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Online business - Research Paper Example

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Online Business Introduction Running a retail store as a business activity in the past meant having a brick and mortar structure, with a number of items kept in stock and displayed for customers to see, and the facilities for customers to complete the exchange process for the items that they wished to buy…
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Download file to see previous pages No longer is it essential for stores to be a physical entity, but a virtual one that is accessed using a personal computer, items on sale viewed, selected, and then purchased all from the comfort of a chair at home. One then has to just wait for the delivery of these items. The Online Store The online store exists in virtual reality as an URL on the World Wide Web. Getting to the store requires using the URL to present the web pages of the store on the computer screen. The experience of window shopping as practiced earlier changes in with online stores. Surfing through the web site addresses of the several online stores from the luxury of chair at home, provides the window shopping experience. In the physical retail store a sales clerk helped one identify items of need, but in the online store one would have to go through the pages of the online store, identify items of interest, and look at the promotional offers on them before finalizing the purchase. In the physical store one pushed a cart around and dropped the chosen items in a cart and took it to a sales clerk, who tallied the items and presented a bill. The bill was then paid for by cash or credit cart. One walked out of the store the proud owner of the items purchased. In an online store there is the virtual cart. Clicking on the items one wishes to purchases, puts the items virtually into the cart, with the advantage of immediately knowing the total value of the purchases at that given time. Once the purchases have been completed, the different kinds of payment options appear on the screen. One then has to choose the payment option and provide the relevant details. The online store verifies the payment and then ships the items to you. All tat one has to do is await the delivery (Lohse & Spiller, 2003). The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Online Store The quick growth of on-line stores reflects the apparent advantages of an online store over the physical stores. On-line stores are quicker to set up in that there is no need to locate and rent or build physical space, once the necessary tie-ups with suppliers are complete. It is much easier and faster to set up the web site with the requisite number of pages containing the details of the business. In addition to the speed with which an online store can be set up, it is also less expensive to set it up. Building or rental costs are avoided, along with the need to buy and stock the goods. The products move out from the manufacturer or whole seller, with a limited investment in them. In addition to cost advantages in setting up an online store, there is the advantage of low operating costs, with added benefit of keeping the online store open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. There are also several competitive advantages, particularly from the perspective of customer. The foremost of these is convenience and flexibility in the actual purchase processes and the delivery of the purchased goods (Chakrabarti & Kardile, 2002). Furthermore, the lower costs in setting up an online store and running it in comparison to a physical store translates into lower costs of the items, which is an attraction for customers (Keen Web Templates, 2011). It is not all hunky-dory for online stores. There are disadvantages too. Poor imagery on the websites leads to bad impressions of the products and the online store. In addition customers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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