Online Shopping: Risks and Benefits

1417 Words Mar 12th, 2011 6 Pages
Online Shopping: Risks and Benefits There has long been a need for the consumer to purchase goods without ever having to leave their home. The industry started with mail order catalogs such as Sears Roebuck that offered consumers the convenience to order goods without having to travel a long distance to see what was available. The catalog offered everything from clothing to toys, and even farming equipment that made it easier for early American families to purchase goods without having to travel to a city possibly hundreds of miles away. The industry has come a long way since the golden years of the Sears catalog. When the personal computer was invented in 1976 people were astonished at its power. After later development and the PC …show more content…
There aren’t shelves to place impulse items on for customers to see on their way in or way out of the door. The customer can click on what they need, purchase it, and be finished.
When customers shop online, it is far easier to compare prices at different online stores than it is to compare prices of retail stores. When shopping online one can browse seamlessly site after site and even tab between different online stores with just the press of a button. When comparing prices from retail and outlet stores, it means looking at sales papers and going from store to store to hunt down that great deal which can consume a great deal of time (Hobbs).

Many people have been skeptical about shopping online. With its benefits, also come great risks and disadvantages. One of the most common problems with shopping online is security. When purchasing an item off the internet, it is important to know that the site is secure (Snowdon). Personal information such as credit card numbers, addresses, and even personal computers need to be protected from any type of threat. There are sites that are built specifically just to phish information like email addresses, usernames, and passwords; therefore, when consumers want to make a purchase online, they really have to trust the site and know it is secure and that their information is not at risk.
Another disadvantage of shopping online is that it is not a hands-on purchase. Customers like to see and hold what they are