Tech Savvy: Online Shopping

Shopping: Some people love it, some people loathe it! Since technology has become involved and our communication methods have evolved, a new era of shopping from anywhere you can get a connection to the internet has arrived. You can be at home on the couch, waiting at the school pickup, sitting at the doctor’s office or at your local library on their computers, shopping locally or from a supplier on the other side of the world! Now it has become mainstream with many people taking to it in droves.
It started out in niche areas with smaller companies using the online environment to market products to a wider audience. Bigger websites soon adopted the method, selling items through the one retailer like Amazon, one of the first adopters of the technology, or by many smaller retailers collaborating  into a one-stop-shop like Etsy, the handmade mecca. There are websites for bartering or swapping pre-owned items like Gumtree,  or bidding on items like eBay.  
Most of the time you access online shopping by using your browser on your device or computer to access their websites, but many companies are now creating brand specific apps to access their online offerings.
Whilst all this is great news for those who need a new gift, appliance or book, what if you need some milk, bread and that packet of M&M’s you’ve been craving? Well the supermarkets have joined in too. Woolworths, Coles and even some Foodland outlets (Frewville, Munno Para & Pasadena here is SA) have their own online websites or apps available. So you can stock up your fridge or pantry and they can either deliver to your home or have it ready for you to pick up when it’s convenient for you.
The fashionistas have not missed out either. Many fashion retailers now get their start online which can cut down on the initial costs of starting a business. Big name fashion houses also have online shops and/or apps. You can peruse their latest collections, purchase something, have it delivered and try it on.  Many will also give you the opportunity to return items for a refund if they don’t fit or aren’t to your satisfaction, provided care has been taken and tags are still intact.
Here at the library we are big fans of books! Found a great book that you’re finding hard to return?  Want a copy of your very own?  So, many booksellers are now exclusively online.  The Book Depository is a great option for book purchases and as a bonus, has free delivery!  
With so many options available, why leave the house at all? For the most part, online shopping is all about convenience. Being able to find a gift to be delivered to the intended recipient who lives far away, choosing your grocery items at night after all has become quiet and you can think straight or the ability to select and order something to be delivered from a store difficult to get to, are all part of what makes this new trend easy to use and fast becoming the new norm.
Further links:
Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy

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