The world is forever changing and with the development of technology and the introduction of the the internet, shoppers are looking to expand their choices of products to buy. Shoppers are able to use many different websites to compare prices, seek out the best stores, and search for the latest products and services. They are able to post reviews, read reviews, look at images, and even contact the company that is providing the product or the service.
Furthermore, the attractive offer of free shipping and no shipping charges is also a massive advantage for both businesses and consumers. The ability of businesses to not pass on sales tax to customers, which can add up to substantial savings, has also made online shopping attractive for customers who buy primarily online.
Some of the other advantages include that online stores are never closed, customers save on gas and travelling money, no large crowds to deal with, no parking hassles, they avoid long lines at the store, they are able to post reviews about the products they purchased, more choices, and best of all, they do not have to deal with aggressive salespeople.
However, there are also disadvantages of online shopping, one of which includes communicating dissatisfaction can be difficult online, especially when the company fails to reply and acknowledge the customer. It is often faster and more satisfying to solve an issue face-to-face with local employees. If you have a complaint and wish to direct it via an online platform, then it's much more difficult to contact higher management.
Some of the other disadvantages also include that customers are not able to try the items online, unable to negotiate the price, faulty products are difficult to send back, lack of safety, shipping costs, and dealing with refunds.
Ultimately, it is important for customers to educate themselves and take the time to learn the policies of both local and online stores. They should be fully aware of hidden charges, refund policies, terms and conditions, and any other policies that the store has implemented. Reading the customer service policies online and at local stores should provide shoppers with clear answers on all fees and guarantees. If a store's policies are vague and employees seem uninformed, shoppers may want to shop elsewhere. Shoppers have never had such an abundance of choices of online and local stores to buy from.