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. It is a form of electronic commerce. An online shop, eshop, e-store, internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping centre. 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.History of Buying on the Internet
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 Intershop introduced its first online shopping system. In 1995 Amazon launched its online shopping site, and in 1996 eBay appeared.Satisfying Online Customer Expectations
The main idea of online shopping is not just in having a good looking website that could be listed in a lot of search engines or the art behind the site. It also is not only just about disseminating information, because it is also about building relationships and making money. Mostly, organizations try to adopt techniques of online shopping without understanding these techniques and/or without a sound business model. Rather than supporting the organization's culture and brand name, the website should satisfy consumer's expectations. A majority of consumers choose online shopping for a faster and more efficient shopping experience. Many researchers notify that the uniqueness of the web has dissolved and the need for the design, which will be user centered, is very important. Companies should always remember that there are certain things, such as understanding the customer's wants and needs, living up to promises, never go out of style, because they give reason to come back. And the reason will stay if consumers always get what they expect.
A website that wants to gain more shoppers will use four major principles of McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. Organizations which want people to shop more online with them, should consume extensive amounts of time and money to define, design, develop, test, implement, and maintain the website. If a company wants their website to be popular among online shoppers it should leave the user with a positive impression about the organization, so consumers can get an impression that the company cares about them.
The organization that wants to be accepted in online shopping needs to remember, that it is easier to lose a customer then to gain one. Lots of researchers state that even when a site was "top-rated", it would go nowhere if the organization failed to live up to common etiquette, such as returning e-mails in a timely fashion, notifying customers of problems, being honest, and being good stewards of the customers' data. Organizations that want to keep their customers or gain new ones should try to get rid of all mistakes and be more appealing to be more desirable for online shoppers. And this is why many designers of webshops consider research outcomes concerning consumer expectations.Source :