Online shopping is no more a very differentiated term for us now. It is a method of buying and selling of goods online. A more reliable term for it would be "Online Shopping". Starting with 10-20 online store, today there are several thousand store on Internet. Now consumers can buy several items from online stores. I facet, people can purchase just about anything from companies that provide their products online. Books, Jewellery, Electronics, Clothes, toys, software and health insurance can now be bought from online store.
Advantages of Online Shopping
- Online stores are open 24x7 : Online stores are available whenever you want. You need just a Internet connection to perform a Purchase.
- Huge variety of products : Online stores offer a huge variety of products ranging from a small pin to computers to cars. You don't have to wait to buy products as you do on visiting Brick and Mortar store.
- Convenience : As in traditional stores, you don't have to go to various store to buy goods. It could be done in one single website with a Virtual Cart.
- Delivery at Footsteps : Products are delivered at your door. You don't have to go even out of your house.
- Services also available : Not only products but several services can also be purchased like Premium payment, tax payment, bills payment etc.
- Cash on Delivery : A new payment method called Cash on Delivery is a important reform to support e-commerce. Nowadays more purchase are made on Cash on Delivery.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
- Some people like the idea of going to traditional stores and touching the products physically and then buying them. They fill that products shown on the Internet are not same as the product delivered.
- Some people fear that their Credit Card Information will be compromised by fake websites. They may be victim of Online thiefs.
- Products are not delivered at the same day. It take upto 2-3 days for the products to delivered.
- Some products such as Clothes and shoes need to fit body measurement which is necessary to be trialed before purchase.
- It is not necessary that buyers put on their correct Shipping address during payment. This causes mis-delivery of products.
Improvement in Security in Cyber World
Customers security is a high matter of fact on Internet. Privacy of Information, integrity message, authentication of user and non-repudiation proof are necessary for a successful e-commerce.
To meet the requirement of e-commerce, following technologies are used :
1. Encryption, Digital Signatures and Certifications : Authenticated websites generally use Encryption of data to prevent eaves dropping. Data are password protected before it can be sent or recieved. Various sites such as Verisign, Thatwe and GeoTrust offer digital certificates and signatures to the owner of the website thereby displaying security of the user. More often location of the seller is also provided to the buyer.
2. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) : It refers to a digital layer of protection offered by various website to protect Credit Card Information. You may see whenever you are connected to secure website such as Paypal, a green or blue color of rectangular section appears on the address bar showing a valid SSL cert. Whenever you make online payment you must be enclosed by SSL.
3. Secure Electronic Transaction : It is developed by Visa and MasterCard in which you need to enter a password called 3D password to complete your Purchase using Credit or Debit Card. Also while making payment, you will not enter card information on seller's website but yourrr bank's or card provider's website. Sensitive information is not kept on Merchant's website.
Major Online store available for Indian buyers ::
Flipkart is one of the largest online store with almost all the available products. Over lakhs of customer rely on Flipkart for online commerce. The best thing about this store is its short delivery time. I got a watch delivered in just 2 days. Flipkart offers 30 days replacement. The site is however loosing its reputation nowadays becuase of problems of fake delivery. Visit flipkart.
Ebay is a part of Ebay Inc., one of the oldest and most reputed E-commerce owner on net. It has variety of product with several coupons available to offer discount. It offers various Payment methods for your purchase. This site has several sub-sellers making it a huge store of several thousands products. It is also the owner of PayPal, the largest payment processing gateway. Visit Ebay.
A part of Amazon Inc, the largest online store in the world. Same as Ebay, it has several sub-sellers making it a huge store of several products. Visit Amazon.