Shopping Online - Technology Meets Commerce

 By: Mohd Zaheerul Hasan
If online shopping has gathered tremendous popularity in a short period of time, then it surely has its reasons. It is not all about the no-need-to-get-up-and-go-to-the-store luxury that makes online stores and online shops appealing to people. Buying things off the internet has become a successful mantra because of several schemes. Some of these schemes, although did begin with a hit and try method, turned out to be massive hits, and generated heavy amounts of revenues.

Braiding the concept of shopping sites along with social networking was perhaps the next shot that hit bull's eye. Sales shot up at an exponential rate, and the power of social media quickly, and effectively, spread the word out.Some web start-up online stores allow their customers to post their purchases. This option goes one step beyond publishing user reviews - other users can turn the entire discussion into a social conversation, thus, enabling a more active social media of its own.

Users can also bid for their favourite product online through online auctions. Shopping sites keep a portion of their products to appear at auctions, where people can bid for their favourite products at favourable prices. Since the cost tide is controlled by the bidders, and not by the purchasing price of the product, users can buy products at a less expensive value.

Social media is also being used as an active forum where people can vote on the products that should go in the sale. Some online stores post promotional videos and advertisements on social networks sites, and every time that a user 'views' the video, he gains some points. They can also gather points by liking the videos, or sharing them with their friends.These points can, in turn, be used as rewards for getting discounts and offers on products and goods.Some websites offer rewards to its customers through offline activities such as scanning a product through their cell phones or visiting the stores.

Flash sales is another concept that has come up to encourage, as the name suggests, 'quick' sales. A discount, ranging up to 70% to 90%, is put on a specific product, for a limited period. Because it is a limited offer, the word spreads rather quickly, and it attracts more number of people. The popularity points, evidently, scale up, registering more hits.Online shopping has opened a wide network of new schemes and technologies for people to feast on. The blend of technology and commerce is proving to be a success, for shoppers (and non-shoppers) worldwide.
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