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All That You Need To Know About Online Shopping

Undeniably, online shopping has undergone an evolution since 1990, when Tim Berners-Lee launched the World Wide Web server and browser. Few of us know it, but the first thing to be sold online was the most popular fast food: Pizza Hut opened its online pizza shop back in 1994. Yet, online shopping would have never been as safe as it is now without the pioneering invention of the Netscape team. They developed the SSL public data encryption which is considered the cornerstone of contemporary internet security systems. The next two years saw the flying start of e-commerce, with giants like Amazon and eBay paving the way for a whole lot of smaller online dealers. They quickly populated the cyber space over the next decade or so.

What makes online shopping so convenient is the opportunity to make real-time purchases of goods or services from vendors based thousands of miles away. You just sit in front of your computer, look at various e-commerce sites, and compare quality, prices, payment methods, and shipment. You can even read about their refund policy and other important details. In general, online shopping falls in two main categories: Business-to-Consumer (when, for example, you buy a pair of shoes from an web-based footwear dealer) and Business-to-Business online shopping (when the same dealer buys, say, a hundred thousand boxes from another online-based company, packs up the pairs of shoes, and prepares them for shipment. This is how e-commerce runs.

As far as the consumer is concerned, online shopping boils down to finding the item he or she wants (there are plenty of e-commerce search engines over the web), typing in one’s payment details and postal address and, finally, making the purchase. By the same token, an online-store looks much like an ordinary store, with only one difference between them. At the local supermarket, you can pick up a carton of milk off the shelf, while on visiting an online store, you see an image of the same carton of milk, with the name of the producer on it and its price tagged above or under the image. What is even better, you don’t have to wait in line to pay for your purchases.

And while the supermarket has different sectors on each floor, selling virtually everything (from groceries to power tools and hardware), the electronic version of these sectors are catalogues labeled “men’s clothing”, “women’s shoes”, etc, which open when you click on them with your mouse.

Moreover, most online vendors have equipped their web-based stores with search engines to facilitate your navigation through their products. You first type in the name of the product, for example, “bicycle” and then, you can narrow down your search by specifying its make and model – “Scott mountain bikes”.

Once you have picked up the product you want, you should add it to your electronic shopping cart. Instead of real stuff, however, the virtual cart stores information about the type and price of the products you will buy. You will see the products of your selection, together with their quantity, price, and even weight.

During check-out, you have to pay for the items you have added to your cart. To this purpose, you will use electronic money coming from your credit card or electronic portfolio. It is also important to enter the billing address in your order, letting the vendor know where to ship your purchase. Notify the seller if your billing address is different from your current address and specify the latter as the desired shipment destination.