Have you ever thought about how technology has made our lives so much easier and faster? I am talking about Online Shopping. We can order almost anything we want off the internet, from accessories and clothes to furniture and home appliances. Heck, my friend even ordered Cannabis pills online (Medicinal, of course). So due to COVID-19 pandemic, I am currently back in my home country, India. And India is a country where there is no lack of labour This enables online shopping to be a huge success in India because due to the large labour force, companies can offer very fast delivery, including same-day delivery. During the pandemic, there was a lockdown in almost all countries. For India specifically, shops selling essential items were open but still most people preferred to order stuff online to avoid going out unnecessarily. Even after the lockdown was removed, and shops were opened, most people prefer to shop online. One of the main reasons for this is the ease of shopping online with the convenience of staying at home. The evolution of this sector and the growth opportunities in the sector were already on a rise but have grown exponentially due to the pandemic. People can buy almost everything they can think off online. This online market is also probably the most competitive market ever as people have the option to look at various options and varieties of the same product without having to physically go to different stores. This enables the people to explore products and get the best out of it. Moreover, nowadays, online shopping is not even restricted only to products as you can even order services online. For example, there is an app in India called UrbanCompany which allows you to book appointments for beauty services, plumbers, electricians, cleaning services, etc. It is as easy as downloading the app. People don’t even need to be tech-savvy to take advantage of these different online-shopping apps and services as they are designed to be easy to use by everyone. At the same time, because of the boon of online shopping, people are definitely becoming technologically advanced. For some, looking at products online on these websites is also a hobby or time-pass. For example, my grandmother loves to scroll through Amazon all day on her mobile. However, this can also easily become an addiction for some and people can lose track of how much money they’ve spent on online shopping since it’s so easy. Further, there are obviously some websites which scam people and entice them through low prices. They may steal the credit card information or take the money but not deliver the product, or deliver something different than promised or fake product copies. For example, there was a scandal a few years ago, where someone ordered an iphone but they got a bar of soap instead (actually happened a few times). Therefore, while the world of online shopping has its benefits and can be an amazing place, we should still be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. 

What is your take on online shopping? Do you shop online often? 
I personally love online shopping because it is just so easy and fast.  

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  • S1962574
    Posted October 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm 0Likes

    This blog post came at the right time, because I just placed an order at an online webshop a few hours ago (as my phone charger broke down last night and I wanted to purchase the exact same one). In regards to being wary of deals, I do find myself only shopping at places I know or have heard my friends talk about (and I also try to order from independent shops where possible), so this is personally not that much of a problem for me. While I also think it’s amazing that we can order products with so much ease, I do worry about the fact that we can return these products just as easily (not from a consumer point of view, but more from an environmental point of view). According to the NOS news website, Dutch people are ‘the European champion of returning products’ (about 15% of packages gets returned) and while this also brings unnecessary costs for the webshop, it also has negative environmental effects. See this webpage for more: https://app.nos.nl/op3/pakjes/index.html (it’s only in Dutch unfortunately). So while I agree that online shopping is a great convenience, I sometimes wish that webshops would make it a bit harder, so consumers (including myself) are made more aware of their buying and returning habits.

  • isabellebordner
    Posted October 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm 0Likes

    I LOVE online shopping. I have always been an avid shopper and once the pandemic hit I had to turn to the internet. I have so many mixed feelings about online shopping. It is easier and you can do it from the comfort of your own home, yet there are a lot of issues with this. I feel like personally I tend to go for the cheaper items since shipping can usually be quite expensive. Yet these cheap products may or may not come from factories where workers are underpaid, etc. I always get nervous about ordering online and tend to spend a little extra on the insurance in case they try to scam me! I think that online shopping can 100% be addictive, and also easily get people to spend their money. Advertisers can make you feel like you NEED something that you actually don’t. At the end of the day, online shopping has its positives and its negatives. I think one huge positive is that smaller, independent businesses (which are popping up everywhere today) have the opportunity to still sell their products/services during these partial lockdown times.

  • emiliakempel
    Posted November 12, 2020 at 6:21 pm 0Likes

    I practically never shop in person – first because I am lazy and cannot be bothered to look and try things in the store and, – secondly it just takes too much time for me to decide what I actually want to get. So online shopping suits me perfectly. So far, I have never experienced any scamming or mismatch of the products besides the inconveniences of ordering the wrong sizes, but I think it is mostly due to the fact that I avoided sketchy websites. However, my point is that I tried that one app, which almost solved my ‘ordering the wrong size’ issue. I could not find it anymore on the AppStore. I guess it was taken down for some privacy issues, but anyway, it worked wonders. Basically, you would put your measurements into the app, and it would create a ‘not that very advanced looking’ 3d model of you, so it would know what size of clothes actually suits you. Then you browse for clothes, and once you found something that interests you, then go copy and paste the link into that app, and voila, it chooses the right size for you. But now, looking back, I see that it gathered a lot of personal information…

  • Emil
    Posted November 15, 2020 at 10:22 am 0Likes

    I really enjoy the topic and the discussion you started. Online shopping is a two-sided coin. Just as returning is a problem, it is obvious that some types of products are harder to inspect by just looking at photos rather than in person.
    I mostly use online shopping to buy products that are otherwise not available and to support brands that do not have a physical shop (especially during “lockdowns”).
    Accountability is hard to pin down in case of online shopping (who actually reads the 50 pages of FAQ?) which makes me more hesitant. This is not just in regard to traditional scamming, but even “serious” companies may blame the user for certain errors or malfuntioning products (see examples below).
    So I believe that transferring more and more services online has varied effects. For example, it may be more convenient for those with internet access, but discriminate against those without. Last I checked India had its peak of individual internet users at 30% of the total population (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.ZS?locations=IN). In addition, IF you encounter difficulties with any sort of app or online shop, I personally find it more stressful to resolve these problems online. An experience I made was with travel agencies that don´t even have a telephone number anymore. And what are you going to do if they never reply to emails but you want your money back for a flight they cancelled? Or an e-scooter brand that makes you pay the entry-fee before scanning your license, but the scanning function does not work. You have to invest time or don´t care about money. These are some of my bad experiences, I obviously also quite a few good ones where everything went just fine. But bigger societal implications that the increased use of online shopping has, are still to be seen.

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