With the internet and more people turning to the internet to do business, many transactions are now going online. When the internet first came it was mostly used for sending and receiving emails, this was an awesome development. Then people started developing websites that could contain graphic and textual information and the whole world of commerce was changed forever.
With people advertising their businesses online via websites, businesses could be able to reach worldwide markets. Not only could businesses reach distant customers but businesses could market their products much more conveniently and effectively. Anyone in the world could access a business’s website and view a detailed catalog of the products that the company was offering.
Online catalogs have been very helpful in transforming businesses because they can effectively do what printed magazines, brochures and catalogs did. Online catalogues are able to present real time information which printed media could not do. It would take a long time to design, print, and distribute printed media but a change on an online catalogues can be effected within a few seconds and it can reach a wider audience.
Online catalogues are also very cheap as compared to printed media and other means of distributing information. You might only need to pay a designer and pay some hosting fees. These costs are very low as compared to other ways of marketing.
Despite the advantages that the online catalogues provide for online buying and selling, there are also many disadvantages that they might bring about.
I was able to experience these disadvantages one time when I was shopping online for a kayak. I needed a cheap easily portable kayak ideal for a beginner since I am not very experienced in kayaking. I had recently fallen in love with kayaking and I wanted to have more time to kayak during my free times especially over the weekends.
As such, I needed a kayak that I would be able to be carrying in my car and driving out to the nearby lake where I could kayak for some hours and then return with it back home. It had to be a kayak that was light to carry and one that I could easily manage alone despite being a novice in kayaking.
When I went to the internet, I was able to come across many websites that were claiming to be websites owned by stores that were selling kayaks. Being no wiser I assumed that they were all credible and went on to search for the perfect kayak.
Many of the websites had good catalogues showing the picture of different types of kayaks with detailed information being given about each kayak. However, when I went into reading the details for each kayak I was disappointed since the information given was clearly not intended at describing the kayak but intended on selling the kayak.
The information for each item praised the kayak to be the best for all kinds of conditions and I was not able to highlight the best kayak for my needs.
Eventually I had to physically visit the stores and get proper details from the store attendants.