Shopping: At the Mall vs. on the Internet

Technological development brings immense benefits to man, which is reflected in its advantages like lower costs, time, or efforts. Almost every domain has witnessed the introduction of technology in one form or other. The world has indeed been transformed with the introduction of technology, and in this 21st century, technology has become more and more important to our society.  Education, healthcare, transport, communication are among the sectors that have benefitted from technology introduction. Commerce is also an important area that saw technology-backed revolutionary changes in the form of ecommerce and online shopping.  Ecommerce in the US grew from $72 billion in 2002 to $256 billion in 2011.

With online shopping, we are no longer required to visit malls to make a purchase. By just sitting at the comfort of our homes, we can buy the required products and also pay online.  Online shopping is fast, convenient with your goods reaching you at your door step.  There is now no need to drive down to the mall, saving you money, time, and effort. However the biggest gain is the environment, thanks to the green purchase. According to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, shipping a couple of 20 pound packages by air, consumes lesser fuel than driving 20 miles to the mall.

With online shopping, not just the buyers, but sellers too who are seeing benefits. Setting up a physical store involves huge setup costs and recurring operational costs. Unsold products only occupy premium space, apart from resources required to manage them. On the other hand virtual stores ensure product movement based on orders. Also while purchases at physical shops by customers is restricted by several factors like distance, transport, shop timings etc., there are no such barriers to online shopping.  Online shoppers can find more irresistible offers and discounts compared to physical shops, due to their lower operational costs. 

Technology is more often accompanied with disadvantages and online shopping is no exception. The Internet is prone to cybercrimes and online shopping is facilitated by this Internet. Cyber criminals like Identity thieves prowl the Internet looking for unsuspecting targets to steal their credit card details. Armed with sophisticated hacking and tracking software, they break the security protocols and access confidential credit card information which they use to benefit. Many people are very wary of online shopping because of the risks involved in them.

It is no wonder that online shopping is growing by leap and bounds year-over-year.  There are inherent risks involved with online shopping, which nonetheless can be offset or at least reduced by appropriate precautions. Online shopping is indeed a boon for us in this fast world of today.