Online Shopping

What is Internet Shopping?

Nowadays we as a society have started to live virtually more than physically- we do more things online than we go out and do in the real world. The internet has replaced the mail by email, telephone by VOIP, and now even TV is available online. So people can download their favorite shows and watch them at their convenience. So is it any wonder that everything across the world is available online?

You can do internet shopping even at midnight, from the comfort of your own home, without having to get dressed and spend on gas to go stand in a supermarket line. When you do your shopping online, you can order whatever you need, pay by card or bank transfer and have it delivered. So why carry cash, go stand in line, and drive through traffic and physically carry your shopping?

As the slogan for a bank goes, ‘why go stand in line when you can go online?’ From the shopkeepers’ point of view, online or internet shopping makes sense because his shop is open 24 hours a day, with virtually no overheads. No salespeople, no electricity while the customer can browse to their hearts’ content and select their merchandise, and above all, there is no restriction on trading hours. It is open 24/7. A recent survey has shown that 61% more Canadians have shopped online last year, compared to the year 2005.

Of course it is the young adult who still does his shopping online. The older generation, though big spenders account for only half of online sales. Another great advantage with internet shopping is that you can pay directly from your bank account. No cash. No checks, no credit cards. You do not needlessly pile on the debt on your card and your bank saves on cheque books. Electronic transfers are becoming the order of the day and they are a boon to the internet shopping customer.

Still most Canadians research products online and then typically go to the store in person to buy the product. In future, this generation will grow old and the younger adults, who now form 50% of all online shoppers, will become the wage earners and then internet shopping will become more of a norm than an exception. Just like regular mail has almost disappeared, the supermarket queues will also be a thing of the past.

The elderly can greatly benefit from this service, as they run the additional risk of hurting themselves, getting mugged or lost when they go out for groceries, medicines and other essentials. They do not have to depend on a younger relative or friend to do their shopping, etc. Of course, there are attendant risks. Nothing in life is risk-free. In internet shopping the greatest risk is the threat of identity theft and theft of confidential financial data or credit card information.

So it is imperative to understand the process from someone before undertaking this by oneself. Better to check with the bank directly and go by their advice than to take a chance and be sorry later. So one should learn to be internet savvy and then start shopping online. Goods from around the world are just waiting for you!

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