4 Reasons Students Hesitate to Buy Books Online
Even though shopping online is a norm in western countries and a rising trend in third world countries as well, yet there are many who remain skeptical of this mode of business. From clothes, furniture, and accessories to electronics, pharmaceuticals, and food, almost everything can be and is ordered and purchased online. Books are no exception to this list, especially considering that one of the only two trillion dollar companies on the planet started out as an online bookstore. Yet, in developing nations such as Pakistan, there is a healthy amount of suspicion involved in online retail stores.
People doubt the authenticity, originality, and legitimacy of online businesses and this is even more profound for students looking to buy books online because there are not a lot of online bookstores in Pakistan. Understandably, the distrust is not illogical since any new introduction to a market system that has existed for a considerable amount of time would be seen as hostile. In addition, online bookstores are exactly that; a relatively new introduction to the conventional brick and mortar bookshops that have sold books to students for decades.
So let us take a look at some of the major reasons that make students think twice before they approach an online bookstore in Pakistan.
Reasons Students Hesitate in Buying Books Online
1. Fraud: Right off the bat, the biggest concern for students is the legitimacy of online bookstores since there are a considerable number of examples of fraud and corruption regarding online businesses. Yet, there is a simple fix to this fundamental concern. The way to detect fraudulent websites and bogus businesses is to be smart about how you purchase your book. You need to take the necessary precautions when you approach an online business, which includes not providing your personal information such as email address, password, and cell phone number until you are certain of the authenticity of the website. Legitimate online bookstores, such as Booksinn provide the complete information regarding their business including where and how to contact them, customer reviews and ISBN number for books. These features are the hints that tell you whether a business is authentic or not.
2. Expensive Books: Another major concern for students is the price of the book they buy online. Often, students have budget and time constraints and so they cannot afford to buy expensive books that cannot be resold later on. As such, they tend to steer clear of online bookstores since they are under the impression that they charge higher prices. Yet, the opposite is true. Online bookstores in Pakistan actually charge lesser prices for original books. In fact, the conventional brick and mortar bookshops charge higher prices for books and since they make up the market, so you cannot get a lower price on those books anywhere. However, with online bookstores that concern is addressed because not only are the books already priced lower but they offer discounts as well which is something you cannot get at brick and mortar bookshops.
3. Availability Concern: Students are often hesitant to buy books online because they doubt whether they will find the exact version of the book they are looking for. This is, in fact, a concern while buying online books in Pakistan particularly since there are so many pirated copies rolling around the market. However, online bookstores actually address this issue better than conventional bookshops since you can search for the book through the author, ISBN, Book title and publisher. This decreases the chances of buying the wrong book or the wrong version much more efficiently. Not to mention, where you would need to physically go and exchange the book in case of a brick and mortar bookstore, in case of an online bookstore you can simply cancel the order or avail the return option while sitting comfortably at home.
4. Hard to Navigate: Most online bookstores, especially relatively new bookstores are hard to navigate. Things get too complicated as you delve deeper into the website which makes most students reluctant to go and buy books online. However, experienced online retailers know how to address this concern by making a user-friendly interface that allows the customers to find their desired books with the minimum amount of complication. Most online bookstores already display “Popular choices” pertaining to the season. Whichever book is selling the most, that book is displayed at the front to ease consumers in their search. You can search for the book through the author, ISBN, Book title and publisher as well which makes it easier to find your book.
Though there are many other concerns regarding online shopping yet these were the most common ones. It is evident, however, that online bookstores are the future of the bookselling industry in Pakistan.