IELTS Task 2 March 2018: Environmental and Social Impacts of Online Shopping.

The trend of online shopping is increasing significantly. What effect does it have on the environment and society in general?

40 minutes, 250 words at least.


Introduction(Introduce the topic and MENTION the environmental and social effects)

With the proliferation of the internet and smart phones, the trend of online shopping is growing rapidly. This positively impacts environment as it reduces the need of a shop which has a huge ecological footprint. This impacts society in a favourable way by reducing the cost of goods and in an adverse way by reducing employment.

Body Paragraph 1: (EXPLAIN impact on environment)

Traditionally, the products are sold in a physical shop that requires lighting, air conditioning, and infrastructure. All these result in environment damage as these require a lot of electricity and raw materials that lead to emission of green house gases (GHG). Online shops, on the other hand, merely transport goods from a large regional warehouse whose ecological footprint, a measure of GHG emissions, is lower than local shops. Thus online shops contribute in environment preservation.

Body Paragraph 2: (EXPLAIN impact on society)

Online shops have better economies of scale and thus offer prices which are lesser than local shops. This reduces the financial burden on pockets of the citizens and enables them to spend more on education, culture, and entertainment. These activities promote social stability and harmony. However, they often lead to lower employment in a society. Various studies have proved that online shops employ fewer people and they result in shutting down of local businesses. For example, Amazon and Flipkart offer heavy discounts on various products that local stores can not provide. This shifts consumer choice to these websites and this results in loss of local jobs.


In conclusion, online shopping impacts a society and the environment in various positive and negative ways. While it reduces employment opportunities for some, it reduces the cost of goods for a large majority of people. It also reduces the impact of business on the environment. This builds environment sustainability, social stability and economic prosperity in a region.

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