"The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow."
The picture of shopping in the contemporary world has changed dynamically in such a short span of time. Gone are the days when people used to stand in long queues to get their bills done. Now, they just have to tap a couple of times on their smart devices and their order gets placed in no time. This is one of the crucial reasons why online shopping has become the smartest way to shop for everything.
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Moreover, the dynamics of the contemporary world have been changing at a rampant pace and slowly but surely the concept of the world becoming a global village is gaining the major limelight. Besides, the latest technological advancements have made it so easy for people to shop everything online that people have made online shopping a new normal and this trend will only grow in the future. As a matter of fact, the market for e-commerce sales is expected to reach USD 7.3 trillion by 2025 (business et al., 2022).
To continue, when Covid hit, many businesses had to shut down and many businesses went online for fear of shutting down. Besides, people were also scared to get out of their homes and convenient delivery in hard times became one of the major reasons that the trend of online shopping got widely popular all across the globe. Right from ordering big electronics items such as T.V or microwaves, people even started purchasing groceries online.
However, every coin has two sides and the same is the scenario in the case of online shopping as well. With many exceptional advantages that came along with the trend of online shopping, some influencing disadvantages followed. So, shedding light on the same, this online shopping essay will effectively highlight the top merits and demerits of online shopping along with the latest trends in the contemporary world. Additionally, this blog will also present a sample essay for students.
Advantages of Online Shopping
1. Stress and influence free shopping
People often feel pressured and stressed when they have constant interference from the side of sales representatives on what to purchase and what not to. Besides, sometimes because of this constant indulgence, people impulsively end up purchasing things they do not need.
However, this scenario changes when people purchase through online mediums. Although online shopping has also introduced various forms of AI-based assistance, this comes purely voluntarily. People can shop stress freely with minimum interference from the seller’s side. Moreover, people can purchase whatever they like because there will be no salesperson to influence their purchase decision one way or another.
2. Better deals and offers
In online shopping, many products reach their consumers directly without the interference of middlemen. As there will be no middlemen commission, this fact often impacts the prices of products sold directly by manufacturers online. This is the reason, people get heavy discounts and good deals while purchasing through e-commerce sites.
In fact, as per statistics, 39% of the consumers claim that online coupons and discounts are one of the major reasons they shop online.
Moreover, when payments are made through online wallets and cards, fintech and e-banks also provide extra cashback to their customers which reduces the prices of products even more. This saves huge amounts of money for online shoppers and that becomes another merit that encourages people to shop online.
3. Easy comparisons
There are many websites that sell the same products to their target audience at different prices. As all the websites are just a click away, it becomes easier for consumers to compare all the prices and make a well-informed decision about purchasing at the right price.
Moreover, this factor also eliminates the opportunity for e-commerce players to create a monopoly. Additionally, there are many websites such as Google Shopping that provide the pricing information for every single product sold across all the e-commerce websites.
This has even made it easier for consumers by eliminating the hassle to switch between different websites to compare the prices. This way, consumers will be able to compare all the prices and offers that brands are providing their target audience.
4. The convenience of time and place
One of the favorite merits that consumers love about online shopping is that it allows consumers to shop at their convenience of time and place. Now people can purchase their favorite jeans by sitting in their comfortable pajamas at home. This prevents consumers from the hassle of actually traveling to the store and standing in long queues to get their favorite pair of jeans.
Besides, online sites are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. This provides consumers with the opportunity to shop at any time of the day they feel like shopping for new items. This ease of time and place for consumers became the biggest advantage of online shopping.
5. Easier purchase of personal products
There are many personal products that people might feel hesitant to purchase from regular brick-and-mortar stores. This is where the last benefit of online shopping comes into the picture. Online shopping allows people to purchase their personal items by sitting in their comfortable environments.
To continue, this makes it easier for people to purchase their personal items which saves them from the embarrassment they have to face while purchasing those things in brick and mortar stores.
Now that we have discovered the exclusive advantages of online shopping, the next section sheds light on the disadvantages of online shopping.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
1. Enhanced chances of online fraud
In recent times, consumers are fascinated by the concept of online shopping because of its exceptional benefits but on the same hand, they are equally afraid of online fraud. This becomes one of the biggest disadvantages of online shopping. In fact, 74% of the victims faced online scams in 2021 ("Percentage of online shopping scam victims down to 74%: Report", 2022). This has made people refrain from and think twice before making a decision about online purchasing.
Besides, people are also afraid of the fact that for purchasing online, they have to fill up their confidential information which might result in a data breach, which is one of the most common ethical issues in the contemporary world.
2. Lack of touch-feel-try
One of the main issues faced by consumers in online shopping is that they fear that the quality of the product might not be as good as displayed. In brick and mortar stores, people can actually touch and try the quality of the products themselves which is missing in online shopping.
To continue, seeing the image and the description often make consumers doubtful about the quality of products, especially in the case of purchasing clothes online. This is another main reason people avoid purchasing online because there are chances that the quality in the description might not match the original quality of items.
3. Complicated returns
Many times, it has happened to people who purchased something online and do not like it. In such situations, if they wish to return it, they might need to face many complications. The return policies of every company are different. Some companies might demand extra shipping costs at the time of return or some simply won't take it back.
This again becomes a headache for the consumers. Based on this, they avoid purchasing online, and hence, this becomes another disadvantage for people refraining from purchasing online.
4. Threat to local retailers
As all the coming generations are becoming more and more tech-savvy, people are preferring online shopping rather than going to traditional stores. This has posed a new threat to the local retail stores that are not so tech savvy for selling online.
As the commission of intermediaries is eliminated in online shopping, it reduces the overall cost of products which attracts more customers to shop online. The case is not the same in the case of physical stores. That is the reason many businesses can not afford to sell at the same prices as online stores. This has even resulted in many businesses shutting down because of continuous losses due to the rise of people's interest in online shopping.
5. Unpredicted delays and deliveries
Although it is super easy to place online orders of various products and services, sellers often neglect the need for keeping track of their dispatched products which reflects the poor performance of their supply chain. This might end up resulting in unprecedented delays in deliveries.
This adds up to a poor customer experience of consumers which might end up frustrating consumers. In fact, as per the latest statistical data, 69% of consumers are most likely to avoid online shopping with retailers if the purchased items do not get delivered within two days of the date promised. Hence, these unprecedented delays in the deliveries might result in preventing consumers from purchasing online.
After comprehending the detailed information on the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping, now it's time to look at the situation of the e-commerce industry after the pandemic.
Increase in Global e-commerce After Covid
Approximately two years back the global Covid-19 pandemic hit all the top economies severely. Where every industry faced the negative consequences of the pandemic, the e-commerce industry experienced a major hike in online sales. With the fear of being a victim of Covid19, people stayed indoors and preferred shopping online and this is the major reason behind the hike in online shopping.
Irrespective of movement restrictions implied due to Covid-19, as per statistics, e-commerce experienced a dramatic rise which resulted in a rise in retail share from 16% to 19% in 2020. Additionally, the report also revealed that global e-commerce touched the market value of 26.7 trillion which was 4% higher than last year's retail sales.
As of 2021, the market value of e-commerce was marked at the market value of USD 13 Trillion. The numbers are very much expected to reach a market value of USD 55.6 Trillion by 2027 rising at a CAGR of 27.4% during 2022-2027 (E-Commerce Market: Global Industry Trends, 2022).
To elaborate, countries like the United Kingdom and the United States experienced 4.5 times and 3.3 times growth respectively in the year 2020 compared to the average percentage of growth in the last 5 years. Whereas, countries like India, Germany, and China saw a rise in retail online shopping by 2.1, 2.3, and 1.6 times retail sales growth respectively in the corresponding year. This data implies that the growth of the online shopping market or e-commerce market has experienced 2 to 5 times more rapid growth after the pandemic.
The above-given data is pretty evident that the situation of e-commerce saw drastic changes in a really short period of time. Hence, if the e-commerce sector experienced a rise, the changes in the trends of online shopping would also have changed at a rampant pace. That being said, the next section sheds light on the latest technological and social trends in online shopping.
The Latest Technological Trends in Online Shopping
With the advancements in technology, the competition in the contemporary business world is also rising to another extent. This cutthroat competition has encouraged almost every business to hop on the bandwagon and adopt all the latest technological trends that the consumers of the modern world like. Some of the exceptional technological trends in online shopping are mentioned below:
1. Mobile friendly shopping sites
The increasing mobile usage gave a boost to purchasing online shopping through mobile phones. In fact, 62% of mobile users use their mobile phones to use it for online shopping and 42% of the customers use mobile phones as their primary shopping device(Ladhari et al., 2019). So, making mobile-friendly shopping sites became a massive trend all across the globe.
Headless eCommerce solutions emerge as an invaluable tool to build websites that offer unparalleled customization, swift loading times, and seamless responsiveness on all devices.
2. Delivery by drone
To avoid the deliveries that included human touch, after the pandemic, the trend of delivery by drone became massively popular in the e-commerce sector. In fact, as per the latest statistics, the delivery through drone market is projected to reach USD 228 million in 2022 to USD 5,556 million by the end of 2030, at a CAGR of 49.0% from 2022 to 2030.
3. Voice search
The world was already fascinated by the concept of Alexa and Siri but this fascination got fueled when online shopping sites introduced the trend of voice search. Voice search statistics from Oberlo also validated that 71% of the consumers preferred voice search rather than typing. This infatuation of consumers with the AI-based voice search made it one of the most popular trends in online shopping.
4. Buy now pay later
BNPL stands for Buy Now Pay Later which is one of the major factors that encourage consumers to shop online. BNPL is the process that allows customers to pay the installments of purchased products at interest-free rates.
To continue, the whole trend of BNPL was possible when e-commerce collaborated with fintech companies and made the possession possible. As a matter of fact, every three out of 5 BNPL users prefer BNPL over credit cards ("30+ Buy Now, Pay Later Trends & Statistics for Banks in 2022", 2022). This convenient financing gave rise to both fintech companies and the e-commerce sector a great boost. This profitable growth made BNPL become a popular technological trend in online shopping.
Global Social Trends in Online Shopping
The trend of online shopping is enhancing all around the globe at an unprecedented pace and the market size of online shopping nearly hit 4 Trillion in 2020 ("Online Shopping Statistics You Need to Know in 2022", 2022). These numbers contributed to covering 91% of the world’s population and this trend is not going to slow down in the future as well.
However, the preferences of modern consumers are also getting modern and this is the reason almost every consumer is preferring online shopping over the traditional methods of purchasing things. Every country experiences a different consumer preference in terms of online shopping. Some of the latest social trends in online shopping as per the preferences of consumers in the major countries are mentioned below.
1. The United States of America
The USA is one of the leading countries that has the highest average e-commerce revenue per shopper which is estimated to be USD 1,804. This implies that the e-commerce sector generates USD1,804 on average from every online shopper in America.
Besides, Statista estimated that there would be more than 300 million online shoppers in the US alone by the end of 2025. Additionally, the most popular categories of purchasing items online by Americans are fashion and electronics & media.
The annual reports on the online shopping habits of Aussies revealed that the spending habits of Australians have significantly increased by 40% year on year and up 700% from 2019 after the pandemic. The data revealed that post-pandemic, more than half of the payments and shopping of Australians are done thoroughly online. That’s a whopping increase of 14% when compared to pre-pandemic (Busby, 2022).
Other than this, Australian online shoppers are also very huge fans of purchasing through social media. In fact, as per statistics, 47% of Australians purchase through social media at least once a month and almost a quarter of Aussies account for 25% of purchases through social media at least once a week. Besides, the most popular forms of social media shopping platforms for Australian consumers are Facebook with 70%, Instagram with a share of 42% a close competition of 12% between Snapchat and TikTok.
3. The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is another leading country that has an average of USD 1,629 which is the second highest average e-commerce revenue per shopper as stated by Oberlo. This implies that the trend of online shopping is massively accepted by people living in the United Kingdom. Currently, more than 50% of UK consumers are shopping online and this online spend is predicted to increase by 29.6% between the year 2019 to 2024.
Besides, the trend of social e-commerce is also improving impressively in the country. As a matter of fact, statistics substantiate that more than 50% of the population in the United Kingdom depends on social commerce for buying fashion products.
As the usage of the internet and smartphones is increasing in India, the country experienced a rise in online shoppers as well. In fact, statistics by LiveMint state that online shoppers have doubled in recent years and touched 210 million - 230 million in the year 2021.
This implies that Indian consumers recently acknowledged the benefits of online shopping and the growth of online shopping was marked at USD 50 Billion as of 2021. Now, the e-commerce industry is ready to touch the market value of USD 300 billion by 2030 which will be a sixfold growth compared to the previous statistics ("Online retail spending in India to hit $300 bn by 2030: report", 2022).
The growth of online users in Malaysia is all set to touch the number of 18.3 million users by 2025. This has enhanced opportunities for the e-commerce industry as well. In fact, as per Global Data, the e-commerce market is expected to skyrocket at a CAGR of 14.3% and reach a market value of MYR 51.6bn (USD12.6bn) by 2024.
This growth is only possible because the millennials of the country are becoming more and more tech-savvy. This has made it possible for Malaysia to become one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Besides, the closure of physical stores in Malaysia encouraged people to shop even the minute things online and with this credit cards became the favorite payment method of the Malaysians ("COVID-19 accelerates e-commerce growth in Malaysia, says GlobalData - GlobalData", 2022).
Online shopping essay: Sample essay
With the pace at which the trend of online shopping is increasing, this trend will only get bigger in the future as well. Just like every other country, the e-commerce market of Malaysia is also experiencing a huge wave of growth. Moreover, many of the students often get tangled in writing an online shopping essay. Therefore, the subsequent section provides a sample essay on the rising influence of online shopping in Malaysia. This sample essay gives you a perfect template of how you can write a high-scoring essay. Besides, for essays on other topics, you can go through our sample essays section.
By 2025, the global e-commerce revenue is projected to reach USD 5.87 trillion and this is a clear narrative validating the paradigm shift in ways of shopping. Also, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a major catalyst of growth for e-commerce. The inception of online shopping dates back to the late 1970s and since then, e-commerce has spread to all parts of the world in a scintillating way. Like most countries, e-commerce is booming in Malaysia and opening new horizons of opportunities for businesses and sellers in Malaysia while bringing great convenience to shoppers. The increasing internet and mobile penetration has escalated the growth of the Malaysian e-commerce sector. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the whole of Southeast Asia. This essay will firstly present in-depth information about the rising influence of online shopping in Malaysia. Secondly, it discusses how the changing preferences of consumers are boosting the e-commerce market of the country.
To begin with, the preferences of the contemporary consumers of Malaysia have changed significantly. People are adopting digital shopping as the new normal and this digital consumption will only increase in the future. As per Marketing Strategies, nearly half of the Malaysians have cited online shopping as their primary channel of shopping. This trend of online shopping has not only provided benefits to its people but has also given a huge boost to the e-commerce sector of the country. Besides, currently, 80% of Malaysians representing 27.4 million people are active internet users and the mobile penetration is as high as 84.2% ("Malaysia - eCommerce", 2022). This gave a boost to the mobile-commerce sector and the trend of online shopping altogether. In fact, the mobile-commerce market size was valued at USD 1.9 Billion which contributed to 47% of the total e-commerce market size ("E-commerce payments trends: Malaysia", 2022).
In fact, as of 2021, Malaysia stood the 35th country in terms of the largest e-commerce market with a revenue of USD 6.3 billion. Furthermore, this growth is predicted that the country will experience a 15% yearly growth rate between the years 2021 to 2025 ("eCommerce Market Malaysia - Data, Trends, Top Stores", 2022). This growth was accelerated after the pandemic took a hit at a global level in 2020. As the result of movement restrictions, online shopping and e-commerce became the golden break for people to get the necessaries delivered to their doorstep.
The tech-savvy generation became the major dominant of the e-commerce sector in Malaysia. As a matter of fact, younger generations are not only very well familiar with e-commerce but they can also process website-based information 5 times faster than the older generation (Muda, Mohd & Hassan, 2016). The tech-savvy generation became the major dominant of the e-commerce sector in Malaysia. As a matter of fact, younger generations are not only very well familiar with e-commerce but they can also process website-based information 5 times faster than the older generation (Muda, Mohd & Hassan, 2016).
To continue, the categories of the product that impressed the e-commerce clientele base of Malaysia were electronics and media, followed by furniture and appliances accounting for USD 4.77 million and USD 3.56 million in sales respectively. However, by the end of 2022, the categories are expected to exchange their current places and hit the target value of USD 1.02 billion and USD 6.29 million respectively. Some of the most popular e-commerce sites are Lazada.com.my, Fashionvalet, Alibaba.com, 11th Street.my, and many more.
Along with the people, the government of the country also has a major role in encouraging the growth of the e-commerce sector in Malaysia. Recently the Malaysian government launched DFTZ (Digital Free Trade Zone) to escalate the already well-growing e-commerce sector of the country. The initiative was focused on major 2 major goals:
- To develop a KLIA acropolis in a logistic center to make Malaysia into a regional e-commerce fulfillment hub.
- To give a boost to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the specific target for export is to reach USD 38 Billion by 2025 ("The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ): Putting Malaysia’s SMEs onto the Digital Silk Road | HKTDC Belt and Road Portal", 2022).
This escalated growth of the country benefited the whole world as well. In 2020, when the whole world was battling the pandemic, the Malaysian e-commerce market contributed to a worldwide growth rate of 26%. In fact, now consumers are also preferring global brands over local manufacturers and this is majorly possible due to e-commerce and globalization. As a matter of fact, every 9 in 10 consumers of Malaysia prefer buying global brands when it comes to purchasing baby products. This implies that the rising influence of e-commerce has made it feasible for consumers of Malaysia to purchase from the brands even if they don't have the brick-and-mortar stores of the desired brands in their own city.
To encapsulate, from all the above-given information, it is pretty evident that the trend of online shopping, slowly but surely, is becoming the new normal in the contemporary business world. This has only been possible because people were effectively exposed to the internet and e-commerce market. Besides, irrespective of the shut down of physical stores, the Malaysian e-commerce market is a great example reflecting that companies can still escalate their businesses with the help of online shopping and the e-commerce sectors.
To give a gist of the overall online shopping scenario, it can be said that the trend of online shopping is rising at a rampant pace. Although there are some notable disadvantages of online shopping, if wisely worked on, businesses can effectively eliminate them and enjoy the exceptional benefits of online shopping. Besides, emerging technologies are changing the e-commerce industry at an unprecedented pace in alignment with the ever-evolving consumer trends. To implement these trends effectively, organizations will need to rely on efficient change management models.
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