Is online shopping a better way to shop?
In order to provide an interesting reading of the topic, the topic of debate is dealt with from an Indian perspective. Nowadays on line banking and on line shopping is very much talked about and even given wide publicity. But when one considers the actual number of the users of these facilities, it is almost negligible.
Before dealing with the topic with a native flavor, it is necessary to have a fairly good idea of what is online shopping. Online shopping is nothing but purchasing things or your requirements from your favorite shop by browsing through the web world using internet facility. In other words, keeping yourself wherever you are and order for things whatever you want using the online channels available in the internet.
Though it may seem very convenient to purchase anything you want at your fingertips, without moving yourself, without wasting your energy as well as the fuel of your vehicle, and above all purchase anything from any remote corner of the world, still online shopping has very serious drawbacks, when we proceed to analyze it a little deeper.
Online shopping is not a better way to shop as far as the common man in India is concerned because his needs and requirements are very limited and are actually in a low profile and they are not available in the online shopping.
In the US, a common man can go for online shopping to purchase anything ranging from his basic needs like groceries, vegetables, eatables, dress materials like shirts, jeans of very popular brands for the elders as well as for the children, shoes, automobiles beginning from two wheelers to four wheelers, books, computers with their hardware and software, houses to get yourself accommodated either by purchase or mortgage ranging from a small house to palatial building in any remote corner of US, to suit your needs, tastes along with your concerns of safety and transportation.
But in India, online shopping facility is available only to a limited extent pertaining to limited goods only and being availed only by the people from the high society with a high income group who have internet facilities. Irrespective of the economic status of the people, who avail online shopping facility, it has got its own serious drawbacks.
Though online shopping is helpful to dispense with your presence at the concerned shop and thereby helpful to save your precious time, the thing you ordered for or purchased , take its own time to reach your home involving expenses of transportation from the shop to your home. Suppose you shop anything online from any remote corner of the world, say from amazon.com, a reputed online shop having a wide range of products for sale, your purchased good carry the additional charges of freight like shipping and other forms of transportation and duties.
When you shop online from a remote corner of the world, there is no guarantee that you will get those goods safely and in a good condition, even assuming that the goods sent to you are duly insured. If any dispute arises involving online shopping, the adjudication of the dispute invariably takes place only within the jurisdiction of the place or country where the online shop is located. You may even question, when I shop through online from my home, why should I go anywhere else to get my online shopping disputes resolved? But that is the reality.
While shopping through the online you go by the details given in the concerned website and there is no guarantee that the goods purchased by you will always conform to the descriptions furnished in the web site.Actually while shopping online you lose the personal touch of seeing, examining, selecting a thing from a number of goods according to your choice and satisfaction.
An Indian girl or lady cannot even imagine shopping online, say purchase a saree, a blouse or chudidar or her favourite jewelry, because she visits a number of cloth stores a minimum of at least three to four, picks up a minimum of five or six and finally chooses one or two.
Though in online shopping we have the offers of discounts and rebates on various goods they sell, a typical Indian consumer will not ordinarily be satisfied, unless he or she haggles or bargain to the best of her ability or satisfaction and get the price reduced and finally purchase a thing at a cheaper price. In other words we can say Indians are masters in haggling or bargaining while purchasing anything and he or she seldom goes to a shop where they sell anything on a fixed price. That is why in India we have a number of places with shopping mals whether it be Karolbog in Delhi or a Moore Market or a Pondy Bazaar in Chennai or a Sunday market in Puducherry, where haggling or bargaining is the order of the day. In other words, most of the Indians do not prefer to shop online where there is very little scope for their favorite bargaining business. An average Indian will not sleep peacefully unless he or she purchased anything by haggling over or by bargaining something!
Moreover we cannot purchase perishable goods like vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat etc through online shopping since we have no guarantee for their quality. Again except for the packed or tinned items, we cannot purchase eatables through online shopping, because we mostly prefer either fresh or hot or cool items supplied on the spot, lest they will lose their flavor and taste.
Though we have adequate details and descriptions about the goods we purchase while shopping online, still a vigilant consumer cannot scrutinize or vouchsafe for their batch number, quality of the product, whether it is a old stock or a new stock etc. Even while purchasing a book though we can have the details of editions etc, still we cannot personally examine the quality of the paper in which it has been published.
While shopping online mostly we can purchase only packed items or in specific units say a minimum of 1 Kg or one unit or multiple units and retail purchase in a lesser quantity is not possible.
Of late, in India one can have a railway ticket or a cinema ticket by online, which is somewhat a less cumbersome process, but generally online shopping can be made by persons who have either a debit card or a credit card facility, which is beyond the reach of an average Indian, unlike a common man in the US where people mostly thrive on credit cards and struggle to maintain their credit rating.
Therefore, it can be safely concluded that from a common mans’ point of view and even viewed from many other angles, online shopping is not a better way to shop and we can rather say it is a risky proposition.