The continued appeal of online shopping 網上購物熱潮繼續增溫

Why does online shopping continue to lure more people than more traditional retail methods? Find out here!
The appeal of online shopping.

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自1994年以來,網上購物已經慢慢地侵蝕了“傳統”的高街零售體驗。現在,許多人更願意在網上購物。但這是為什麼呢?為什麼時至今日,網上購物“門庭若市,熙來攘往”,而傳統商店卻無人問津?本集《隨身英語》討論不斷增溫的網上購物熱潮。

Vocabulary: shopping 詞彙: 購物

The first thing sold online was a CD. It sold in 1994 for $12.48. In 1995, Amazon launched its online bookshop, and later that year the online auction site that would become eBay sold its first item. Fast-forward to the modern day and online shopping is huge business. In contrast to the recent UK announcements that many high-profile retail chains and department stores need to close retail outlets to save money, online shopping is thriving. In fact, the UK Office for National Statistics reported that growth in online sales has continued “year-on-year” and stands at just under 20% in April 2018. But why?

Maybe it’s the convenience. Online shopping allows you to find what you need from the comfort of your own home. Then there’s the variety. The discerning shopper is able to select from a wide range of products from all over the world – whereas physical shops suffer from a more limited choice. Better yet, with more sophisticated search parameters available, consumers are now better able to specify exactly what they want, and in some cases, even modify products to create bespoke items.

Online companies are getting better at targeted advertising too. Our browsing history and prior purchases are run through algorithms, which generate advertisements that more closely link consumers to the products companies believe we would like to buy. And since these products are not physically on display in a shop, the company saves money on overheads like rent and electricity. This allows them offer their products at a more reasonable price.

Then there’s the reassurance. These days, the majority of online retailers offer a safe, convenient returns policy, often at no shipping cost to the buyer – just print out the returns label, affix it to the packaging the item was sent in and receive a full refund. Not only that, but hassle-free complaints procedures and policies mean that if your item is damaged, incorrect or even unwanted, the company can be easily notified and action taken. 

Many people still enjoy the experience of buying in a real shop. The dialogue and customer service received from staff and special events that may be taking place in store can be big pulls. However, the “year-on-year” growth in the online retail sector, as observed by the UK Office for National Statistics, seems to imply that online retail is here to stay and will continue to be a major avenue to shopping for many customers.

詞彙表

auction 拍賣會
chain 連鎖(店)
department store 百貨商店
retail outlet 零售商店
discerning shopper 眼光敏銳的客戶
a range of products 一系列產品
limited choice 有限的選擇
consumer 消費者
bespoke 訂製的
targeted advertising 目標式廣告
prior purchase 早前購買的物品
on display 展示
reasonable price 合理的價格
returns policy 退貨規定
shipping cost 運費
full refund 全額退款
hassle-free 毫無麻煩的
complaints procedure 投訴程序
customer service 客戶服務

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What was the first item ever sold online?

2. By what percentage did UK online sales grow in April 2018?

3. How do online retailers save money compared to a traditional shop?

4. True or false: It is extremely costly to return online purchases.

5. Which word in the text means ‘able to do complicated tasks’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. What’s the name of that restaurant ______ that sells burgers? There are three of them in London and one in Edinburgh.

outlet       consumer       auction       chain

2. I’m very sorry, Sir. But our ______ is very clear. No receipt, no refund.

shipping cost       returns policy       customer service       discerning shopper

3. We offer a ______ service. Tell us exactly what you want, and we’ll make it for you.

chain       consumer       bespoke       complaints

4. We offer a wide ______. Everything from cookies to kitchens are available to purchase.

range of products        limited choice       on display       reasonable price

5. I can see from your loyalty card that you made three ______ on July 17th. Is that correct?

returns label       prior purchases       outlets        consumers

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What was the first item ever sold online?
The first thing sold online was a CD in 1994 for $12.48.

2. By what percentage did UK online sales grow in April 2018?
According to the UK Office for National Statistics, online sales grew by just under 20% in April 2018.

3. How do online retailers save money compared to a traditional shop?
Because the items on sale do not exist on display in a shop in the traditional manner, the company selling them can save expenditure on its overheads and offer the items at a more reasonable price.

4. True or false: It is extremely costly to return online purchases.
False. These days, the majority of online retailers offer a safe, convenient returns policy, often at no shipping cost to the buyer.

5. Which word in the text means ‘able to do complicated tasks’?
Sophisticated. (With more sophisticated search parameters available, consumers are now able to specify an even greater number of requirements.)

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. What’s the name of that restaurant chain that sells burgers? There are three of them in London and one in Edinburgh.

2. I’m very sorry, Sir. But our returns policy is very clear. No receipt, no refund.

3. We offer a bespoke service. Tell us exactly what you want, and we’ll make it for you.

4. We offer a wide range of products Everything from cookies to kitchens are available to purchase.

5. I can see from your loyalty card that you made three prior purchases on July 17th. Is that correct?

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