Online shopping has become a prominent theme throughout the world. One study found that 19% of all Internet users invest their time and effort into online shopping at least one day a week. Researchers predict this number to augment. In fact, in the United States, there are currently around 66 million online shoppers at this time. This number is expected to double (132 million) over the course of five years and continue to grow at astronomical rates. There are many reasons why Americans, and people all across the globe have taken keen interest in this relatively new trend. In a study conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Harris Interactive, it was deemed that several factors influenced why people have decided to switch to online shopping. Of the individuals surveyed, 38% said they prefer online shopping, in order to avoid the hassle of being stuck in crowds; 35% enjoyed lower prices; 28% said it was easier to compare prices online on comparable products; another 28% said shopping from home was better than traveling to the store, and 26% took advantage of the wider selection of products available.
In simple terms, online shopping is not just a temporary fad; it appears this novel trend is making its presence known among buyers and is here to stay. Website hosts of online shopping are making sure of this by modifying the way they run their business to serve customers in a more effective manner. Although the popularity of online shopping is nowhere close to waning, some host sites are not taking any chances and are now giving customers the ultimate authority, when it comes to voicing their opinions about the type of service they are receiving.
Customer buying power shapes how any online business is run, but many organizations have found that without customer feedback, their website cannot succeed. The individuals at www.vossman.com are a good example of how some Internet sites are now giving customers complete control. Offering a variety of electronic, computer, software, outdoor gear, and sports gear, Vossman.com encourages customer feedback about their services, pricing, and product selection. If a customer does not purchase a product for some reason, Vossman.com wants to know why. This is one of the few websites that provides an online poll to customers, in order to get their opinions about everything. This poll helps Vossman.com apply customer suggestions to the shopping experience. The company has used this information to improve services and add requested products. In return, customers not only can purchase a wide variety of products, but also have a unique voice in how things are run. Customers, who can weigh in on their shopping experience, are more empowered to buy and feel appreciated, because they are not looked upon as just another ordinary online shopper.
Online shopping will continue to flourish as long as there are people out there who love to buy. A study by Bizrate.com showed that 2003 was a very profitable year for online shopping. Third quarter statistics indicated $12.43 billion dollars in online retail sales, which was 24% higher than the year before. More and more people now want to shop online for convenience and savings. A study by BIGRearch indicated that online spending is on the rise, since November 2002, when 24% of individuals surveyed said that they would be participating in a shopping spree in the near future. As shoppers continue to spend, Internet shopping sites will ultimately have to adapt to the customer’s needs in order to reinforce a sense of buying power.
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