Online shopping (sometimes known as e-tail from “electronic retail” or e-shopping) is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Alternative names are: e-web-store, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, online storefront and virtual store. Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) describes purchasing from an online retailer’s mobile optimized online site or app.
An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or shopping center; the process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. In the case where a business buys from another business, the process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. The largest online retailing corporations are Alibaba, Amazon.com, and eBay.
Statistics show that in 2012, Asia-Pacific increased their international sales over 30% giving them over $433 billion in revenue. That is a $69 billion difference between the U.S. revenue of $364.66 billion. It is estimated that Asia-Pacific will increase by another 30% in the year 2013 putting them ahead by more than one-third of all global ecommerce sales.
The largest online shopping day in the world is Singles Day, with sales just in Alibaba’s sites at US$9.3 billion in 2014.
Generally, individuals owning smart devices and personal income correspond to more favorable perceptions of shopping online. Increased exposure to technology also increases the probability of developing favourable attitudes towards new shopping channels.
In a December 2011 study, Equation Research surveyed 1,500 online shoppers and found that 87% of tablet owners made online transactions with their tablet devices during the early Christmas shopping season.
Customers are attracted to online shopping not only because of their convenience, but also because of broader selections, competitive pricing, and greater access to range of products. Business organizations seek to offer online shopping not only because it is of much lower cost compared to bricks and mortar stores, but also because it offers access to a worldwide market, increases customer value, and builds sustainable capabilities.