Technology has changed the way people shop and the way that shops and retailers operate. The range of products available online continues to grow and people are increasingly more confident buying online. Almost anything can be bought on the internet, including electronics, furniture, books, CDs, DVDs and food.
Some companies only operate online and do not have high street stores. This keeps their costs down and results in cheaper prices for customers.
The rise of online stores has created a range of new jobs for people who build, design and run the websites. Shopping online has its advantages but it has its disadvantages too.
- It’s convenient – it can be done at home, during a lunch break or even on the move using a smartphone
- There’s greater variety – there are more shops online than on any high street or shopping centre.
- It’s easier to compare prices and find the best deal online.
- It’s often cheaper – increased competition between retailers brings down prices.
- It’s accessible – those with a disability that limits their mobility can choose to have goods delivered.
- There’s no need to travel and you don’t have to queue.
- You might be uncomfortable entering your credit card details online.
- You cannot physically inspect goods before you buy.
- Goods might get damaged during transport.
- Goods might not arrive on time, or at all.
- You might not be happy with retailers storing information about you, eg your buying habits.