Online shopping is the action or activity of buying goods or services over the internet.
Online shopping 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 or a mobile app.
Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine, which displays the same product’s availability and pricing at different e-retailers.
As of 2022, customers can shop online using a range of different computers and devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablet computers and smartphone.
How to select product in online shopping
Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine.
Once a particular product has been found on the website of the seller, most online retailers use shopping cart software to allow the consumer to accumulate multiple items and to adjust quantities, like filling a physical shopping cart or basket in a conventional store.
A “checkout” process follows (continuing the physical-store analogy) in which payment and delivery information is collected, if necessary. Some stores allow consumers to sign up for a permanent online account so that some or all of this information only needs to be entered once.
The consumer often receives an e-mail confirmation once the transaction is complete. Less sophisticated stores may rely on consumers to phone or e-mail their orders (although full credit card numbers, expiry date, and Card Security Code, or bank account and routing number should not be accepted by e-mail, for reasons of security).
How to make payment in online shopping
Online shoppers commonly use a credit card or a PayPal account in order to make payments. However, some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative means, such as:
Billing to mobile phones and landlines
Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies
Cash on delivery (C.O.D.)
Direct debit in some countries
Electronic money of various types
Invoice, especially popular in some markets/countries, such as Switzerland
Postal money order
Wire transfer/delivery on payment
Some online shops will not accept international credit cards. Some require both the purchaser’s billing and shipping address to be in the same country as the online shop’s base of operation. Other online shops allow customers from any country to send gifts anywhere.
The financial part of a transaction may be processed in real time (e.g. letting the consumer know their credit card was declined before they log off), or may be done later as part of the fulfillment process.
How about delivery
Once a payment has been accepted, the goods or services can be delivered in the following ways. For physical items:
Package delivery: The product is shipped to a customer-designated address. Retail package delivery is typically done by the public postal system or a retail courier such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, or TNT.
Drop shipping: The order is passed to the manufacturer or third-party distributor, who then ships the item directly to the consumer, bypassing the retailer’s physical location to save time, money, and space.
In-store pick-up: The customer selects a local store using a locator software and picks up the delivered product at the selected location. This is the method often used in the bricks and clicks business model.
For digital items or tickets:
Downloading/Digital distribution: The method often used for digital media products such as software, music, movies, or images.
Printing out, provision of a code for, or e-mailing of such items as admission tickets and scrip (e.g., gift certificates and coupons). The tickets, codes, or coupons may be redeemed at the appropriate physical or online premises and their content reviewed to verify their eligibility (e.g., assurances that the right of admission or use is redeemed at the correct time and place, for the correct dollar amount, and for the correct number of uses).
4 Best online shopping sites in Tanzania
These are the most reliable online shopping sites in Tanzania in terms of fast delivery, customer support, affordable price, original products and in stock products availability.