In the past, people usually shop at physical retail stores. Now, more people prefer to shop online. I personally believe that despite the fact that local shops might be affected by this trend, overall the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
It is indisputable that online shopping has affected the earnings of local small businesses. This is attributed to the convenience that the network brings about. People can now shop everywhere in the world. Customers, who used to leave home to go to the physical retail shops to buy necessities, now are able to buy things online without leaving home. This might give a disastrous impact on local businesses because of a significant decrease in local customers.
On the other hand, we are still able to see many successful cases of local businesses, which turn themselves online and target customers worldwide. The development of online shopping makes distance no longer a problem: companies do not have to rely on local customers; instead they are able to spread their products, which are of their unique characteristics, to every place in the world. In addition, customers are benefited from extreme convenience, which enables them to buy what they need disregard of time and distance. A clear example is that people who work overtime do not have to worry the store would be closed before they could arrive.
In conclusion, although I acknowledge that online shopping might compromise the benefits of local physical stores, it creates tremendous opportunities for small businesses to expand their market, and allows people to shop more conveniently.