The Rise and Future of Online Shopping

The Rise and Future of Online Shopping

The majority of the Lebanese people love to shop, and who can blame them? The possibilities are endless and with so many great options to choose from, it has become a go-to activity for most.  In the past, we had to physically go to stores to purchase items, but today we can do that with the click of a button.

The notion of online shopping in Lebanon is still a new one. Although most people would still rather visit the shops physically, others have no problem shopping online. However, the Lebanese e-commerce market is still a shy one. Lebanon has shown a moderate increase in online shopping despite ranking 5th on e-commerce readiness in the Middle East (and 56th worldwide) according to the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce index in 2017. Despite being slower than other countries, it shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to catching up with its neighbors.

Given what we know about online shopping, we can see that Lebanese people still lack trust when it comes to using their credit card online. Paying cash is still the preferred method when ordering online especially that there are no e-commerce laws or even a regulatory framework for e-transactions in the country. However, one should not despair. A new e-commerce law is currently being studied by the Ministry of Economy, which would set standards for the new digital markets. Lebanese people are known for being resilient and creative when it comes to making the most out of any situation.

There are endless ways to buy online to go around using a credit card. An example of that would be using a Port Interface Card (PIC) card or an Internet Prepaid card. Using either of those cards can really change the way you shop. For that reason, cash on delivery is a predominant payment method in Lebanon, as more than two-thirds of payments are made in cash, even though some websites try to discourage it. Regardless of the payment method you are using, there are a lot of advantages to consider when buying online:

1) No buying pressure

Physically going to stores can be stressful for a lot of us. Sales representatives are sometimes a lot to deal with. Although it’s their job to persuade people to buy a product, repeatedly saying no is pretty daunting. The sense of freedom that we have when shopping online is like no other, afterall, no one should feel obligated to buy something they don’t want to. 

2) Convenience of online shopping

Customers can purchase items from the comfort of their own home. Never has it been this easy to shop online and cancel transactions if you have a change of heart. You can now save time, get great discounts and look at a wide selection of products without having to leave your home.

3) Endless Choices to Choose from

Shopping online gives you the opportunity to buy a wide range of products from your favorite brands. With it, you can easily buy anything from various online stores without having to worry about proximity. Years ago, you couldn’t even imagine something like this existing. Now, you can have anything in a matter of days/weeks/months, isn’t it crazy?

4) Reviews, reviews, reviews!

There’s nothing better than finding out how good a product is and/or how well it’s working prior to spending your money on it. Looking at reviews can save you from making a horrible mistake when buying an item.

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