Online Sellers Increase Competition with Traditional Stores

January 15, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. peak (adj.) 
[peek]- being at the maximum point or point of greatest amount or value
Example: Malls reach their peak sales during the holidays because many people buy Christmas gifts.

2. hassle (n.) [has-uhl]– trouble or bother
Example: Customers can avoid the hassle of lining up in a bank by paying online.

3. ship (v.) [ship]– to transport something from one place to another
Example: The products I ordered in Singapore will be shipped to my home in three days.

4. repair (n.) [ri-pair]– the act of bringing something back to its normal state
Example: My brother brought his broken laptop to the service center for repair.

5. boom (n.) [boom]– sudden increase in growth or development ExampleBoom in smartphone sales increased the profit of mobile phone companies.

Read the text below.
E-commerce or online shopping has become more popular to shoppers in the US, pressuring traditional stores to perform better to keep customers.

Sales from online shopping now compose 10% of all retail sales in the US. Peak sales were recorded in November and December last year. In addition, 57% of Americans have already bought at least one item from an online store.

One online shopper, Lynne Shaner, makes 90% of her purchases through online stores. The only thing she does not buy online is food. She said she finds online shopping very convenient, having the goods delivered to her home and avoiding the hassle and noise of busy shopping areas.

Because of the boom in e-commerce, traditional stores are worrying they might lose their market share to online stores.

But Cornell University marketing professor Ed McLaughlin says traditional stores may still have some advantages over online stores. For example, traditional clothing stores allow customers to try on items before buying, which cannot be done with online stores.

He says traditional stores can attract more customers by offering products that are difficult to ship. Shops can also get more customers by offering computer and electronics repair services alongside products.

Another advantage of traditional stores is they can allow customers to socialize while shopping.

Meanwhile, the boom in online commerce has boosted the business of shipping and delivery services such as FedEx and UPS.

Experts say that online commerce will continue to flourish not only in the US but also in other countries as long as people have Internet access and smartphones.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Which do you prefer, online stores or traditional stores? Why?
·         Why do you think some people still prefer shopping in traditional stores?

Discussion B

·         Would you say that you enjoy shopping? Why or why not?
·         What can people do to control their spending or shopping?


January 15, 2013