online - online shopping
 

 

Online Grocery Shopping

 

Online shopping is the process consumers go through to purchase products, goods or services over the Internet.

 

In Australia Coles & Woolworths are the leading grocery chains to offer online shopping & delivery. Woolworths have a smartphone application available. Download for iPhone here and Android here.

A newcomer to the online shopping market is NQR and you can vist their website here.

Compare the prices between Woolworths & Coles here.

 

Aldi, Franklins & IGA do not offer online shopping at the present time (May 2011) but I suspect that it won't be long! Aldi also have a smartphone application available for both iPhone and Android which can be downloaded here.

As of June 2015 Aldi offers home delivery on it's Grocery items only, using grocerybutler.com.au.

There are many other grocery outlets taking advantage of the online shopping revolution such as Catch.com, DoorBuster and Supply Warehouse does price comparisons between Coles, IGA & Woolworths stores.

Supports Australian Industry

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It has been reported in the media that Australian online shoppers pay a premium price for goods when compared to shoppers in the United States. The website hopshopgo.com allows you to purchase your goods using a shipping address in the US from which you can then ship to your Australian address. Visit their website here.

 

Food Delivery Online

There are websites where you can order you food online from various restaurants and have it delivered to your home. Some of these are Delivery Hero and

Menu Log.

 

Online Comparison Shopping

As the online shopping trend continues you will find many websites that allow you to compare prices. One of the most popular is Shopprice.

 

History

In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser. It opened for commercial use in 1991. In 1994 other advances took place, such as online banking and the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut. During that same year, Netscape introduced SSL encryption of data transferred online, which has become essential for secure online shopping. Also in 1994 the German company Intershop introduced its first online shopping system. In 1995 Amazon launched its online shopping site, and in 1996 eBay appeared.

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Customers

In recent years, online shopping has become popular; however, it still caters to the middle and upper class. In order to shop online, one must be able to have access to a computer, a bank account and a debit card. Shopping has evolved with the growth of technology. According to research found in the Journal of Electronic Commerce, if one focuses on the demographic characteristics of the in-home shopper, in general, the higher the level of education, income, and occupation of the head of the household, the more favourable the perception of non-store shopping., Enrique.(2005) The Impact of Internet User Shopping Patterns and Demographics on Consumer Mobile Buying Behaviour. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, An influential factor in consumer attitude towards non-store shopping is exposure to technology, since it has been demonstrated that increased exposure to technology increases the probability of developing favourable attitudes towards new shopping channels.

Online shopping widened the target audience to men and women of the middle class. At first, the main users of online shopping were young men with a high level of income and a university education. This profile is changing. For example, in USA in the early years of Internet there were very few women users, but by 2001 women were 52.8% of the online population.

Payment

Online shoppers commonly use a credit card or PayPal to make payments, however some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative means, such as:

Load and go pre-paid VISA - click here

Some sites will not accept international credit cards, some require both the purchaser's billing address and shipping address to be in the same country in which site does its business, and still other sites allow customers from anywhere to send gifts anywhere. The financial part of a transaction might be processed in real time (for example, letting the consumer know their credit card was declined before they log off), or might be done later as part of the fulfillment process.

 

Product delivery

Once a payment has been accepted the goods or services can be delivered in the following ways.

 

Convenience

Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day, and many consumers have Internet access both at work and at home. Other establishments such as internet cafes and schools provide access as well. A visit to a conventional retail store requires travel and must take place during business hours.

In the event of a problem with the item – it is not what the consumer ordered, or it is not what they expected – consumers are concerned with the ease with which they can return an item for the correct one or for a refund. Consumers may need to contact the retailer, visit the post office and pay return shipping, and then wait for a replacement or refund. Some online companies have more generous return policies to compensate for the traditional advantage of physical stores. For example, the online shoe retailer Zappos.com includes labels for free return shipping, and does not charge a restocking fee, even for returns which are not the result of merchant error. (Note: In the United Kingdom, online shops are prohibited from charging a restocking fee if the consumer cancels their order in accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Act 2000.

 

Price and selection

One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services with many different vendors (though some local search engines do exist to help consumers locate products for sale in nearby stores). Search engines, online price comparison services and discovery shopping engines can be used to look up sellers of a particular product or service.

Shipping costs (if applicable) reduce the price advantage of online merchandise, though depending on the jurisdiction, a lack of sales taxmay compensate for this.

Shipping a small number of items, especially from another country, is much more expensive than making the larger shipments bricks-and-mortar retailers order. Some retailers (especially those selling small, high-value items like electronics) offer free shipping on sufficiently large orders.

Another major advantage for retailers is the ability to rapidly switch suppliers and vendors without disrupting users' shopping experience.

Fraud and security concerns

Given the lack of ability to inspect merchandise before purchase, consumers are at higher risk of fraud on the part of the merchant than in a physical store. Merchants also risk fraudulent purchases using stolen credit cards or fraudulent repudiation of the online purchase. With a warehouse instead of a retail storefront, merchants face less risk from physical theft.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption has generally solved the problem of credit card numbers being intercepted in transit between the consumer and the merchant. Identity theft is still a concern for consumers when hackers break into a merchant's web site and steal names, addresses and credit card numbers. A number of high-profile break-ins in the 2000s has prompted some U.S. states to require disclosure to consumers when this happens. Computer security has thus become a major concern for merchants and e-commerce service providers, who deploy countermeasures such as firewalls and anti-virus software to protect their networks.

Phishing is another danger, where consumers are fooled into thinking they are dealing with a reputable retailer, when they have actually been manipulated into feeding private information to a system operated by a malicious party. Denial of service attacks are a minor risk for merchants, as are server and network outages.

Quality seals can be placed on the Shop web page if it has undergone an independent assessment and meets all requirements of the company issuing the seal. The purpose of these seals is to increase the confidence of the online shoppers; the existence of many different seals, or seals unfamiliar to consumers, may foil this effort to a certain extent. A number of resources offer advice on how consumers can protect themselves when using online retailer services. These include:

Although the benefits of online shopping are considerable, when the process goes poorly it can create a thorny situation. A few problems that shoppers potentially face include identity theft, faulty products, and the accumulation of spywareWhenever you purchase a product, you are going to be required to put in your credit card information and billing/shipping address. If the website is not secure a customers information can be accessible to anyone who knows how to obtain it. Most large online corporations are inventing new ways to make fraudmore difficult, however, the criminals are constantly responding to these developments with new ways to manipulate the system. Even though these efforts are making it easier to protect yourself online, it is a constant fight to maintain the lead. It is advisable to be aware of the most current technology and scams out there to fully protect yourself and your finances. One of the hardest areas to deal with in online shopping is the delivery of the products. Most companies offer shipping insurance in case the product is lost or damaged; however, if the buyer opts not to purchase insurance on their products, they are generally out of luck. Some shipping companies will offer refunds or compensation for the damage, but it is up to their discretion if this will happen. It is important to realize that once the product leaves the hands of the seller, they have no responsibility (provided the product is what the buyer ordered and is in the specified condition).

So how safe is Internet Shopping?

Online Shopping is generally a safe practice as most services now days have superior encrypted technologies and security in place to protect transactions. Many people are regularly paying bills, banking and shopping on the Internet these days. However, any real concern that you need to consider primarily lays at your end and not necessarily with the Business or Bank. For example, storing Passwords, personal information and account details on you computer is definitely a No No, as dangerous programs perform ‘Phishing’ & ‘Sniffing’ techniques are out there seeking to acquire you’re details. If you don’t happen to take adequate precautions in regards to using appropriate types of Protection, this could amount to a potential disaster waiting to happen. Prevention is better than cure so protect your information at all times. If you’re still unsure, it’s recommended that you contact your bank for further advice.