Retail shopping is the act of buying goods or products in small quantity. Retail shopping is usually done for products for personal use. Suppose I need a pen for myself. I would just go to market and buy it from some store selling in retail. I may also need 2 pen, one for myself and another for my brother or friend. So I may also buy 2 pens together. If I need a pen for my sister also than I may also buy 3 pens together. Whether I buy one or two or three this is still a retail shopping as long as I need them for my personal use or for use by my brother or friend or sister. |
There may be another case when I would like to buy pens to resell them at a cost above the purchasing cost to make some profit. In that case I will be doing business instead of personal shopping. Then I need to buy pens in wholesale just like the retail stores are doing. Retail stores get their products from the original manufacturer(factory direct) in wholesale. When they buy in wholesale the costing for the products is much lesser. Like they may buy 10 dozens(120 pieces) of pens direct from factory and suppose it cost them $10. Then accordingly they may set their retail price of each pen in such a way that it makes them profit. They may sell each pen for $0.50 and so 120 pieces will make them $60. So their costing was just $10 and sold all pen for $60 which is a $50 profit.
That is the reason a lot of people around the world are setting up their stores to do business in retail and earn profit for themselves. Most of the stores are physical stores located in local streets helping customers with what they need in retail. The disadvantage of such a physical store is that the customers visiting the store are limited to surrounding areas. But the advanced information technology in the field of computers and internet has made it possible to do retail business worldwide. What does that mean? It means now people can sell their retail products online over internet and doing business this way will give customers from around the world.
Retailers can make use of websites to display their products and also can make the ecommerce system for secured online shopping. The trend of selling all kinds of products online is at its peak now a days. The reason behind this is that, with online shopping you can find customers from around the world just if you can make sure your website is appearing higher in major search engines like google and yahoo. Also the online business can be spread through internet marketing even if the site selling products online is not higher for its search terms in google or yahoo. So there is lot of scope and that is making people to spread their business over internet than physical stores where there are limited customers. People have even created community sites for bargain buying like the one you see as bargainbuysforbusymums.co.uk.Such concept of bargain buying over internet also helps in saving lot of money which is not possible with a retail physical store.
Products like gifts and flowers of all kinds, home and garden products like home appliances, kitchen appliances, bathroom products, health products, computer supplies and software, clothing or so called apparel, fashion accessories like belts, handbags and hats, baby care supplies, electronics and electrical, food products, musical instruments, home and garden furniture, silver, gold and other types of jewelry, children and baby toys, office supplies and products, personal care like beauty and skin care products, sporting goods, display products, promotional products, greeting cards, special occasion products like party supplies, vehicles like cars and motorcycles, etc are some of the major items which are sold in numerous quantity over internet from around the world. Best thing about online shopping is that you can have different taste from different countries for your favorite item. And that is also the reason that customers over internet are growing like nothing and this is making retail business boom over the internet as you get instant payment and get customers from all over the world.
Before the internet took over our world shopping meant going to the bazaar and purchasing everything by paying in cash. Cut back and enter the 90’s when credits cards where introduced and soon online shopping over the internet became a reality. Yet the reality remains that the retail shopping business over internet is just an over hyped market.
But there is no denying that the retail shopping business over internet represents huge potential for all kinds to business to reach an exponentially large audience. It also means that small businesses now have the chance to put their products online and hope to derive sales from their own online retail shopping websites. There are a number of reasons as to why more and more people are switching over to shopping on the internet. The biggest and single largest factor is convenience; there is a growing trend where people prefer to lay back in the comfort of their homes and shop.
What is that people are shopping for on the internet? People visit the internet for product information, to play games online, latest news updates and weather forecasts plus sports stuff and all of these activities still remains more popular as against making online purchases.
Online shoppers like to visit different retail shopping websites on the internet. Some of the leading online shopping sites happen to be eBay.com, homeshop18.com, wal-mart.com and others. There are also niche specific shopping sites which cater to products that they manufacture. For instance Nike would promote sales of their products on their site and a golf products maker would do like wise.
For businesses too retail shopping over internet makes a lot more business sense. For a growing number of brands their presence in malls, multiplexes, single brand outlets and others big ticket street assets are becoming liabilities. Businesses are facing higher running costs from branch retail showrooms and other sales office.
Forrester Research, Inc., Cambridge, US has released a report where it has presented statistics for retail shopping business over internet in the US. According to the report the total online retails sales in the US in 2007 was recorded at 175.5 billion USD. For the year ended 2008 the figure crossed 200 billion dollars to reach $204 billion. The projected online retail sale for sales transactions recorded over the internet is estimated to touch a staggering $334 billion by 2012.
Of the 175.5 billion online retails sales in 2007 expenditure on Computer hardware and software accounted for the largest chuck on online retail sales. Retail shopping business over internet in the computer hardware & software segment grossed $24.1 billion. While apparels, footwear & jewelry constituted the second largest online retail shopping segment grossing $23.2 billion. An increasing number of people are now shopping online for property and home purchasing. Home and property shopping over the internet is now an $18.8 billion market.
The US Department of Commerce has found in a survey that thirty-nine percent of internet users in America are now shopping online. It also noted that against popular belief lower-income households are more active internet shoppers as against their richer counterparts. The survey gathered data from over 137,000 respondents. The Department of Commerce reveals that 54% of the US population or roughly 143 million people are internet users and 55.8 million of those people bought services or good over the internet.
So who are these buyers, the Department of Commerce reveals that individuals earning in excess of $75,000 per year accounted for 49.1% of all the retail shopping business over internet. But people earning up to $15000 a year and spending on the internet is growing 25% while those individuals in the higher income group and spending on the internet is growing by just 11%.
Though United Kingdom is in recession but retail shopping business over internet has shown positive signs recently. The Office of National Statistics released interesting data on 20th February 2009. The report reveals that in general people are disinterested in buying new stuff and are rather looking towards repairing old belongings. People in the UK are shopping online when best deals are offered. Fresh statistics show that online retail shopping now represents 3.7% of overall retail sales. In terms of percentage retail shopping business over internet has witnessed a steady growth, from 3.1% in January of 2008 to 3.5% in December that same year and now 3.7% in February 2009. If the same statistics are seen on a per weekly basis then during January this year people in the UK spent £178 million per week.
As most things with online shopping would there are some pros and cons of online retail shopping. The first and most appealing advantage of online shopping is that you can shop for almost everything at anytime of your convenience. You want to buy a new mobile phone at well past midnight then there’s no stopping you. But what attracts most people is that all this can be done within the comforts of your home or office. Even if you are on a vacation and need to book a flight ticket that too can be done with a click of a button. Have to reach a party and do not have the right clothes, just visit any of the numerous online clothing stores and order from a variety of choices.
What really drives an increasing number of people to online shopping is however discounts and bargains. The normal retailer store would sell cards and electronics at maximum retail price but the same card though from a different brand could be available for less at an online shopping store. Also you do not have to drive all the way to the retail store to buy things you can simply order them online using your credit card and have them delivered over to your home. During the holiday and festival season gifts can be bought online and delivered to family and friends all over the world. All this spells such immense conveniences that people are increasingly choosing to shop online.
At the same time there are disadvantages of internet shopping too. There are some inconveniences too that will remain a part of retail shopping. You can only see products that fit onto the screen. To see further products you will have to keep turning pages till you find the exact page. If you are experiencing faults in internet connectivity them online shopping will have to be halted during that period. But what people fear most about retail online shopping is frauds and scams. Whenever you buy online you are required to pay for the purchase via a debit or credit card. Credit card numbers are stolen and misused frequently online and you could suffer immensely. If someone manages to capture your credit card number he/she could wash you off your money in a matter of minutes.
There have been a number of online shopping websites that have closed in the last couple of years due to bad business. If you happened to have purchased an item from such a store then all warranties no longer stand. It also happens sometimes that you have ordered a particular retail product but you receive a product you never ordered. You are then left to contact the company and request that the correct product be delivered to you. Hopefully that happens and happens soon.
As with all things there are some good things about retail shopping business. There exist vast potentials and the right business model can exceed even in tough market conditions. But for consumers there is a lot more fun associated with going out shopping in the malls yet when comfort matters online shopping is an experience in itself.
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