by Claire Lentsch/a contributor to The Shelby Report
Online shopping is the new way of shopping. It allows consumers to get products fast, efficiently and from the comfort of their own home. Many people in today’s society do not have time to spend searching for products hidden within crowded stores. Online shopping relieves consumers of this burden.
Phones, computers and virtual home assistants are all popular ways of exploring e-commerce. They allow for flexibility in location and personal appearance—one could browse the market for a new microwave while taking a bath.
Online shopping is uncovering broad possibilities when it comes to buying groceries, but when it comes to some products and produce, there is a wariness. People only want the freshest and hand-selected options, so it is important to proceed with caution.
Online shopping is extremely beneficial to parents with little ones. Instead of having to bring a young child into a grocery store, parents are able to shop from their own home while keeping an eye on their children. This helps to avoid temper tantrums, and it saves the tears and embarrassment.
Not only does online shopping work for little ones but for college students as well. The online grocery option is a great way for parents and college students to connect. Many times, students go to college away from home, and parents are unable to go on shopping trips with their child. This new avenue allows for parents to purchase items and have them delivered right to their student’s dorm room or apartment.
Not only is online shopping a great option for families but also for those who are unable to leave home. If someone is sick and wants to prevent the sickness from spreading, they may turn online to order food to help preserve their health and that of others.
Stores can be very large and involve a lot of walking and heavy lifting. Shopping online is a friendly option for those with disabilities or for the elderly. This ensures safety and convenience.
Consumers are able to choose when packages are delivered to their houses and can fit that into their busy schedules. Many people have packages delivered to their workplace as well. There is a lot of controversy over the new idea of having packages delivered and placed in your car. This new system is meant to protect packages from theft. This protection comes with trust between the consumer and the deliverer.
Convenience is overtaking the need for privacy, but the online shopping experience comes with many benefits that the conventional option doesn’t provide. Customers are able to easily read hundreds of reviews of the product in order to build confidence in their purchase. Not only are they able to learn about others’ past experiences, but they also are able to purchase items that might not be readily available in stores.
Shopping online also provides a number of separate coupon sites, enabling many new discounts. Companies also have endless space for advertisements and promotions.
Although shopping online is a wonderful resource, there are a couple of things to be cautions about. The pictures online might not always match the actual product. This is why it is important to read the reviews. Some companies, however, pay to have fake reviews written to throw off the consumer. That makes it important to do thorough research and explore every option.
When the product isn’t exactly what the consumer expected, they may wish to return the item. This sometimes proves to be a struggle because of “return fees.” Fees can discourage consumers from purchasing online, especially when it comes to clothing, because one size does not fit all. There is a way to escape these fees. If a consumer wants to return an item purchased online from a retailer with a nearby location, they can drive to that store to return the item without the fee.
Online shopping is a not a trend. It is here to stay, and it is the way of the future. It is the smarter way to get what you want and have control over when you get it.
Editor’s note: Shelby Southwest Editor Terrie Ellerbee met Claire Lentsch at the 2017 Supervalu National Expo. She was invited to share her perspective as a member of Generation Z (born since the mid-1990s) and a consumer with readers of The Shelby Report.