The Computer Revolution/E commerce/Online Shopping

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Online shopping becomes more popular into people’s daily life. Lots of people prefer online shopping to normal shopping. The advantages of online shopping as follow: First, online shopping is easy and convenient for people to pick up the products they want, using Internet, people just need to click the mouse to finish the whole shopping process. Secondly, its save time and money, they can easily find the right catalogs and the goods right away by using Internet search engine. So online shopping makes shopping easy and life become easy too.

Online Shopping Sites[edit]

The world is your oyster and if you want one, you can buy one online! Everyone has heard of Ebay, which is an online bidding site where users can bid on various items, or the price can be fixed. Amazon.com enables users to shop from home with products being delivered to their door, one can even do their grocery shopping online.

Online Shopping Benefits[edit]

Online retailers have used new technology such as

  1. the one click option: you see something you want, click it - IT'S YOURS!
  2. 360 - degree images: take a look at the entire product in a 2 dimensional round the world tour
  3. Order tracking: fun fact on this point - FEDEX packages are scanned an average of 15 to 20 times from the time is leaves the supplier to its final destination. Share that one with your friends and family.
  4. Shop box/concierge: tracks your shopping history and recommends other products you might be interested (think of this as an online minion out to do your bidding!)

As consumers online shopping saves time and eliminates the need to go to the mall and walk around aimlessly and have strangers invade your personal space.

Online shopping removes the need to do price comparison by going store to store - much more effective. Not to mention saving the wear and tear on your car and the environment (you never have to start your car).

Shopping Cart Software;Shopping cart software is software that is used on an existing website that allows you to create a shopping cart of items you may want to purchase on a specific website. It allows customers to freely put items in their shopping cart that they may possibly want, while continuing to shop. When ready to check out, and complete your purchase, you are able to click on the shopping cart icon and remove items that you may not want to purchase or to review the items in your cart before paying for your purchases. Most websites include this software free of charge to help customers shop for multiple items and conveniently add on to their orders. This tool is very helpful when shopping online.

The Dangers of Shopping Online[edit]

It's just so easy to spend excessively online because online shopping is done by credit card or debit card. Cash never leaves your hands so you don't think about how much you're spending. Beware of e-mail phishers, website pharmers, website / computer crackers, spammers, and scammers, too.

It's also so easy to never leave home (read: laziness).

Payment Processing[edit]

Merchants open an e-commerce merchant account, also called Internet merchant account, in order to accept credit cards as a form of payment. Paypal, which is an online payment service, is also used to make transactions between a business and consumer. Digital wallets, also called e-wallets, give consumers a way of storing they payment information securely for e-commerce purchases.

PayPal offers the Bill Me Later service

Certain online stores also offer additional payment services that can be selected during checkout, such as Bill Me Later (a PayPal service) and eBillme. This option allows the shopper to defer their payment until after the checkout process is completed. This allows for greater convenience and security for the consumer since they don’t need their credit cards handy to pay and also do not need to give their credit card numbers to the online retailer. However, a credit check is required first and you must live in the United States and be of legal age. Many of these services also charge an interest rate which you should consider before selecting them. (Morley, Deborah, and Charles S. Parker. Understanding Computers: Today and Tomorrow. 13th ed. Boston: Course Technology/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.)

Some online stores offer the option to save data like payment information, shipping details and preferences in a digital wallet, also known as an e-wallet. Some e-wallets are offered directly through the store's website, meaning when the customer goes to check out their data is already stored from their last purchase. This makes the purchase easier and quicker for the customer. There are also programs available to download this as a standalone service through your mobile phone. When purchasing from an online store, the app autocompletes the required data so the user doesn’t have to. E-wallets are typically encrypted to keep data safe and password protected to avoid fraudulent use.[1]

  1. Information found on pages 444 and 445 of Understanding Computers: Today and Tomorrow

Another option for people to be able to shop online without having to worry about hackers getting their credit card numbers is having a virtual account number. These numbers are basically disposable credit card numbers that can be used by the customers to buy things online and the charge will actually go onto their real credit card. Some virtual credit card numbers can be used multiple times but most are good for just one transaction. Since the number only has a one time use, if a hacker were to intercept it, they would not be able to use it to make other purchases.

Morley, Deborah, and Charles S. Parker. Understanding Computers: Today and Tomorrow. 13th ed.


Digital Gift Certificates / Gift Cards


Digital gift certificates /Gift cards (e-gift cards) have become the new method of payment for online shopping. It is a very safe and convenient methods of payment. Digital gift certificate and cards are similar to the paper or plastic form used today except they are electronic forms. Many different companies offer digital certificates or cards, you can purchase them and send them via e-mail them to a recipient. The recipient will be able to redeem the certificate through online shopping of the website in the certificate is issued from. The gift certificates / cards can range from 5 to 500 dollars depending on the store your purchasing the certificate from.

[1]

  1. 13th Edition Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow