Virtual Shop. Real Goods

You can buy anything on the net now, from DVDs to travel vouchers and real estate. Just a couple of years ago virtual shopping seemed an idea from a science fiction book. At present Internet-shopping is a real business that promises to bring the existing retail networks beyond the real
Americans are considered the most active I-shoppers. According to Forrester Research specialists, Internet-commerce will have doubled in the U.S. by 2010. In Europe, sales via the Internet are to reach $2.2 trillion by 2010, or 22% of the overall trade in the European Union.

The number of virtual shops in Belarus is growing, too. Over 400 shops have been registered so far. The main buyers are young people who purchase cell phones, Mp3 players, audio and video devices.

Besides, specialists that study Internet trade believe most of the buyers are females. www.shop.org published a report in 2005 that said men were mostly interested in hardware and software, and purchases by males were rising gradually. At the same time, females preferred cosmetics, perfume, domestic appliances, and purchases by ladies hiked in the period.

Belarusian Internet users are still very cautious. Most of shoppers simply compare prices with those in real shops. Of 75 Internet shoppers only 10 to 25 make orders, whereas the rest look at prices, compare them with those in local shops and make up their minds in about a month or two.

by Anna Shagoika
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