Consumer benefits and drawbacks of shopping online

In the following essay I attend to keep tabs on the recent growth on the web/e-retail sales and analyse, compare and critique the buyer positives and negatives of shopping online compared to standard store from the point of view of consumer behavior, brand marketing and the use of the seven C's of retailing.

The business of e-retail has been defined as the sale of goods and services via Internet or the other electric channels for personal or home use by consumers (Dennis 2002).

The explosive growth of the web has revolutionised many areas of daily life (Routledge, 2000). Because the development of the Internet in the early 90s and its relevance in e-commerce the Internet has allowed effective new marketing communications channels, easy access, flexibility and the to upload plenty of information to a global audience. Online shopping has advanced with the growth of technology. Online shopping has had a dramatic impact and be very popular, nonetheless it still carters to middle and higher class. A significant feature in consumer frame of mind towards non-store shopping is contact with technology, since it's been proven that amplified contact with technology escalates the probability of expanding favourable attitudes towards new shopping stations (Bigne, Enrique. 2005).

Growth of the web

The event of the Internet has already experienced a remarkable impact on population, there are more people online than at any other point ever sold and online retailers have seen tremendous upsurge in their online earning probable. PricewaterhouseCoopers predict that by 2014 the UK entertainment and marketing business will be worthwhile an estimation 56 billion (video on nile week 4 uk entertainment mass media). The quick growth of the net and Web development has been the consequence of many innovative advances in Web technology, Feather calls this the webolution. Everyday more and more people are integrating the internet into their daily lives due to the flexible opportunities on offer. Feather forecasts that a vast rapid expansion on the web will concur over another ten years transforming all areas of population. Feather argues that 50 % of THE UNITED STATES will be living an online lifestyle where they will also be connected to the internet and be able to control their homes, automobiles, work and minimize the necessity to commute to a remote control work site.

Developed countries which have been offering e-commerce have shown impressive improvement in their particular economies (Javalgi et al. , 2005) however the Gulf Area seem to be to be battling to keep up with the western world. While consumers from the lady take for granted Internet bank and Internet shopping the Arab world are battling credited to major obstacles mainly poor infrastructure, under investment and poor connection rate. Another major concern that is adding to their lack of slow expansion is the insufficient and convincing amount of content in Arabic; only 0. 2% of websites are in Arabic. However the Gulf area presents an enormous potential market with over 30million users but organisations feel it's a pricey process to translate.

On the other palm the new deregulation has allowed competition to enter, before only one ISP company was available to the masses but now with a rise of ISP companies they have started to thrust the limit on service. This new competition has powered down prices because the web is becoming more accessible and affordable for users.

Video(nile of BBC Middle East Business Record: Internet Expansion in the Middle East video on nile - week 4)

The huge progress area though, is within mobile access to the internet (appendix). Mobile Commerce has been thought as follows

"Mobile Business is any deal, involving the transfer of possession or rights to use goods and services, which is set up and/or completed by using mobile access to computer-mediated networks by using an electric device" (Tiwari, R. ; Buse, S. (2007)

Mobile is literally how consumers live in today's worldwide population and businesses have previously seen this change in the manner consumers connect to the internet. Businesses have realised the new pattern and due to the improvement on surfing on smart devices this is set to increase speedily. (Ebay appendix)

Customer benefits and drawbacks

To most consumers important features of online shopping are convenience and convenience (Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2001). Online shopping is now increasingly more popular every year as consumers take advantage of the convenience, wide selection of products and low prices available when shopping online. Over time the Internet has become a great source for bargain hunters for good reason, there are extensive great buys online with price comparability companies that help consumers find a very good prices, transport and tax advantages, and the convenience of not having to set off. However sometimes the offer that appears like a bargain may fall short of what has been publicized.

Being in a position to walk into a physical store and in a position to see, feel, try, easily ask questions and compare different products side by side with ease produces a strong case to why brick and mortar shopping is more of any interesting experience. One major good thing about offline shopping is its organisation. Its straight-forward design allows consumers to easily identify the right team and the right products simply. Online sites offer similar organisations layouts by providing search capacities and well designed websites with easy navigations. Another factor could be the relationship between behaviour of "attractiveness of alternatives". The buyer although may have a positive attitude toward online shopping, lead by the strong appeal of the brick-and-mortar alternative. Therefore, he will choose to shop offline, despite his good attitude toward shopping on the Internet.

Online stores recommend certain products over others, while all websites offer descriptions for every single product, it may well not always be the best thing because the explanations can be either too basic or too detailed, making it difficult to compare several products on the features. A negative aspect of shopping online is the communication dissatisfaction because consumers miss that in person link, devoid of the best person open to offer an immediate answer. However websites now provide unbiased reviews by customers who have brought each product and screen their own personal opinion which in the long run is effective to consumers since it helps improve their decision on whether or not to purchase a product.

Other advantages and disadvantages for shopping online include: (see appendix)

Perspective of consumer behaviour

Retailers and researchers have been aware that shopping is not only a matter of acquiring tangible products but also about experience, entertainment and entertainment. Inside the e-shopping context, experience and excitement result from consumers interactions with an e-retail site. Factors can impact a consumer's decision when shopping on the internet, these include the following

Image: Traditional sellers with strong images have long been making the running in e-retail. Regarding to Kimber (2001) instore and online shopper loyalty are linked. Image is the significant understanding from the eyes of the buyer to develop their overall analysis or rating, in such a way to steer their decision making process. Individuals are much more likely to obtain a store that they consider to truly have a positive image e. g. price, brand or customer support. For example Tesco is recognised as possessing a positive image both instore and online, being the united kingdom grocery market leader in both programs and the world's greatest e-grocer.

Social: One interpersonal interaction is guide groups. These are groups that provide as a spot of reference point for a person. They are perceived as credible and powerful can transform consumers attitude and behavior (see table1 appendix major consumer reference point group pg332). When having uncertainties about obtaining appropriate information about products, consumers are much more likely to talk to like-minded people who can make a difference motivators that affect decisions. Consumer related guide groups are the following: (see appendix - e book page 334)

Opinion leadership unofficially affect the actions or behaviour of consumers who may be judgment seekers or simply opinion recipients. Point of view leaders are highly credible sources of information because their motives are regarded as being in the best interest of the opinion receiver because unlike commercial endorsers, opinion leaders do not actually symbolize the interests of one company and acquire no compensation because of their advice. Comparisons of judgment market leaders and receivers (appendix pg 506)

Product characteristics: Consumers decisions if to shop online are also affected by all of the products available. Essentially some product categories are definitely more ideal for online shopping than other categories, having less physical contact and assistance in shopping on the Internet is one factor that influences this suitability. Kare Sterling silver (2001) created the electronic digital shopping test to measure a product to calculate the chances that it'll be purchased online. Three factors afflicted the sell for products

Product Characteristics

Familiarity and Confidence

Consumer Attributes

More information + exemplory case of digital shopping test (appendix)

Brand marketing

Brands are a lot more important on the internet with further opponents due to the global presences; brands will be the link to maintaining the partnership between e-retailers and consumers. Consumers have a variety of choices and will be more liable to choose e-retailers they know who stand for value and are dependable.

Brand elements will be the point of contact between the brand and consumer which is supposed to mirror the needed appear and feel of the brand and what it signifies. For the brand to achieve success all elements must be put in place effectively, however branding an organization as something they do not symbolize is worse than no branding by any means because it raises consumer anticipations about the grade of what they will receive.

Lindstorm (2001) dictates both trust and interactivity are the main factors when shopping on the internet. Consumers belief of e-brands are influenced by their total experience on the site, making trust a substantial long-term barrier because there is no personal interaction buying on the internet offers potential dangers e. g. security ventures.

E-retailers can interact and build trust with consumers in a number of ways (appendix style of e-branding pg 176).

E-retail mix aids e-retailers to attain designated objectives. Prices and advertising stay a key factor but online e-retailers benefit from using banner advertising, pop ups and internet affiliate marketing.

Difference kinds of retail combination and e-retail mixture (appendix)

Loyalty marketing strategies, including communication and two-way dialog, rewards, effective customer support and service commitment techniques and are an important aspect of brand building (Cuthbertson and Bridson, 2006). The best way Adidas use the e-mix effectively is to permit consumers to make accounts to make their shopping experience easier. They provide exclusive bargains/discounts on products, in a position to keep track of purchases and personalised homepage when agreed upon in makes consumers feel the brand are paying great attention to their needs, help build and keep maintaining a marriage.

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