By: Dan Farrell
Are you ready to join? The Internet shopping bandwagon,
that is. Shopping online has become increasingly popular
over the last few years, with new and improved safety
measures, specialty shops and giant retailers like
Overstock.com; all designed to entice shoppers.
In fact, shoppers spent $30.1 billion online this
season, up 30 percent from $23.2 billion last year,
according to Goldman Sachs, Nielsen/NetRatings and
Additionally, e-commerce transactions are estimated to
be close to 168 billion dollars for the year 2005. In
fact, in the year 2010 it is projected online sales
could top the 315 billion dollar mark (Forrester
Research 2005). One may ask, why such an increase?
Many factors can explain such increases. Improved
security measures, ease of use and convenience are just
a few of these factors. Let\'s explore these factors.
Security Measures- Despite all the fears of identity
theft, online transactions account for less than 4% of
identity theft. There are numerous software programs
available (some for free) that the user can download to
protect themselves from viruses and spyware. Worried
about spyware? Download a free spyware program at
www.safer-networking.com (called SpyBot Search &
Additionally, look for the locked padlock in the toolbar
and make sure the http changes to https in your browser.
The \"s\" indicates that the web site is a secure site
and adheres to the industry standard for security values
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Therefore, your personal
information is encrypted and stays private during
transmission over the Internet. If you use Internet
Explorer as your browser you will generally see a lock
in the bottom right of page which indicates that the
site has at least 128 bit encryption (which is safer
than shopping offline). Always delete sensitive
information when exiting any website and do not give
your credit card number to anyone requesting it in an
email (phishing scams). Follow these simple steps a safe
online shopping experience.
Ease of use- We have all seen the banner advertisements,
just click on them and they take you to the web site
advertised. Email advertising is growing in popularity
as well and includes a link to click on to take the user
to the site after they read the text ad. There are some
unique and catchy names of web sites that are easy to
remember. Have a favorite web site or shopping site?
Just bookmark it and add it to your collection of
Convenience- Ever wait in long lines during the holiday
season? What a time saver online shopping has become! No
lines to wait in, no parking hassles, no traffic, no gas
expense, no crowds and your merchandise can be shipped
right to your door!
Or, if you prefer, you can have your purchases gift
wrapped and delivered to another address. All you do is
sit at your computer with your shopping list and get
done in a few hours what may taken you several days and
trips to the mall to accomplish!
In many cases, you will spend less for the product as
well as the elimination of gas, time and parking at the
local mall. There is absolutely no need to be paranoid
about shopping online and the bargains and even
wholesale products that are dropshipped to you are
waiting to picked!
There are many more advantages to shopping online (we
have just covered a few) as well as some disadvantages,
but carefully weighed out; the smart shopper will
discover a happy medium between the two and e-commerce
will continue to grow and be a force in the economy for
years to come.