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Online stores must describe products for sale with text, photos, and multimedia files, whereas in a physical retail store, the actual product and the manufacturer’s packaging will be available for direct inspection . Some online stores provide or link to supplemental product information, such as instructions, safety procedures, demonstrations, or manufacturer specifications. Some provide background information, advice, or how-to guides designed to help consumers decide which product to buy. Some stores even allow customers to comment or rate their items. There are also dedicated review sites that host user reviews for different products. Reviews and even some blogs give customers the option of shopping for cheaper purchases from all over the world without having to depend on local retailers.

  • In addition, not only those reviews, people more rely on other people’s post information about product commends on social media.
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  • English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich was a pioneer of online shopping in 1979.
  • Consequently, being a destination to shop is no longer enough for the shopping malls.

A high-end solution can be bought or rented as a stand-alone program or as an addition to an enterprise resource planning program. It is usually installed on the company’s web server and may integrate into the existing supply chain so that ordering, payment, delivery, accounting and warehousing can be automated to a large extent. Other solutions allow the user to register and create an online shop on a portal that hosts multiple shops simultaneously from one back office. Open source shopping cart packages include advanced platforms such as Interchange, and off-the-shelf solutions such as Magento, osCommerce, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and Zen Cart. Commercial systems can also be tailored so the shop does not have to be created from scratch.

To provide consumers with various shopping options in one place. Even though some still do prefer actual shopping instead of online. Consequently, being a destination to shop is no longer enough for the shopping malls.

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The consumer often receives an e-mail confirmation once the transaction is complete. Although the benefits of online shopping are considerable, when the process goes poorly it can create a thorny situation. A few problems that shoppers potentially face include identity theft, faulty products, and the accumulation of spyware.

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The most important factors determining whether customers return to a website are ease of use and the presence of user-friendly features. Usability testing is important for finding problems and improvements in a web site. Methods for evaluating usability include heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough, and user testing. Each technique has its own characteristics and emphasizes different aspects of the user experience. An automated online assistant, with potential to enhance user interface on shopping sites.

Merchants also risk fraudulent purchases if customers are using stolen credit cards or fraudulent repudiation of the online purchase. However, merchants face less risk from physical theft by using a warehouse instead of a retail storefront. Secure Sockets Layer encryption has generally solved the problem of credit card numbers being intercepted in transit between the consumer and the merchant. However, one must still trust the merchant not to use the credit card information subsequently for their own purchases, and not to pass the information to others.

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