Internet shopping: benefits and disadvantages

It has been possible to make purchases on the Internet for years and there are more and more national and international companies that offer their articles or sales services through Internet portals.

However, for many people this type of transaction is still mysterious and even intimidating, since the absence of personal assistance seems dangerous.

According to the most recent study by the Colombian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CCCE), in our country 76% of Internet users have made purchases on the Internet at least once in their lives, and since 2016, annual Internet purchases are around 26,000 dollars, a considerably positive figure, since it represents a growth of more than 60% in the last two years.

This phenomenon has been possible thanks to the fact that more and more merchants are daring to migrate to digital platforms and launch their products on this market, either exclusively or as a complement to physical stores in traditional format.

In the same way, perhaps you have noticed that nowadays many bureaucratic processes, consultations and payments of multiple natures must be done online, so, in a way, it is difficult to detach from this activity. Be it individually or by asking for help from some digital user, we have all had to make purchases on the Internet.

If you doubt it, think about that time you had to pay for your home freedom certificate on the Supernotariado’s website or that time your child booked a hotel using a credit card to take advantage of the discount they offered for a limited time.

The five great benefits of shopping online

Competitive prices and discounts:

Probably the first attribute that regular internet shoppers will tell you about is price, since significantly cheaper products can be found online. And although this is not the case in all cases, it is common. There are companies that handle a different price on the Internet to promote sales in this space, which you will not be able to find in their physical stores.

In addition, companies operating in Colombia have taken models of discount seasons that existed abroad, such as Black Friday, which according to figures provided by PayU, the platform to sell and receive payments online, during the three days of promotions of Black Friday 2017 were made more than one million transactions, which represented a milestone for regional trade.


Although for many this could be seen as a disadvantage, it’s actually a strength of internet shopping. Since stores in the past handle security software that protects financial information and does not allow it to be stolen at any time. This is reflected in the statistics, since according to the CCCE, the level of fraud for Internet purchases in Colombia is 0.45%, below other Latin American countries like Peru (0.52%) or Mexico (1.5%).

However, what you should keep in mind when making purchases on the Internet is that you should take the necessary precautions indicated by banks and control agencies, such as accessing your bank accounts online by typing the web address into the search engine yourself or never provide information outside the authorized platforms.

In addition, making purchases on the Internet can be much safer than doing it physically, because you do not have to carry large amounts of money, but by accessing your personal electronic devices you can buy almost anything with a couple of clicks.

Availability and home delivery:

Surely it’s happened to you once that you needed to buy something and when you got to the store, it was closed. Another advantage of shopping online is that the stores are always open, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without queuing and accessible from anywhere in the world.

Although this sounds like a TV commercial, it is true and it is one of the main strengths of the digital market, since no matter how much time you have, you can make purchases and, moreover, receive them at home or in your office. So additionally you don’t have to worry about looking for transportation to carry items that may be large or heavy and, in many cases, you don’t have to pay any added value for this service.

Also, you don’t have to worry about the conditions in which the shipment arrives, since the seller must guarantee the quality and integrity of the products, since the good reputation of his brand and work depends on other buyers becoming customers, since all opinions are shared on the Internet, which we will talk about in the next point.

Easy to compare and have recommendations:

It is usually said that the best way to advertise is to have good recommendations; because on the Internet this principle of popular wisdom becomes more accurate than ever, since buyers usually share their experiences in blogs, forums, or in the spaces destined to write reviews that are located just below the product catalogues.

So, if a seller is not good, delivers a bad product, sends a different item than the one ordered or this one did not meet the buyer’s expectations, surely many people will know and think twice before wanting to become customers.

One of the clearest examples of this digital behavior happens when, for example, someone wants to go on vacation and searches the internet for different hosting options. In most specialized portals users can see and compare prices, services and reviews of people who have already stayed in hotels; reading real and uncensored opinions that clearly can give them a more detailed idea of what they are going to find in this place, all this before paying.

Variety of products:

When making purchases on the Internet you can access products that are not common or not yet available in physical stores in your country through exclusive Internet pre-sales.

In addition, it is possible to make online purchases of products that have not yet been launched in Colombia and import them, either for your personal use or even for resale. Either way, you will be more updated than users in the conventional national market.