Online shopping is what is known as electronic commerce, or ecommerce, where the consumer is buying good and or services directly from the shop or website of a seller via the Internet from a web browser. Online shopping may also be known as: online store, Internet shop, e-shopping, e-store, or online storefront. Business-to-business shopping, where one retailer purchases retail from another retailer, is a common form of online store fronts, as is the case with online shopping giants Amazon.com, eBay, and Alibaba. How Online Shopping Works
Online shopping works similarly to the way any non-virtual storefront would operate. The storefront is found on the Internet via a web address. The customer is able to browse through the stock offered on the online shop and may move items to their shopping cart. From there, once a customer has found the items that they wish to purchase, may proceed to check out. Check out involves the transaction of payment to occur. A customer must have a viable form of online payment available in order to purchase, usually in the form of a credit, debit, PayPal account, or gift card.
Not all online storefronts will accept every form of digital payment, and some online shops will not accept any International credit cards. The purchaser will also need to supply their billing and shipping address. The payment process usually occurs within real time.
After payment has been received and the order has been processed, the seller must then ship the items purchased to the customer. Shipping is primarily done through the retailer who ships directly to the customer, though in some cases drop shipping occurs where the order is handed over to the distributor who then handles the shipment. When online shopping on virtual store fronts from shops that do have actual spaces, in-store pickup is also a viable option for shipping of online purchases.
Revised February 11th, 2016
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