While online shopping is definitely improving and growing there are still a number of barriers which prevent e-commerce growing faster and being even more widely accepted by the general public. Some of these are a little easier to change than others but for most issues, there are potential solutions already in place or on the way.

Lets look at a few of the barriers mentioned by consumers that don't shop globally

High shipping costs : One of the barriers most often mentioned are the costly shipping fees when purchasing overseas. When consumers are encouraged to comparison shop, it is often realised that there may be a costly shipping fee involved, but the potentially lower cost of the item mitigates the extra spend on the shipping charges. Many suppliers also offer a consolidation service, which allows you to purchase a number of items and have them shipped together, package consolidation in other words, to save on the total shipping cost. There are often various options that can be used to dispatch the goods which can also allow for cheaper shipping rates even though the time period to receive the goods may be a little longer. Additional costs : One of the other issues most often cited is the extra charges involved when purchasing goods from across borders or overseas are the import duties, sales tax and handling fees that may become payable on arrival of the goods. Sites that cater to customers globally such as whre.com give estimates on the added costs, allowing you to work out a total cost of your item before you purchase. This will resolve much of the bill shock that often accompanies the arrival of goods from outside the country. Knowing the full cost of the item, without any hidden costs, allows you to compare better and purchase your items within your planned budget.

Uncertainty in cost is definitely a problem, what else?

Time and confirmation of deliveries: Many consumers are concerned over the length of time it would take for the goods to arrive and if there is a guarantee on the goods arriving at all. Using a reputable site with top rated wholesalers and retailers should set most people's minds at ease. Most e-commerce companies also offer a variety of delivery options, which would give you a good idea of how long it will take for your item to arrive. If you are not in a hurry, you may choose the cheaper shipping option which takes longer generally or go with overnight or next day shipping, which means your goods arrive sooner but it usually costs a bit more for the service. Payment problems : Many global online shoppers tend to become discouraged when they have completed their shopping, wish to check out and pay the merchant and then discover that the merchant does not accept their mode of payment. When you use a site that offers assistance in arranging payment using many different methods, you will most likely have a better experience and be able to conclude your purchase without further hesitation. Overseas payments need not be that complicated and you can be assisted on Comparee on methods to be able to safely and securely pay for your purchases. Language: When you purchase goods in a foreign language you may not always pick up subtle nuances in the descriptions of the items for sale. When you use a site that offers translations in consumer's native languages to enable you to read the descriptions better and assess the goods, it provides a much better shopping expereience.

What about returns...?

Dispute handling and after sales service : Many consumers are concerned that they may purchase goods that arrive damaged, dysfunctional, not to specification or of poor quality. Another concern is that should the item need to be repaired under warrantee that there will be no after-sales service from the merchants. Returning goods for refund or repair may also involve an added cost, so it is important to know who would have to cover these costs. When you use a website that promotes good quality e-commerce retailers and wholesalers you are far more likely to deal with merchants that have a good after sales service policy. Sometimes disputes and other issues can be handled by the comparison website or financial service provider and at other times it may need to be dealt with by the merchant and the consumer themselves. Use a good comparison shopping site that would be able to assist you in resolving claims and disputes with merchants on their website. Once you, as a consumer, become a regular customer on the site and have seen the quality of the goods being sold at the best prices by reputable merchants, you may never want to visit another comparison website.

In a nutshell...

If online shopping is to prosper even further, sites will need to cater to mobile use so that people can shop online and make payments directly from their mobile device. Language and payment support will need to be fully incorporated in to the site as well. Today's consumers want convenience, but also to save money while still being allowed to purchase great quality items from around the world. Comparison websites such as Comparee seek to offer a service that inspires trust as well as convenience and price savings for their customers. When you are assisted with issues such as the total cost of your goods including sales tax, import duties, shipping costs and so forth and are able to read the product descriptions in a language that makes sense to you, you are far more likely to feel comfortable purchasing on the site. Knowing that the merchants are trustworthy and that there are varied payment types available as well as a good dispute resolution system means you can rest assured about spending your hard earned funds on the site.