The backdrop of online retailing is the concept of online shopping. In online shopping, the customers make their orders, select deliver the address, process payment. Since the inception of online shopping, significant changes have been witnessed. For instance, in the past, there were no mobile wallets. However, at the moment, there are hundreds if not thousands of organizations that have created mobile wallets where customers can deposit money and use it to complete payment transactions. Since online shopping entails ordering the products without physically viewing them, organizations are necessitated to use multimedia files such as videos, audios, pictures and also text (Haur, Khatibi, and Azam, 2017). The consumers browsing through the online product catalogue will be able to view the product descriptions and specifications before making an order. In the past, most of the online shopping, especially in the Malaysian context, included the purchase of accommodation and air tickets. However, with advancing technologies, people are becoming increasingly attached to buying tangible products such as consumer electronics and groceries online (Majid and Firend, 2017). Besides, the technology space has allowed consumers to choose a different product they want. For instance, nowadays, a consumer can design the product that they would wish to purchase from the retailer.
Online shopping is mainly premised on four fundamental pillars. The first pillar is the storefront. The storefront is typically the online store where customers who have logged into a website choose the products of their desire. Depending on what the online retailer is offering, the store is customarily categorized, which resonates with what a person would get when they walk into a physical store to purchase products. Categorization or classification of the products is vital in the sense that it makes accessibility to the desires faster and efficient.
The second pillar is the shopping cart. The shopping cart enables customers to add products that they have chosen. The third pillar is the payment process. After an online customer has picked the desired products, he or she must proceed to the payment process. In the payment process, the customer may pick the payment process of choices such as Electronic Funds Transfers (ETF), credit cards, or debit cards. The last component is the order fulfilment. After a customer has completed all the steps successfully, the system will inform him or her of the shipment terms and date.
A significant percentage of online shoppers are using their smartphones to complete a transaction (Muda, Mohd, and Hassan, 2016). This is attributed to the fact that many people have access to smartphones. In essence, the number of smartphone users has increased drastically over the past ten years globally. Also, internet penetration globally has improved. Cognizant of the immense benefits of internet connectivity, many governments, in collaboration with other private partners, are investing massive resources in developing reliable network infrastructure. Again, the number of online shoppers globally increased due to extensive network coverage. It is projected that with a full roll-out of the 5G network, especially in the developing and developed economies, the number will be higher than before.
The advantages of online shopping have been investigated thoroughly in the past. To begin with, online shopping is convenient. Whereas in the past, shoppers were obliged to make visits to physical stores to make purchases, nowadays many shoppers can order products at the comfort of their homes or offices (Lee et al., 2016; Lim et al., 2016). As such, shoppers are saving valuable time. Also, online stores are not affected by operational hours like physical stores. It means that shoppers can make orders at any time of the day. For a business operating online stores revenues are likely to increase because customers can come from anywhere in the world (San et al., 2016). This is unlike physical stores where customers are restricted to specific geographical locations.
Despite online shopping becoming a quintessential idea of the future, a significant percentage of consumers fear using it for various reasons. The first reason that majority of the consumers cite is online insecurity. Over the past years, the number of cyberattack cases has increased tremendously. Cybercriminals are continually stealing credit card and other financial information from unsuspecting shoppers (Hong, Zulkiffli, and Hamsani, 2016). As a result, billions of dollars are lost annually due to cyber theft and fraud. Another reason why other people shun online shopping is defective products. Since the shoppers only see what has been posted on the website, they might find the product faulty or substandard when they finally receive it after shipment.
In regards to online shopping, various studies have been conducted to determine the factors that affect customer satisfaction. As seen before, the effectiveness of sales is contingent on consumer behaviour. In other words, a consumer will continue to do online shopping if his or her needs have been satisfied in the past. On the other hand, an unpleasant experience will not only affect customer satisfaction but also shape their attitude toward online shopping (Ting et al., 2016). Researchers have developed various models to determine the satisfaction of online shoppers. For instance, Guo, Ling, and Liu (2012) created a model to assess factors that affect the satisfaction level of online shoppers in China. According to these researchers, they postulated eight critical factors that influenced the satisfaction level including product variety, product quality, e-service quality, payment method, information quality, security, website design, and delivery service. Schaupp and Belanger (2005) concluded that the satisfaction of online shoppers is premised on three factors, including technological factors, product factors, and shopping factor (Rudansky, 2014).