Shopping online is now something we do like it is second nature, and we’ve honed our behaviors accordingly. It’s got to the point where when we actually buy products and pay for services in a face-to-face transaction that it almost feels alien to us.
As a society, the act of shopping online has evolved in a pretty speedy fashion, so much so that the older generations that make purchases via their desktops and mobile devices do so in an entirely different fashion.
In 2022 it was reported that over 75% of us shop online at least once a month, and 63% of all shopping purchases begin online. Global e-commerce retail sales hit an astonishing $5.7 trillion, and these numbers are only going in one direction.
All of this means it is incumbent upon you to make the most of your online shopping journey, whether that means finding the best place to shop, finding the best bargains, or just making sure you don’t fall for one of the many related scams that thrive in this space.
With this in mind, here are five tips that we think may help you navigate the pitfalls and maximize your success as an online customer.
1. Do Your Research or Get Someone Else to Do It For You
The choice open to us online, regardless of what it is we are buying, is nearly limitless, and that makes it next to impossible to really get a good overview of where is best to shop, and that’s where you are best off surrendering and moving this job to a good site comparison service.
One great option is at top10.com, where their insight is deep, and their range of areas of expertise is frankly huge. By looking to get guidance from services of this kind, you are more likely to glean key information ahead of your purchase than if you just randomly found quotes and comments via a Google search.
The key reason why these services help is that they know the market better than you or I will ever do, and they are specifically trained and focused on areas that may not even be known to us.
2. Never Click On Unsolicited Links, Messages, or Emails
Staying safe online should be one of your top priorities when buying via the internet, but it’s often something we don’t pay enough attention to. This is due to our complacent attitude to an act that we now do so frequently that before we know it, a few clicks are completed, and you’ve made your purchase, sometimes within literal seconds.
Scammers are getting better and better at securing our critical data and information, and they are, on the whole, counting on us as individuals to take our eyes off the ball. There are many things we can do to help keep these criminals at bay, but one absolute golden rule is to never click on unsolicited messages.
Every one of us receives a massive amount of emails and text messages from unknown sources. Not all of these are scams, but they can probably all be completely ignored, and it’s in your best interest to delete them as soon as they arrive. Never click on the links added to these messages, however tempting they may appear to be.
3. Quality Not Quantity
The ease with which you can shop online clearly leads many of us to run up massive cart lists and hit buy before we’ve even had a chance to consider our actions, and there are ways to negate this concern.
We find that the best way to shop online in a financially viable manner is to actively search to your heart’s content and, by all means, rack up the purchases into your carts but then take a step back and log out.
Then, when the time is right, perhaps on a pre-decided date of the month or on the day of a specific sale at the shop you are visiting, go back to your cart and reassess. It’s more than likely that you will then have a more dispassionate view of your prospective purchases, and you will buy less, but more importantly, it will be what you need and not what you want.
Remember, it’s quality and not quantity!
4. It’s All About the Delivery
Obviously, buying a product or service online is only part one of the customer journey, and a key aspect, perhaps one of the most important, is the final destination. You want your goods to arrive in one piece, on time, and preferably with as little premium added due to the delivery process.
Some services are abundantly better than others. Always check how your online store of choice ranks in terms of its delivery service. This is, of course, all the more important in relation to key dates, such as Christmas, but also more personal events on the calendar, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
5. Compare and Find a Bargain
There are many advantages to shopping online when compared with the offline equivalent, and perhaps the most important one is cost. Almost without exception, buying an item online will always be less expensive than purchasing the same thing in person.
So if we take this as a given, the next step is to find the best bargain online. This is where the beauty of the endless marketplace firmly puts the power back in the hands of consumers.
You can now search to your heart’s content to find the best price for any goods or services you require. Obviously, you’ll have to factor in other aspects, such as trust, delivery, and quality, but the name of the game pretty much stays the same. Find the best price and take your time in order to find it.