Introduction to Online Shopping
Almost all human activities on earth have been revolutionalised and witness tremendous change from its conventional process due to advancement in the Internet in this twenty first century. One of the human activities greatly influenced in this era are mode of shopping, marketing, advertising and communication.
Online shopping (sometimes known as e-tail from “electronic retail” or e-shopping) is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet. Alternative names are: e-web-store, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, online storefront and virtual store, woo-commerce, e-commerce, online marketing, online shopping, e-shopping and internet marketing. Mobile commerce (M-commerce) describes purchasing from an online retailer’s mobile optimized online site or app (Wikipedia, 2015). Online shopping is the process of browsing and searching products information in a virtual online environment in order to provide sufficient information for purchase decision, and then implement the purchase action (Margaret, 2015).
E-Commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services on the internet, especially the World Wild Web (Akbar, James and Paul, 2014). Online shopping is a form of E-commerce whereby consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller over the internet.
Online shopping is done through an online shop, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop or online store. All the products in online stores are described through text, with photos and with multimedia files. Many online stores will provide links for extra information about their products. They often make available, safety procedures, instructions, manufacture specification and demonstrations (Akbar, James and Paul, 2014)
Easy access to internet has driven consumers to shop online in fact according to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Communication Policy (2001), online shopping is third most popular activity on the internet after email using and web browsing (Muhammad, Umar and Nasir, 2011).
Shopping from e-commerce is becoming popular in Nigeria today especially among students of tertiary institutions who have gain knowledge of computer and internet compared to secondary school and rural dwellers. i.e for someone to shop online, such must be able to read, have knowledge of internet and computer or Smartphone operation etc. Other reasons for its popularity is the ability to shop online and get it deliver at the door step, easy to compare alternative products, etc
The growing number of internet users is one of the factors responsible for buying and selling practice. For instance, the number of internet users in Nigeria has further increased to 93.4 million, according to a new report on Internet status in the country. The report obtained by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, indicated the country has recorded about 14 per cent growth in mobile internet subscriptions between January and end of July 2015. According to the data, which shows that Nigeria’s mobile Internet ecosystem is gaining momentum, telecoms networks collectively boosted mobile Internet subscriptions on their networks from 81.8 million in January to 93.4 million in July (Kunle, 2015).
The growth of online users thereby attracted marketers to recognize it usage as an important part of their marketing communication strategies because it helps organizations to communicate with their customers in two-way i.e bi-directional or interactive in nature. These interactions help marketers determine customers’ needs and understand what their market might look like.
This business transactions occurs either between business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to transactional processes around online retail (Margaret, 2015).
Generally speaking, some of internet users in Nigeria avert online shopping because of the following instances:
- debit/credit-card fraud,
- lack of privacy,
- non-delivery risk,
- presence of so called yahoo yahoo,
- lack of guarantee of quality of goods and services
- lack of knowledge to explore online site etc
On the global scene, there are lots of e-commerce that are reputable and credible for online buying and selling such as: Amazon, JD.com, Alibaba, Walmart, Booking Holdings, Shopify, Rakuten, Otto, eBay and lots more while in Nigeria today, there are also lots of e-shops (e-commerce) serving millions of Nigerians online users who can trust online platforms as another alternative means of buying and selling particularly among students of tertiary institutions who are verse in the operation of computer, smartphone and knowledge of internet. Among the popular online-store is JUMIA.com, Konga.com, Kaymu.com, olx.com.ng, Tafoo.com, Dealdey.com, Wakanow.com, Adibba.com and lots more.
Factors influencing buying and selling of users on e-commerce sites are often determines the users experience in terms of site loading time, site interactivity, site navigation, flexibility, responsiveness, simplicity, checkout, payment compatibility, relevant contents, searching, mobile friendly and site credibility are some of the factors that determine users experience, trust and patronage.
Olayinka (2015) writes that goods and services shop online can be classified as tangible and intangible goods. It is tangible good when it is a mobile phone, computer, bag and other physically touched items and it is intangible when it cannot be touched or hold in the physical sense such include hosting a website, design a website, copy editing and lots.
It is against this back drop that this paper examines online shopping in relations to Technological Determinism Theory and Diffusion of Innovation Theory, with the main objective to see how the two theories explain “Online Shopping” and different angles that the theories looked.