In these modern times, it’s very noticeable that there’s a jump in the online retail market. According to the Commerce Department, in the first four months of 2016, all online retail sales had an increase of 8.1% growth from last year. It seems that consumers favor online shopping from internet retailer outlets that provide not just convenience but also lower prices over in-store-retailers.
Online shopping provides plenty of benefits to consumers, and convenience is one. More and more consumers turn to online shopping because it’s convenient for those who don’t have the time and the energy to shop in physical stores. Online shopping also offers accessibility to a huge variety of products and good deals. Having the freedom to choose from all the products accessible to you, one must consider the store’s authenticity or the product and the consumer’s safety when ordering online.
Even when online shopping had an upsurge on the market, online shoppers still have some fears about it. There is still uncertainty in the online shopping process. Consumers must always be careful in making sure that they do not fall into con retailers’ trap.
Here are 8 things you need to consider when shopping online:
1. Check the authenticity of the online shopping website
With the growing number of online stores, you can’t avoid encountering frauds that make a living off scamming people for their hard-earned money. It is your responsibility as a consumer to check the authenticity of a website before purchasing from it. There are several ways of checking, such as searching for online reviews about the website and website validator tools.
2. Online identity
In addition to confirming the authenticity of the website, it’s also important to check that the website is what it says it is. Cybercrime is still prevalent in the online world, and identity theft is a huge issue concerning your online identity. So never forget first to check the website’s identity and validate it.
3. Always Examine Product Details
The next thing to consider when online shopping is the product’s legitimacy. Not all products displayed on the product image are what they appear to be. You shouldn’t just base your decisions on the displayed image. Take time to read and understand the specifications of the product. Remember to check the product information first before check out to avoid being disappointed and not reach your expectations.
4. Compare Prices of Similar Products
An increase in online retailers means an increase in your chance of finding similar products. Always check if there are similar products and then compare their prices. You might even find great deals and discounts. Although, you can also use price comparison to discern whether the product is legitimate or not.
5. Safety of the payment method
After checking the authenticity of both the website and the products, you’re done with shopping and already ready to check out. The next thing to consider is the safety of the payment methods available. As a customer, you should make sure that you are comfortable in sharing your private information like your credit number with the shopping website. It’s also best to ask for an invoice and a receipt of your payment.
Thru online shopping, buying products from any part of the world is made easy is possible. Although it has a nice concept to it, it also has its issues. Most online shops have your orders delivered right at your doorstep without encountering any issues, but there will always be that fear of your orders being sent to the wrong address, getting them lost along the way, or them being damaged. There is also a possibility of your order arriving later than the stated delivery date.
7. The return and refund policy
There will be times when online shops get your order wrong. Other times, your orders might have issues, and it’s not your fault. This is why it’s also important to check how the store or the website handles the returns and refunds. It’s also common for customers to make a mistake in ordering. Moreover, there are instances when customers get charged for products that are no longer available or out-of-stock. As these things happen, it’s important to be informed on whether or not you will get your refund. Look for information on the online store about these or, if they have customer service, don’t be afraid to contact them.
8. Customer reviews
Sometimes, when buying things online, you are unsure about the product you’re about to purchase. You’ll want to know what other people are saying about the online store or the products. You can also turn to customer reviews to determine if the store offers great customer service or if it’s easy to do business on the website.