Imagine this: you are sitting on your computer in your pajamas enjoying your morning cup of java. It is 10 degrees outside and snowing so heavy you can’t see your neighbor’s house across the street. Now let me ask you: do you really feel like going shopping for that sweater you have been wanting for weeks? Well of course you don’t but there is another answer. Welcome to the world of online shopping. Online shopping is where you go to one of the thousands of shopping sites on the internet to purchase products and services. There are many names for these sites such as online shops, e-store, internet shop, online store or virtual store. It takes away the need to go to a department store or mall and physically shop.

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the first internet server and browser and in 1992, Charles Stack created the first online bookstore called Book Stacks Unlimited and in 1994, the online phenomenon Amazon was created by Jeff Bezos. Also in 1994 saw the coming out of online banking and an online Pizza Hut shop. And EBay was created in 1996, which is a huge online shopping venue. It is estimated that one third of people that use online shops use a search engine like Yahoo and Google to find what they are looking for and the rest use word of mouth. The great thing about online shopping and search engines is that you can use a search engine to find either the store you are looking for such as Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s or you can type in the article of clothing you are searching for such as a sweater or skirt and it will bring up a list of online shopping venues that carry those items.

There are many items you can purchase online such as books, clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, nutrition products, groceries and airline tickets. Online shopping provides convenience, freedom and control. There are many payment options available when doing online shopping such as debit cards, COD or cash on delivery, online check, wire transfer, postal money order, PayPal, Google checkout, Amazon payments, Bill Me Later and gift cards. Once a payment has been made, there are many ways to deliver the goods or services. These ways include instant downloading which is used in the case of media products such as software, music, movies or images, shipping to the customer’s address or gift recipient, drop shipping which is the process of passing the order to a third party warehouse who then ships the order to the customer directly and in-store pickup where the customer can order online and then have it shipped to their local store where it is then available for immediate pickup by the customer.