According to orangecollarmedia.com Americans spent 186 billion dollars on online shopping in 2011. In Australia in February of 2011, a study revealed that more Australians are shopping online than ever before. The trend began in 2009 when the global financial crisis forced Australian consumers to look for bargains on a wide variety of things. These shoppers discovered that the Internet was a superb place to get a good deal and even now the trend perpetuates itself. One of their largest online Internet companies, reports 1.7 million different people currently visit their site per month. Total transactions of China’s Business to Consumer market reached 38.03 billion dollars in 2011, with an increase of over 13% compared to 2010. Staggering figures aren’t they?
We live in an age of technological access. Shopping can even be done from the latest mobile phone – so you can shop wherever and whenever you want. Online shopping is a 24hour-a-day way to shop. Online shopping is becoming run of the mill. With today’s hectic and pressurized schedules, people need a way to save time and shopping online is a way to do this. Shopping can be done once the kids are tucked into bed or once your spouse is asleep when you have those few precious moments to yourself. It is here in the privacy of your own space where you can, at your leisure, shop around, look for the best prices literally only to be gotten by the click of a button.
Shopping online does not only ooze the luxury of convenience but also has an impact on one’s disposition too. Picture the end of the month. Picture getting your husband and the three kids into the car just to get to the mall in time before it gets too busy and you have to struggle for parking. Picture the traffic. Picture the din of people. The bickering when the little ones get fatigued. The endless drudging from one shop to another. And then, picture finally making it home and thanking the heavens that you’ll only have to repeat this again at the end of next month.
Instead it is late on a Saturday afternoon, and you are in the middle of watching the rugby match final you’ve been anticipating for months. You’re snuggled on your favourite couch. Then the wife reminds you that you have to go shopping. You know it’s month-end and you are left with no choice but to do just that: shop. You switch on your laptop, visit several retailers online, shop for the best prices, and all this without missing even a single try. You crack open another beer and settle down to watch the rest of the game. Simple, isn’t it.
Not only does online shopping hold benefits with regards to being stress free, convenient and being able to make your purchases in private, but shopping online is tailor-made by business so that consumers reap the benefits of doing so. For example the cost of retail rent per m² is almost quadruple the cost of industrial rent per m². When a business’s overheads are lower, the consumer stands to gain in the long run. This is a savings to the business that actually impacts on the pocket of its consumers. Consumers stand to save and benefit from this very reality. Travelling back and forth to the shops, wear and tear on cars also quantify as savings over the long term for the consumer.
Of the utmost importance is the effect of online shopping on our environment. Natural News states that all products have to be shipped from the warehouse where they are stored after manufacture, and it can be seen as green to cut the retail store and all the building, lighting, cooling, heating, and so forth that the store requires. According to Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, shipping two 20 pound packages by overnight-air, the most energy-intensive delivery method, still uses 40% less fuel driving 20 round-trips to the mall or store. Ground shipping, which is more efficient than overnight air, checks in at just one-tenth the energy used to drive you. That taken into account and the fact that carbon emissions would be radically less, is reason enough to take under serious consideration to start to shop online. It is in the small, well planned matters of our lives that we can create a better tomorrow for those who will follow in our footsteps.