An online store is a website through which customers place orders. It may represent a small local store, a major retailer, an e-commerce store or an individual who sells projects through a third-party site, such as eBay. It is possible to make a lot of money with an online store, but that doesn’t mean it’s your best choice, as it is one of many similar tools and “best” requires a solid fit for your needs. In order to build a successful e-commerce store, you need many things.
Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day, and many consumers in Western countries have Internet access both at work and at home. Other establishments such as Internet cafes, community centers and schools provide internet access as well. In contrast, visiting a conventional retail store requires travel or commuting and costs such as gas, parking, or bus tickets, and must usually take place during business hours. Delivery was always a problem which affected the convenience of online shopping.
However to overcome this many retailers including online retailers in Taiwan brought in a store pick up service. This now meant that customers could purchase goods online and pick them up at a nearby convenience store, making online shopping more advantageous to customers. In the event of a problem with the item (e.g., the product was not what the consumer ordered or the product was not satisfactory), consumers are concerned with the ease of returning an item in exchange for 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. For example, the online shoe retailer Zappos.com includes labels for free return shipping, and does not charge a restocking fee, even for returns which are not the result of merchant error.
Note: In the United Kingdom, online shops are prohibited from charging a restocking fee if the consumer cancels their order in accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling). A 2018 survey in the United States found 26% of online shoppers said they never return items, and another 65% said they rarely do so.