The best online shopping sites today provide the consumers with the best options in terms of variety of products, payment options and delivery alternatives.
A Brief History of Online Shopping –
In early 1990, the primary World Wide internet server and browser were created by Tim Berners-Lee in the UK. It opened for industrial use in 1991. In 1994, alternative advances occurred, like online banking and web pizza parlor by pizza Hut. In that very same year, the browser introduced SSL secret writing of information transferred online, which has become essential for secure online transactions. Additionally, in 1995, the German company Intershop communications AG introduced its initial online booking system.
Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) by IBM was among the initial forms of trade to be conducted online. It was developed in the early 1960s, which allowed real-time processing of financial transactions. Over the years, there has been tremendous improvement in technology, which led to the emergence of online shopping. Currently, we have so many best online shopping sites in India where one can easily find and buy commodities of their choice.
Online shopping on the best online shopping sites in India allows buying and selling of goods via the internet by consumers and sellers. Best online shopping sites in India enable consumers to browse for literally everything he would possibly need from a market. These consumers login to shopping websites to look for products available, their prices and variation in the price of the same item from one site to another.
Bearing in mind that there are several online buying and selling sites, each one is currently trying its best to be the best online shopping sites in India. There are several products that one can buy online. As per current online shopping trends, things to buy online include clothing, electronics, luggage, books, and baby supplies, among others.
Most online stores have search capabilities enabled on their websites, making it easy for customers to tailor their required brands and models. It thus becomes easy for customers to know about the preferred product he can buy and the right site.
Depending on the customer’s location, these online shopping sites provide a series of payment methods for their consumers. This requires the customer to be connected to the internet to complete the transaction successfully. Some of the payment methods available on most sites are debit cards, gift cards, bitcoin, and pay on delivery, among other options. Immediately after the customer finalizes paying the bill, the product delivery process is initiated.
Below are some of the forms of product delivery for online shopping –
Drop shipping – In this method, the processed order is given over to a third-party distributor, who organizes the logistics on how the product will reach the customer.
Shipping – The goods are shipped by the online retailer to the address that the customer had provided.
In-store pick-up – In this delivery method, the consumer uses locator software to select a local store where they can pick the ordered product. The bricks and clicks business model makes use of this method.
For digital items, the following modes of delivery are used –
Download/Digital distribution – Applicable for digital media products like music and movies.
Will call – In this method, the pre-purchased tickets (for example, a concert ticket) are picked up by the patron either just before the event or in advance. The demand for this service is increasing with the increasing penetration of e-commerce sites and the internet.
Printing out – This form is all about the redemption of codes, tickets, or coupons to verify their eligibility.
Advantages of Online shopping
Convenience – Online shops are available 24X7 while the physical shops close at night. This, therefore, makes it convenient for the consumers to make an order any time of the day suitable to them. Moreover, online shops have no queues; therefore, shopping for things to buy online can be done in just minutes. Moreover, informational products like e-books become instantly available upon the transaction’s finalization.
Better prices – There are many affordable online shopping sites. This is because most of the products sold are directly from the manufacturer resulting in reduced intermediaries. The customer can also easily compare and contrast the prices on different online shopping sites and make a decision faster on things to buy online.
A large variety of products – The best online shopping sites in India offer excellent choices where you can easily find various things to buy. Customers can get the latest international trends without necessarily travelling to other countries. For example, the customer can browse the best online shopping sites in India for clothes and find cool things to buy from the list attained, whereby he or she can also understand the trends in fashion across the globe and shop instantly.
Better control – In many instances, while shopping from physical shops, we tend to spend more than what we had budgeted for. Thereby, we also end up buying products that were not the ones we wanted. On the other hand, online buying and selling sites allow customers to select the exact product without letting the store’s inventory dictate to them what to purchase. This thereby ensures that one gets what he needs from online shopping websites.
Easy price comparisons – Researching and comparing products and their prices is much more comfortable on the best online shopping sites in India. AI tools offering ‘drag and drop’ comparisons are also available on some online shopping websites. This has made shopping for consumers with constrained budgets to buy stuff online much more comfortable.
Product Reviews – A customer can easily read reviews on cool things to buy and reach a decision on the best product to settle for.
Old or damaged items are available at lower prices – Some websites in the online marketplace list damaged or refurbished items at lower prices. This is an excellent deal for people who do repairs as they can buy them, repair and sell it to any website offering cool things to buy online.
Challenges faced while shopping online
Shipping problems and delays – Some items get damaged; others may be lost or attempted to deliver at the wrong address. This affects even the best online shopping sites in India as there are bad days, and you may not get your delivery on your hands as planned.
The risk of fraud – Online shopping for items brings about threats like phishing, counterfeit products, credit card scams, among others. These risks are very minimal when shopping from a physical marketplace.
Less community contact – When all businesses are carried online, people may stay in their homes most of the time. It is also necessary for people to interact face to face for a complete shopping experience. A computer screen can not compete with a real human connection.
Unfriendly and complicated websites – Some of the online shopping websites are full of ads, and few others don’t offer accurate descriptions of products. Some are very unfriendly to use. A customer may spend a lot of time and still be unable to make an order.
Absence of sales assistance – Unlike the local stores where there is always someone to help you out, the customer is on his own in some online shopping sites. This may result in blind purchases ending up in regrets.
Cool things to buy online
Going by the recent trends, there are many cool things to buy from online shopping websites. Some of them are –
– You can buy cool stuff for your room online
– Baby supplies
– Used cars(Easier and cheaper without the need for intermediaries) – they are one of the most popular cool stuff to buy in 2020
– Holiday gifts (Because wrapping, shipping are very convenient) are certainly one of the cute things to buy online.
Some other coolest things to buy online in 2020 are available on India’s top 10 online selling sites in India and globally. Some of them are –
Levitating Moon Lamp – A device used to light up rooms in the most relaxed way ever. It levitates, thus creating an eye-catching glow.
Pet wand – This is an ideal device for washing puppies. It comes along with an adapter to make it easy to use it with a hose outside. It creates strong bonds with the furry, especially during summer, causing them to enjoy it.
Heated car Blanket – The heated blanket is plugged into the car, which ensures that even when it is freezing, one can still enjoy the warmth similar to the bed.
Some of the best online shopping sites in India for clothes
Best online shopping sites in India
Some of the best online shopping sites in India are –
1) Amazon – specializes in a diverse array of products
– Makes use of Amazon Payment system as their method of payment(in addition to regular payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, net-banking and others).
– Amazon Prime members enjoy free shipping
2) Myntra – specializes in wardrobes
– Free returns
– Customers enjoy giftcards
– When you spend ₹1,199 and above, you automatically qualify for free shipping
3) Biba – Specializes in Indian traditional apparel
– No shipping fee India-wide
– Return is accepted for products that are 15 days old
4) Snapdeal – specializes in a wide variety of items starting from new, refurbished products, men and women clothing, and electronic products
– Offers wholesale/dropshipping business
Finding reliable online shopping sites
Some of the parameters taken into consideration to decide whether a website is reliable or not are –
1. Website Quality
The design of the website must communicate to the visitor purpose and niche of the website
2. Website Security
The owner of the website must make sure proper security protocols are implemented on the site. All data and information on the website must stay safe with the intended parties.
3. Payment choices
The best online shopping sites in India have several payment choices like MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Card, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking, UPI, IMPS, etc.
5. Shipping and the Return Policy
To qualify as reliable, online buying and selling sites should allow a fair amount of time to return any product that customers aren’t glad about being delivered. The website should be able to send you another order or refund your cash too.
Top Online Selling Sites In India
Shopclues.com – This site was launched in 2011 by Radhika Agarwal and Sandeep Agarwal. The products available on this site include – Mobile phones, electronics, kitchenware, nutrition & supplements, sports materials, and so on.
Meesho: This is among the cheapest online shopping app that makes it possible for physical stores and small businesses to move their products online through social channels. On this site, you can sell handicraft accessories, fashion, and lifestyle. The requirements for selling using this application are registration process, PAN details, and Aadhaar card. The registration, however, is free of charge.
Firstcry: This is among the top kids’ fashion sites in Asia. It was launched in 2010, personalizing in baby products retailing. The requirements to sell on this platform are; Creating an account(Free), provide bank details, PAN number, and GSTN.
LimeRoad – Founded in 2012 and specializes in clothing and fashion accessories for different categories. The requirements to sell on this site are registering an account, proof of identity and address, and bank details. With the use of the Limeroad application, you can also promote your products.
Pepperfry: This online marketplace was launched in 2011, specializing in furniture and other home decors. This site is also considered as one of the largest players in furniture and home decor sellers. The requirements to sell on this site are; bank details validation, proof of address, and the products that one is selling must be genuine.
Amazon: This site was started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. In India, it was established in 2013. This site sells various products from mobile and tablet, home and kitchen, electronic appliances and accessories, and is inclusive of fashion apparel. For you to sell on this site, you must create an Amazon account. This requires authorization to add private labels, bank account, PAN card, and the business address.
Drivers of Online Shopping In India
– Top 10 online selling sites in India have implemented particular cashback policies.
– 24hrs customer care services to resolve client queries. This helps gain customers’ trust.
– Higher and safer online banking services led to an increase in the flow of customers who were earlier hesitant in sharing their details online. This has been noticed in the top 10 online selling sites in India.
– Technology upgrade for higher internet speeds has boosted accessibility when finding online shopping sites in India.
– Availability of a wide selection of merchandise and services to choose from.
– Online shopping operates on an enormous scale, and so does the merchandise offered at discounts.
– The behavior of Indian customers has evolved over the years. Customers are getting various alternatives to buy or sell merchandise like mobiles, home décor, apparels across the internet and are not dependent on any single platform.
– Busy lives leave folks with less time to go to markets, malls, or typical ‘brick and mortar’ stores. Online shopping sites in India have helped solve this problem for buyers.
Over the years, customers have been provided with a better online shopping experience through technology, and as we advance, it is expected to improve by leaps and bounds. Consumers can now shop online with so much ease, spending much lesser. On the other hand, this has also opened doors and provided ample opportunity for small retailers who would otherwise not have been able to venture into business due to the high investment costs required for owning a mortar and brick store. It is, therefore, a win-win for the sellers and the consumers both.