The internet has revolutionized the way that we operate, and many people don’t realize just how quickly these changes have taken place. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but at the turn of the century Enron was still going strong, and streaming video over the internet was a pipe dream.
A little more than a year later, Enron has filed bankruptcy, and now we are so used to video streaming we forget that not that long ago it just wasn’t possible. Now you can download a movie to your phone and watch it while you’re waiting at the airport – and it looks great!
It has had an even bigger impact on the way we gather and exchange information, and take care of basic everyday tasks like paying bills and shopping. The phone book has just about gone; when someone needs a number now they look it up on their computer or smart device, and shopping is the same way.
Some things you still want to go touch and feel before you buy it, but as internet shopping becomes better more products are just more convenient to get online.
One of the best ways to judge different sites are online malls that have collected links and reviews from different online suppliers, from giants in the industry like BestBuy and Cross Pens to smaller local stores that sell locally and on the internet.
Reading reviews before spending your money is always smart, and review sites will not try to manipulate their reviews, unlike the website that is run by the store. Some big companies have had policies which were changed because of bad reviews and a decrease in business, and reading and making decisions based on reviews is a way for you to take control of your internet experience.
You can also sometimes find useful promotional codes as well; sometimes these are for esoteric products but they can come in handy to either give you something for free, or reduce the amount you pay at checkout. Many times these will come in the form of free shipping coupons as well!
At the moment you can also save money sales tax, depending on what state you live in, but that is going to gradually disappear. States are going through the financial crunch like everyone else, and within 3 to 4 years most people think there will be sales tax charged in all states.
It will still be possible to find items online, and the real advantage to on-line shopping is not just a lower price. The service can be great, but the expanded selection is one of the biggest advantages to online shopping.
Many people have very limited choices where they live – not everyone lives in a big city – and online shopping gives them the same access as anyone else!
So the next time you look up a phone number or watch a TV show on your phone, or go online to buy a new phone think about how cool this technology is – and don’t take it for granted!
The Author writes about technology and retail and business trends, and has been involved in retail and business for over twenty years in many different industries and businesses – he always gets Consumer Reviews and Product Reviews before buying anything
Before you spend your hard earned money on a product or service make sure you read a lot of Product Reviews and Consumer Reviews before you buy!
Above image source: Flickr/Mangrove Mike