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Online shopping is an easy and comfortable way of shopping for a large range of products. There are innumerable advantages of online shopping. You save a lot of time which you normally need to personally go to the retail shop and buy the products which you want. Initially, the customer base for online shopping activities was the rich class with a lot of purchasing capacity. However, now, with the passage of time, more and more people are preferring to make purchases online, thus getting an enormous change in the online shopping trends.

History and Actual Transactions in Online Shopping

The concept of online shopping developed gradually, after the launch of the World Wide Web. Charles Stack was the first person to create an online book store in 1992. Even Pizza Hut opened an online pizza shop, whereas eBay and Amazon took the concept of online shopping to an entirely new level. Online shopping began in full swing since the year 1996.

Now, having understood the advantages and history of Internet shopping, let us know the pre-requisites of shopping online. If you wish to shop online, you should have a bank account, a debit card and, of course a computer with an Internet access. Buyers can directly visit the website of the service provider or the retailer or search for retailers using the famous Internet search engines. Using the shopping cart software, buyers can buy multiple products. While shopping from some particular stores online, you will have to open up a permanent online account, so that they enter the payment and delivery related information only once. You will receive a message of the transaction being complete via e-mail. You can make the payment for the purchased goods using your credit card or debit card. Cash on delivery, payment by check, postal money order, are some of the other ways of clearing off the due amount.

The bought items can be received by downloading them, if they are related to purchase of software, songs or music. Another method of receiving the goods is using the locater software and picking up the goods from the nearest authorized store. There are some distributor services, which offer you the delivery of the products at your placer to avoid wastage of time and money which happens otherwise.

Trends in Online Shopping

Transactions using E-commerce were estimated to be more than one hundred billion dollars in the year 2006 in the United States of America. This represents approximately ten percent of the total domestic market. Thus, this is an indicator of rising trends in online shopping. Almost 33% of the online shoppers, shop by using the search engines to study the details of what they are shopping for. A characteristic feature of the online shopping trends is that people go more by the word of mouth when it comes to selecting a website or a company for online shopping. If we research on what is the most sought after thing in the online purchases, then the answer is books of different kinds. In addition to the books, day to day accessories and clothes, perfumes, shoes are bought in large numbers. Buying air tickets online has become a very common thing. People tend to visit a website which offers good products and has transparency in dealings again and again.

There is another survey conducted by The Nielsen Company, which suggests that around 85% has already used to make a purchase online which shows an improvement in the online shopping trends. Another claim is that around 50% of the people using Internet around the world, are active online shoppers. A survey conducted about two years ago, about number of online shoppers, suggested the number to be around 627 million which has risen to about 875 million as of now. People from countries like Korea, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and United States of America, are very fond of online shopping. Many manufacturing companies are aggressively marketing their products considering the change in the online shopping trends using E-commerce web hosting to attract more and more customers.

Online shopping trends are showing a consistent rise due to the great response from people. In the coming years, the numbers suggesting the development of the online shopping trends are expected to rise alarmingly. So, enjoy the benefits of the new technology, that allows you to shop from home and get the shopped goods at door steps.

Safe Online Shopping Tips 

As the trend of buying goods and availing services online continues to soar, the frauds and security concerns associated with the same are also on a rise. Technological advancement has given a major boost to e-commerce and other such concepts, which revolve around the computers, and more importantly, the Internet. The concept of online shopping is no more alien to anybody in the world. Millions of people log onto these shopping websites in order to make shopping a convenient affair. What they fail to understand, however, is the fact that they are compromising on their security by not abiding by the rules of safe online shopping. With so many issues of online frauds coming to light everyday, it is surprising to see that people continue their online shopping spree, without paying any heed to their own security. Read more on online shopping trends.

Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Online shopping fraud is a broad concept, which includes a range of activities right from hidden charges and phishing to credit card scams and identity theft. Given below are some of the most simple, yet effective, precautions that you need to take when you opt for online shopping.

Carry out your transactions from a secured PC: You need to make sure that the PC you are using for online shopping and related transactions is up to date with security measures, such as anti-virus software and firewall. Being one of the most important tip as far as safe online shopping is concerned, this will help you in keeping those malicious programs out of your transactions.

Be well-versed with the website you use: You need to make sure that the website from which you are buying goods or availing services is authentic. Never go through search engine results which feature random sites which you have never heard of before. You need to understand that - more popular the website, lesser are the chances of you being caught in any sort of web of deceit.

Never give away your personal information: You will have to provide some information while shopping online, however you need to make sure that this is just the general information, like your name or contact number. Never give out confidential information, like your social security number, on online shopping websites. More importantly, never fill in any sort of information in pop-up windows, even if you trust the website. Maintaining privacy while shopping online is a must, as giving away confidential information can make you vulnerable to issues like identity thefts.

Go through the privacy policy of the company: A trusted website is bound to have its privacy policy which will cover all the points whereby the website would be legally bound to keep your personal details confidential, and giving away this information to the third party, would mean breach of contract, with possible legal implications. If any website doesn't have their privacy policy in its place, it is better off to stay away from the same.

Paying by credit card is wiser: Always resort to credit card for payment options. Though many of us prefer to use debit cards for online shopping, they don't have all the security features that credit cards do. More importantly, if your debit card number gets stolen, it will give hackers total access to your account, and result in even more difficult situations for you.

Before you order the product: You need to make sure that the transactions are secured, and the shipping policy of the company is in the place. Cross checking the actual price of the product and the shipping charges with other companies, can help you in getting the best deal. Make sure that there are no hidden costs in the shipping charges. You will have to take into consideration the actual price of the item, as well as shipping charges, handling fees and sales tax.

After you order the product: Never reply to confirmation mails which ask for your personal details. Make sure that you take the print outs of all the online transaction records, which you can eventually use as proof. Other than all your transactions with the company, it is wise to save the product description as well. Lastly, you will have to monitor the time required for shipping as well. It is very important to know the terms before you buy the product.

These were some of the general tips for safe online shopping which need to be followed in order to ensure that your Internet shopping escapade doesn't go awry. If at all you have any bad experience in online shopping, you can report the company to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the consumer protection agency in your area of jurisdiction. There are a number of phishing websites out there in the guise of shopping websites. In such circumstances, it would take efforts from all of us to come together and make online shopping safe and secure.

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