Online shopping: 22-year experience
A question to Armenian radio:
– What’s the soviet sclerosis?
– It’s when a soviet citizen goes shopping, but as he opens the bag on his way, the doubts occur as to whether he is just going to a shop or is already coming back from it.
For the generation that has gone through the soviet deficit times, today’s unlimited choice may seem a wild superfluity. For our grannies and grandpas, the very process where their grandchild fill a virtual basket with a variety of real goods by several mouse clicks, keep seating on a sofa, seems like a fiction movie.
Whereas for their grandchild, online shopping is just a part of daily routine: if you have money, finding goods is just the matter of applying right skills. On a side note, the first online purchase was made in 1994, and that was Sting’s album ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales‘.
Serious studies revealed that online shopping causes addiction. Once you try it, you want to do it over and over again…As a result, you are facing a risk of becoming an Internet shopaholic. Just imagine that this year people have purchased more online than in real shops.
Advantages of online shopping are numerous and obvious, whereas disadvantages are very few and minor
Most obvious advantages are as follows:
- It’s comfortable: a sofa, beer or coffee, depending on your preferences. And all that without additional buying scrums and worn out shoes. You just choose goods based on pictures and detailed description.
- Time-consuming: instead of running from floor to floor in a shopping mall, browsing the shop shelves for the goods you need, you just click the mouse and order whatever you want. Besides, you can do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…
- Good bargain: you can compare prices in several online stores within the seconds and choose the right product at a bargain price.
- Delivery service: goods are shipped to you from any spot of the world, sometimes even free of charge.
This list goes on, but there is ‘a reverse side of the medal’:
Security: to pay online, you will have to provide details of your personal data, there is no way avoiding it. And if a website, where you buy goods, is not enough protected, this information may fall into anyone’s hands, including the swindlers.
So, be cautious: use the legitimate sites that have, for example, such logos as: ‘Verified by VISA, MasterCard Secure Code’.
Nonconformity: goods available on online stores are not tangible; you can’t feel their size, check their quality. An inventive vendor can take a picture of a product so that it will seem attractive and of high-quality to you, but in fact you will get something contrary. Information that an image is different from the real merchandise may be given in small type, in a secluded corner of the website.
So, be cautious! There are shrewd swindlers at any corner.
You should carefully read a product description, otherwise you may find yourself in a situation similar to that one of my friends got in. He ordered a four-seater tent (very cheap, which is already suspicious – there’s always free cheese in a mousetrap) on eBay. My friend is not that fluent in English, to say the least of it. He flicked through the pictures, chose one, paid about US$ 30 and received a parcel two weeks later. The product matched the description, except for its size. The tent couldn’t fit anything but my friend’s four fingers. It was just a layout!
Studies show that men shop online more often and at a larger scale. Women prefer to do real shopping, because it’s a complex phenomenon, comprising a number of most pleasant ‘procedures’. For example, yesterday I heard my neighbor inviting her friend to go shopping together, promising her an unforgettable experience.
Nevertheless, researches predict bright future for online shopping, with its rates and turnover increasing from year to year. Vendors, who placed their goods in virtual world yesterday, today already enjoy an advantage in the trade field.