Online Shopping in the UK: An Essential Guide

Online shopping has proven in many ways, to be not just a revolution in recent times, but somewhat a much needed last resort too. The fallouts of a pandemic typically demonstrate this. ReviewsBird provides you with reviews on such topics and vital information such as those of online shop companies in the UK.

Working from home and spending most of the time indoors, have resulted in the upsurge of online shopping not just in the UK, but all over the world. Aside from this, its position as a less stressful alternative to physical shopping is a key selling point.

Let’s now take a good look at online shopping.

What is Online Shopping?

Online shopping simply involves finding and purchasing goods and services on virtual platforms through the internet by making use of internet-enabled devices such as computers, smartphones, or laptops.

The prevalence of smartphones and other portable technological gadgets have made it possible and easy for online shopping to thrive. Applications dedicated solely for this purpose now exists. All you have to do is to go online through a web browser, identify what you need from a vast array of goods and services on display on these web stores and make purchases accordingly.

What this does is that it gives potential customers overwhelming access to a wide range of goods and services and essential information required to make the purchasing decision hassle-free. Items that are purchased are either delivered to a customer’s home, office or a pick-up centre close to the customer.

When Did Online Shopping Start?

Modern online shopping didn’t start until the birth of the internet. In the beginning, most companies only employed the internet as a tool for the advertisement of their goods and services. Soon it became more and more evident that this powerful tool could do so much more and advertisement transcended into making these goods and services available for purchase online.

Michael Aldrich, an English entrepreneur’s 1979 invention of a system that linked the transaction-processing computer to a TV was significant to the commencement of modern online shopping.
In the late 90s, items, and wine were among the earliest commodities that were in high demand online and thus, underlined the potentials of online shopping as a credible alternative to a physical transaction.

Since then online shopping has developed from just an impracticable prospect to a vibrant market contributing hugely to the world’s greatest economies. It has moved from providing for the purchase, generic commodities such as flowers, cookies, wines and chocolates, which were among the earliest commodities on high demand, to include, perishable goods such as fast foods, vegetables and other precarious items.
The list of what can be bought online nowadays is endless. Services such as online learning, banking, and entertainment are aspects of e-commerce that are also on a constant surge.

Online Stores

These are internet-based shopping sites, websites or applications operated by corporations or individuals through which their goods and services can be accessed and purchased by customers. There are so many goods and services made available by these online stores. Typical examples of online stores include Amazon UK (UK version), eBay, Best Buy, Dorothy Perkins.
Some of these retail stores are either multipurpose (such as Amazon) or dedicated to selling specific goods and services.

Some are pet shops, fashion-based providing outfits for adults and children or sex shops. Others deal in commodities like sportswear, homeware, electronics, and office supplies. Some sell kitchen equipment, body care, children stuff such as shoes and toys. You can check out these body care and baby gifts articles for more information on stores that provide such commodities

Online Shopping in the UK

In recent times, online shopping in the UK has been analyzed to be behind almost one-third of all marketing transactions. And this statistic is only expected to keep surging given that such a market with unending possibilities is only prone to expansions. And thus, corporations and individuals will continue to seek novel ways to meet increasing demands and customer satisfaction. This sector is expected to produce a revenue peak of £80,678 and a 58.8 million number of users in 2021. The statistic above confirms that eCommerce is a booming business in the UK.

Online Shopping Sites

Thousands of the UK populace are no longer novices to online shopping partly thanks to the availability of mobile gadgets and easy access to the internet. Fashion wears and sports materials and fast foods rank among the most sought after goods purchased online in the UK.

Like in other parts, Amazon remains a leading retailer when it comes to the virtual sector. There is hardly any commodity you won’t find on Amazon, probably the reason why they are popular among UK shoppers. Other brands with online shopping presence include Tesco Groceries, Victoria’s Secret, ASOS, Boohoo, Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, John Lewis, eBay, SHEIN, and Best Buy, amongst others.

Online Clothing Stores

Fashion brands are popular in the UK due to high demand. And their presence online has increased and made transactions quite easy. Popular online clothing stores include Boohoo, Asos, Misguided, Victoria’s Secrets, Urban Outfitters, etc. You can check out this online clothing stores article for more information.

Benefits of Online Shopping

Online shopping has many benefits. Some of these are enumerated below.

  • It is an Easier Option to Physical Buying
    Online shopping saves time and effort. You can be seated on your couch or in the office and order any item you want and have it delivered to you. This ease of transaction is one reason why so many people tend to choose it over the conventional physical method.
  • Lower Prices and Discounts
    Online shopping provides you with commodities at cheaper prices and even used goods are available for sale. Some web stores offer lucrative discounts on purchases as a strategy to attract more customers.
  • It Provides You with a Wide Array of Commodities
    A physical store has a space limitation which determines the extent and amount of goods available for customers to buy. But in online shopping, web stores are not faced with such an issue. The internet is an endless void. This boundless space provides online shopping sites with the avenue to showcase as many goods as available for sale.
  • It is Economical
    Online shopping is economical. There would be no more expenses incurred by transporting to and from physical stores. And buying online does not only save you the location hassles, it also provides goods and services at cheaper rates as compared to what is obtainable in some physical stores.
  • You Can Compare Prices Across Brands
    Given that there are so many brands selling almost the same goods, you can compare the prices of these goods across various platforms. Some stores may be offering the same product at a lower price than others. This variation may be as a result of a promo, discounts, or shipping costs.

Disadvantages of Online Shopping

Below are some disadvantages of online shopping.

  • Shipping Restrictions
    One of the problems of online shopping is shipping restrictions on some international brands. One way to remedy this problem is to shop on UK versions of these popular brands. It helps to narrow down the shipping field, although, with this, you might find out that there are only a few goods available for shipping access to your location.
  • You Can’t Have a Feel of what You Are Buying
    Quality is a problem when consumers are not able to physically feel what they are purchasing. This breeds mistrust and doubts, especially when it is discovered that the goods do not meet expectations upon delivery.
  • Delivery Delay
    Delay in delivery remains one of the biggest problems of online shopping. Purchased commodities might take weeks or even months before they get to you. This is in acute contrast with the whole process of making the purchase that takes very little time to conclude.
  • Cyber Fraud
    Fraudulent activities have increased in online shopping. Some online shopping sites may be false and make away with customers' money without delivering purchased items. Sharing credit card details on some sites may not be safe either.

How to Make Good Decisions during Online Shopping

Customer experience is key to the success of the online shopping business. A bad experience with a certain brand can mean less patronage. And with a wide range of flashy-looking commodities to choose from, it is difficult to make purchasing decisions. That is why prospective customers would access such customer experiences that exist in reviews to point them in the right direction.

Online shopping still has a lot of room to develop more than it is now and some rough edges to smoothen. However, it has demonstrated to be a worthy alternative to physical buying.

By Mo