Online shopping Mall
Online shopping is the process whereby consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller in real-time, without an intermediary service, over the Internet. If an intermediary service is present the process is called electronic commerce. An online shop, e-shop, e-store, internet shop, web shop, web store, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping mall. The process is called Business-to-Consumer (B2C) online shopping. When a business buys from another business it is called Business-to-Business (B2B) online shopping. Both B2C and B2B online shopping are forms of e-commerce.
In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser. It opened for commercial use in 1991. In 1994 other advances took place, such as online banking and the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut. During that same year, Netscape introduced SSL encryption of data transferred online, which has become essential for secure online shopping. Also in 1994 the German company Internship introduced its first online shopping system. In 1995 Amazon launched its online shopping site, and in 1996 eBay appeared.
In recent years, online shopping has become popular; however, it still caters to the middle and upper class. [Citation needed] In order to shop online, one must be able to have access to a computer, a bank account and a debit card. Shopping has evolved with the growth of technology. According to research found in the Journal of Electronic Commerce, if we[who?] focus on the demographic characteristics of the in-home shopper, in general, the higher the level of education, income, and occupation of the head of the household, the more favorable the perception of non-store shopping. An influential factor in consumer attitude towards non-store shopping is exposure to technology, since it has been demonstrated that increased exposure to technology increases the probability of developing favorable attitudes towards new shopping channels.
Online shopping widened the target audience to men and women of the middle class. At first, the main users of online shopping were young men with a high level of income and a university education. This profile is changing. For example, in USA in the early years of Internet there were very few women users, but by 2001 women were 52.8% of the online population.
Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly, or do a search across many different vendors using a shopping search engine.
Once a particular product has been found on the web site of the seller, most online retailers use shopping cart software to allow the consumer to accumulate multiple items and to adjust quantities, by analogy with filling a physical shopping cart or basket in a conventional store. A "checkout" process follows (continuing the physical-store analogy) in which payment and delivery information is collected, if necessary. Some stores allow consumers to sign up for a permanent online account so that some or all of this information only needs to be entered once. The consumer often receives an e-mail confirmation once the transaction is complete. Less sophisticated stores may rely on consumers to phone or e-mail their orders (though credit card numbers are not accepted by e-mail, for security reasons).
Online shoppers commonly use credit card to make payments, however some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative means, such as:
• Billing to mobile phones and landlines
• Cash on delivery (C.O.D., offered by very few online stores)
• Debit card
• Direct debit in some countries
• Electronic money of various types
• Gift cards
• Postal money order
• Wire transfer/delivery on payment
Some sites will not accept international credit cards, some require both the purchaser's billing address and shipping address to be in the same country in which site does its business, and still other sites allow customers from anywhere to send gifts anywhere. The financial part of a transaction might be processed in real time (for example, letting the consumer know their credit card was declined before they log off), or might be done later as part of the fulfillment process.
Once a payment has been accepted the goods or services can be delivered in the following ways.
• Downloading: This is the method often used for digital media products such as software, music, movies, or images.
• Drop shipping: The order is passed to the manufacturer or third-party distributor, who ships the item directly to the consumer, bypassing the retailer's physical location to save time, money, and space.
• In-store pickup: The customer orders online, finds a local store using locator software and picks the product up at the closest store. This is the method often used in the bricks and clicks business model.
• Printing out, provision of a code for, or emailing of such items as admission tickets and scrip (e.g., gift certificates and coupons). The tickets, codes, or coupons may be redeemed at the appropriate physical or online premises and their content reviewed to verify their eligility (e.g., assurances that the right of admission or use is redeemed at the correct time and place, for the correct dollar amount, and for the correct number of uses).
• Shipping: The product is shipped to the customer's address or that of a customer-designated third party.
• Will call, COBO (in Care Of Box Office), or "at the door" pickup: The patron picks up pre-purchased tickets for an event, such as a play, sporting event, or concert, either just before the event or in advance. With the onset of the Internet and e-commerce sites, which allow customers to buy tickets online, the popularity of this service has increased.
Shopping cart systems
• Simple systems allow the offline administration of products and categories. The shop is then generated as HTML files and graphics that can be uploaded to a web space. These systems do not use an online database.
• A high end solution can be bought or rented as a standalone program or as an addition to an enterprise resource planning program. It is usually installed on the company's own web server and may integrate into the existing supply chain so that ordering, payment, delivery, accounting and warehousing can be automated to a large extent.
• Other solutions allow the user to register and create an online shop on a portal that hosts multiple shops at the same time.
• Open source shopping cart packages include advanced platforms such as Interchange, and off the shelf solutions as Avactis, Satchmo, osCommerce, Magento, Zen Cart, VirtueMart, Batavi and PrestaShop.
• Commercial systems can also be tailored to one's needs so the shop does not have to be created from scratch. By using a pre-existing framework, software modules for various functionalities required by a web shop can be adapted and combined.
Online Shopping Malls
Like many online auction websites, many websites allow small businesses to create and maintain an online shops (ecommerce online shopping carts), without the complexity that involved in purchasing and developing an expensive stand alone ecommerce software solutions.