Online Shopping Guide for Electronics – How to Buy Electronics Online

Online Shopping has recently emerged as a global trend in the E-commerce industry. Online shopping means that one can purchase item of any type in real-time through an online shopping store. The process involved is known as “Business to Consumer” (B2C) online shopping. In order to purchase anything online, you need to have a PC, access to internet and credit card. The first online shopping system was introduced by a German company named “Intershop” in 1994. Amazon is the biggest online retail store which was launched in 1995.

Consumers can easily find a product that they are interested in by simply visiting any online retail store or using search engines to look for them. Just like any other item, electronic goods can be purchased online for personal, office, departmental or industrial use. If you are looking to buy electronics online, you first need to know your budget and then start searching for the electronic item you are interested in through different search engines. When you have selected a number of online stores that are offering your desired product, you start comparing prices and decide if you want to purchase the item from the store offering the lowest price. But there are some factors involved. Firstly you need to check if the online retail store offers shipping to your area and whether the shipping price falls within your budget or not.

If you are looking to buy electronic items like computers, desktops, laptops, digital cameras, home theater systems, printers, scanners, cell phones or DVD players for personal or office use, there are a huge number of online stores offering these items with highly competitive prices and this is where the trust comes in. You need to make sure that the online store that you have chosen is 100% secure and whether your personal and credit card information will be safe or not.

There are also a number of comparison sites where you can compare prices for different electronic items for free and then you can choose the best price available on internet. When buying electronics online you need to keep all these things in your mind and select the option that best suits your needs. Buyers can adjust the search results by trying a number of things to make them more useful. Selecting your desired product and online shopping store is itself an art if you know how to search based on different criteria.

Ring It Up! Understanding Online Shopping Carts

Business web sites can be broadly categorized into two types: those which exist purely for disseminating and/or collecting information and those which make sales.

There’s nothing wrong with the first type; for some businesses it may not make sense to do selling or take payments online. For instance a house painter could book appointments online but can’t really price or sell his services online.

Most businesses, however, could benefit from making sales and taking payments online. Those sales might be strictly supplementary such as a veterinarian who also sells a line of pet care products or they might be the main staple of the business such as a graphic designer who works from home making web pages.

The one thing that all income producing web sites have in common is a shopping cart; some way to actually accept payments.

Features of online shopping carts

By now, pretty much every man woman and child in America has purchased something online. You may or may not have stopped to consider all the functions that a shopping cart performs.

  • Keep a tally of the items a customer purchases. By doing this in the background, it allows customers to keep shopping and adding items to the cart until they are ready to check out.
  • Automatically remember the “contents” of each customer’s cart. This memory is configurable and can last only as long as the customer’s session is active, it can last a predetermined number of hours or days or it can last indefinitely.
  • Allow customers to update quantities and/or remove items from the cart.
  • Automatically calculate sales tax, where applicable.
  • Offer one or more shipping options and automatically calculate shipping charges for the option selected.
  • Accept discount codes and automatically apply the correct discount.
  • Display a total (plus usually subtotals) so customers know how much they are paying.
  • Accept one or more forms of payment:
    1. Credit cards
    2. Debit cards
    3. Direct debit from a bank account
    4. Online payment services (Paypal, BillMe, etc)
    5. Corporate or government purchase order
  • Perform currency conversion as needed. In some cases even accepting payment in multiple currencies for the convenience of your buyers.
  • Display and/or issue a receipt. The best will both display as well as send a receipt to the customer’s email address.
  • Send order and payment details to the merchant (you). Most will also send the customer information they collected.
  • Perform order fulfillment:
    1. For electronically downloadable purchases (eBooks, streaming audio/video, membership subscriptions, etc.) the cart will deliver the final product.
    2. For physical goods and services, the cart will format and print shipping labels or work orders.

That’s a lot of stuff!

Where to get a shopping cart

These are complex and highly specialized pieces of software. For that reason, it’s generally best to use a hosted service rather than purchase, install and own dedicated software. If you do want to purchase and install your own software, eCommerce Templates has one of the best packages available.

There are many shopping cart service providers. One of the more well-known stand-alone service providers is 1ShoppingCart.

Or you could sign up with a more all-inclusive merchant web site hosting service like 3Dcart or Shopify. These are essentially web site hosting providers which also provide all the amenities needed for eCommerce as part of your standard account.

If you have a very low volume of sales or are just starting out, you could also use a “free” service such as those hosted by Paypal, Amazon, Google and others. Recognize that these are not really free and charge a rather substantial (on a percentage basis) fee for each transaction.

Cost and fee structure

The cost of an online shopping cart varies based on features and sales volume. In general, there are two components to the fee structure:

  • A base fee, which ranges from free to several hundred dollars per month, and
  • A per-transaction fee for each sale made.

Lower base fees typically equate to higher per-transaction fees and vice-versa. Only you can determine whether your volume of online sales and average sale amount would make one fee structure more attractive than another.

As your business grows and changes, so can your merchant account.

Customized interface

The non-integrated hosting services such as 1ShoppingCart allow you to customize the appearance of the checkout pages. So even though they are hosting the shopping cart software on their own servers the colors, text, images and other visual elements make it indistinguishable from your own site’s pages. This gives your customers a seamless buying experience.

The third-party providers also send all the buying information back to you. They never store or record it for their own purposes. (Except credit card numbers and related validation information. Laws regarding the safeguarding of this information are strict enough that you are better off letting them handle it.)

Get selling!

Whichever type of solution you use, the listing process is pretty simple. You just enter a few pieces of information such as a unique item number and description, some pricing information and perhaps a link to some photos or an online catalogue page. Within minutes, you can have your first few items up for sale.

No special technical skills needed.

Benefits Of Online Shopping For The Modern Man

Shopping is and has always been a fun activity for every woman out there, but simply a pain to guys. Especially when most of them have to stand in long queues, watching shoppers fight for toys, seeing their wallets get emptied, well – shopping can be a pressuring and stressful event. Whilst that said, it doesn’t have to be. One can still enjoy shopping without all the hassle that comes with it through online shopping.

For those guys who want to skip the holiday traffic, waking up at an ungodly hour to be the first in line, fight their way through the crowds, or just want to enjoy the holiday without the stress and drama, online shopping can be an excellent alternative.

Why Shop Online?

One of the advantages is of course – the convenience and ease that it provides shoppers. One can just connect to the internet, open their browser, type in their favourite virtual store and start looking at the various electronic gadgets available. Since it is open 24/7, one can check out the item’s specs at their own leisure without having to wake up early to rush to the mall or be stressed out with the store clerk looking at you with the evil eye especially when its closing time.

The variety and selections spread out is excellent so that one no longer needs to go from one computer store to another. One can open two windows in their computer or check the items they are interested in and compare them with each other. This provides consumers with different options and since they are not restricted or limited to the brand(s) available, they can choose the one that will suit their needs.

Are You An Avid Collector?

For guys looking for hard to find electronic items, the internet provides a hub of specialized and hard to find merchandise. Aside from popular auction houses, some sellers would also post images or photos of rare and obscure items that one might be interested in. This can include authentic electronic equipment, vintage baseball card collections, minted coins, books and other stuffs that would be of interest to avid collectors or hobbyists.

One thing that makes shopping online great for gadget loving guys is that they would be able to buy the latest electronic equipment such as tablets, smartphones, laptops and other mechanical devices. In addition, as store displays are limited, surfing the virtual site would help one to contact the company directly to order out of stock items and pick it up from their local store once available. Warranties are also guaranteed and some do offer money back guarantee for when the item has defects and free pick-ups are offered.

Best Possible Price

Shopping in the internet also has one advantage that conventional shopping stores do not have and that is offering the latest gadgets at almost half the price. One can find the lowest and the best possible prices that they can get for the item that they want to buy. All the buyer has to do is to compare the prices and offers that each seller advertise in their site. This is not possible when one is shopping in a traditional store as more often than not, they are all priced exactly the same so one has no option but to buy at the price dictated by the store.

The best and greatest benefit that online shopping gives guys is that it beats being dragged for endless hours by their loved ones from one store to another. And that, my dear friend, is the ultimate coup de grace.