BUYING GOODS ONLINE: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
1.1 Background of the study
Nowadays, the Internet is being widely used in daily life. The existence of the Internet has brought many advantages to individuals’ daily lives. With the help of the medium, people can communicate, learn, entertain, buy goods and other products and also get services. Of course the disadvantages of buying goods online have long been discussed; as the risk of personal information theft, spamming etc. However since the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, most of the people cannot resist buying goods and getting services online.
Since the beginning of the Internet, individuals have shown interest to the Internet. According to Internet World Stats' statistics (2012), more than two billion people are linked to the Internet. This number shows that 30 percent of the world population. Consequently, the Internet can be used for the several purposes to the advantage of human being, for exampling buying and selling of goods (Hamill, 1997). Besides that, it has also brought a different dimension to commercial activities. The Internet has created a new market for both customers and organizations selling different kinds of goods, and has been an alternative market to the traditional market. Online services provide a chance to search information about goods and products/services, place a comment or give orders (Hoffman and Novak, 1996). Therefore, the previous experiences of marketing has turned into a different segment. Now organizations are taking steps to provide different payment methods, different shipping alternatives and even different web interfaces for different online services for consumers to buy goods easily.
Online buying is defined as the process a customer takes to purchase a service or product over the internet. In other words, a consumer may at his or her leisure buy from the comfort of their own home products from an online store. This concept was first demonstrated before the World Wide Web (WWW) was in use with real time transaction processed from a domestic television. The technology used was called Videotext and was first demonstrated in 1979 by M. Aldrick who designed and installed systems in the United Kingdom. By 1990 T. Berners-Lee created the first WWW server and browser and by 1995 Amazon expanded its online buying of goods and its experiences (Parker-Hall, 2009).
Many buyers across the world has seen the act of buying goods online as reasonable because it offers a lot of tangible advantages. For example, reduction in buyer’s sorting out time, better buyer decisions, less time is spent in resolving invoice and order discrepancies and finally increased opportunities for buying alternative products. Moreover, consumers can enjoy buying goods online for 24 hour per day. This is because online stores that sell goods is open for 365 days and never close even for a minute. Online commerce has also expanded geographic reach because consumers can purchase any goods and services anytime at everywhere. Hence, buying of goods online is more environmental friendly compare to purchase in store because consumers can just fulfill his desires just with a click of mouse without going out from house by taking any transportation.
According to the study which was done by Master Card Worldwide Insights (2008), the goods and services most frequently bought online among Africa’s online buyers are books and art (41%), home appliances and electronic products (39%), CDs/DVDs/UCDs (38%) and ladies clothing/accessories (38%). Opportunistic buying as a whole does not seem to be a major factor for many online shoppers: 41% bought on impulse just a couple of times, while 34% hardly ever bought on impulse. Similar to the types of goods frequently purchased online, items most likely to result in opportunistic buying were ladies clothing and accessories, home appliances and electronic products and CDs/DVDs/VCDs. With the increase in the level of online buying of goods worldwide, the researcher is examining the advantages and disadvantages of buying goods online.
1.2 Problem Statement
Convenience but buyers do not know if they are getting the goods according to what they like because they cannot examine the products before buying them. Buyers are torn between conveniences against getting the products that they really like. However, Internet is changing the way consumers buy goods and services, and has rapidly evolved into a global phenomenon. Many companies have started using the Internet with the aim of cutting marketing costs, thereby reducing the price of their goods and services in order to stay ahead in highly competitive markets. There has been several researches in the area of users perception of buying goods online but there is virtually no research particularly that has addressed the advantages and disadvantages of buying goods online, which makes this study to be coming at the right time.
1.3 Research Questions
This project will embark on the following research questions:
1 Why are people buying goods online?
2 What are the disadvantages of buying online goods?
3 What are the impacts of buying online goods to result in better business access?
1.4 Objectives of Study
These specific objectives of this project are as follows:
1 To examine the reasons why people buy goods online
2 To investigate the disadvantages of buying goods online
3 To evaluate the impact of buying goods online.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study on buying goods online: advantages and disadvantages will cover the process of buying goods online with emphasis on the benefits which has enhanced the continued patronage for online goods and also considering the disadvantages and risks involved in the process.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The following are the significance of this study:
- 1. The outcome of this study will educate the general public on the benefits and risks of buying goods online. This will be a guide for the people in knowing how to go about buying goods online.
- 2. The results of this study will be useful for the government and the policymakers in understanding the risks the general public are exposed to while buying goods online. This will make them formulate policies and laws which when implemented will protect the general public from the risks and disadvantages experienced while buying goods online. This will also form a regulatory framework for the online shopping stores.
- This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Online: controlled by or connected to another computer or to a network
Internet: The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link billions of devices worldwide.
Buying: obtain in exchange for payment.