Online shopping is the most convenient thing to do especially today when we need to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19. All you need to do is to visit your favorite shopping portal, browse through the product catalog, and select the desired product that you want to buy.
That’s it! Simple isn’t it?
There is no rocket science involved and you buy the product of your choice with just a click of button from the comfort of your home. From furnishings to home decor and groceries, you can buy anything you want via online shopping.
However, as simple as it sounds, online shopping comes with a lot of hazards. And, you need to be little cautious when purchasing any product online.
Here are 7 things that you need to keep in mind while shopping online.
#1. Always shop from a familiar website
When you go out for shopping, what will you prefer – shop from a branded store or shop from local vendor? Of course, you’ll choose shopping from a branded store as it is always better to buy branded products. Though, there may be some who would argue on this point that shopping from local vendor has its own charm as you can bargain a lot.
However, if you’re looking for a quality then it is always appropriate to buy from a branded store. In the similar way, you should always do online shopping on sites you are already familiar with or those you trust. With so many shopping portals today, its difficult to choose one that is appropriate.
But, if you know the site well then the chances are that you’re shopping securely. You should always check for any misspellings or check if the site uses different top-level domain. Doing online shopping from a familiar website gives you peace of mind to buy your favorite products.
#2. Make sure the site is secure
When you’re making a purchase on the shopping portals that you normally use, you should always check if the site is secure. And, by this what I mean is that make sure the site uses encryption and check the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.
But, how will I know that the site is secure?
And, the answer to this simple question is to ensure that the site starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP. Also, if you notice a locked padlock that will appear, typically to the left of the URL in the address bar or status bar then the site is secure. You should never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have a SSL encryption installed.
#3. Use strong and unique password
This is very important for online shopping and the biggest mistake we might make in the cyberspace is to use a weak password. Almost all of the shopping portals provide you with the feature of creating your log in an password. Always ensure that you create a password that is unique and it shouldn’t be easily guessed by anyone.
Are you using a password that consists of your name or your birthday? Better change it now. There are lot of shopping portals that allow you to create both alphanumeric or a combination of numeric and alphanumeric passwords. You need to come up with a password that is difficult for hackers to guess.
#4. Read the policy or terms and conditions
Every e-commerce or online store consists of its own policies about the process of purchasing the products. For example, there may be some online stires who would have a struct return policy while some may allow return of items with a period of time. Always, ensure that you read the policy carefully and thoroughly before making a purchase. Also, you should visit the Help section of the website or even better, contact the customer support to learn about your rights.
#5. Check for any shipping costs
While choosing a product of your choice in the e-commerce website, check if the product comes with any deliver cost before checking out. The shipping costs can depend on various factors, such as your location or the cost and size of the product, and even the date you want the product to be delivered. Many e-commerce websites provide a “Free Shipping” option if you order the items in a bulk or order a certain amount of product. This can also be a good way if you want to save money while doing online shopping.
#6. Never access ecommerce website in public
The beauty of online shopping is that you can do it anytime and anywhere. And, almost all e-commerce websites also have their own app that you can download on your mobile (both android or iOS). However, you should always avoid accessing the website in a public cafe of while travelling in public transport. This way, you give a chance to the snooper plenty of time to peak into your profile or see the products you’re ordering. You could even risk of having all your information getting stolen from the hacker. Better yet, stay at home when shopping online.
#7. Read the product reviews
This is what I normally do while shopping online on any e-commerce store. There are plenty of shoppers like you who use e-commerce websites and many even write product reviews. Checking product reviews before you make a purchase helps you to find the best product or the item you’re looking for. Some reviews by the users provide you with a comprehensive and a realistic expectation of the item you’re looking to purchase. User reviews help you a great deal to decide whether or not you may want to buy the product.
Online shopping is a raging revolution that has shaped consumers’ lives considerably. It helps you to save a lot of time as you can do online shopping while sitting on the couch of the loving room.
However, you should also follow these tips I’ve listed above to enjoy safe online shopping. Or else, it may turn out to be a disaster when doing online shopping.