Routine Information Collection
All web servers track basic information about their visitors. This information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses, browser details, time stamps and referring pages. None of this information can personally identify specific visitors to this site. The information is tracked for routine administration and maintenance purposes.
Cookies and Web Beacons
Controlling Your Privacy
Note that you can change your browser settings to disable cookies if you have privacy concerns. Disabling cookies for all sites is not recommended as it may interfere with your use of some sites. The best option is to disable or enable cookies on a per-site basis. Consult your browser documentation for instructions on how to block cookies and other tracking mechanisms.
Special Note About Third Party Organization Advertising
Any advertisements served by Third Party Organizations and affiliated companies may be controlled using cookies. These cookies allow Third Party Organizations to display ads based on your visits to this site and other sites that use Third Party Organization advertising services. As mentioned above, any tracking done by Third Party Organizations through cookies and other mechanisms is subject to The Third Party Organizations own privacy policies. See the Third Party Organizations website for details.
Online shopping or online retailing is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Alternative names are: e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, and virtual store.
An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or shopping center; the process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping.
In the case where a business buys from another business, the process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping.
One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services provided by many different vendors (though some local search engines do exist)
Information and reviews
Online stores must describe products for sale with text, photos, and multimedia files, whereas in a physical retail store, the actual product and the manufacturer’s packaging will be available for direct inspection (which might involve a test drive, fitting, or other experimentation).
Some online stores provide or link to supplemental product information, such as instructions, safety procedures, demonstrations, or manufacturer specifications. Some provide background information, advice, or how-to guides designed to help consumers decide which product to buy.
Some stores even allow customers to comment or rate their items. There are also dedicated review sites that host user reviews for different products. Reviews and even some blogs give customers the option of shopping for cheaper purchases from all over the world without having to depend on local retailers.
In a conventional retail store, clerks are generally available to answer questions. Some online stores have real-time chat features, but most rely on e-mails or phone calls to handle customer questions.
Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day, and many consumers have Internet access both at work and at home. Other establishments such as internet cafes and schools provide internet access as well.
In contrast, visiting a conventional retail store requires travel and must take place during business hours.
In the event of a problem with the item (e.g., the product was not what the consumer ordered, the product was not satisfactory), consumers are concerned with the ease of returning an item in exchange for either the correct product or a refund. Consumers may need to contact the retailer, visit the post office and pay return shipping, and then wait for a replacement or refund.
Some online companies have more generous return policies to compensate for the traditional advantage of physical stores.