt for conventional shopping, we tend to spend a lot more than planned, buying things compulsively. And sometimes, we compromise on our selections due to the retailer’s lack of choices.
No crowds to contend with when you’re shopping in your jammies at midnight. It’s much more comfortable and conducive to selecting what you really want than fending off other shoppers and vying for a sales associate’s attention. You usually won’t make poor choices when you’re not rushed or hurried.
Happily, customer-friendly return policies are the norm. Most online retailers allow thirty days to decide if your choice is or isn’t a keeper. They provide easy to use return labels to facilitate credit refunds, which usually take about ten days to show up in your account — or in the case of cash sales — to receive a check via mail.
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