We are in an era where shopping is going digital. Consumers are spoilt for choice. There are so many online shopping channels and platforms dealing in items both in wholesale and retail. The trend has been set, and online shopping is here to stay. That said, we cannot overlook your security, safety and convenience while doing business with these online traders.
Many have dived into the market fast and furious with aggressive advertising techniques. While this creates competition which makes the shopping experience exciting and valuable for you, it is hard to know which traders to trust and which ones to avoid. There are risks associated with e-shopping. They include; the sale of low-quality products and exposure of private data and information.
Stick with me as I walk you through the handy tips that will help streamline your online shopping in 2021.
6 tips for online shoppers in 2021
1. Shop on trusted websites
There are many upcoming websites worth shopping. If you are just starting, I would advise you to stick to e-shopping with a trusted website. Ensure that you spell the store’s name correctly to avoid landing on other deceptively named sites which could be a rip-off.
If you are shopping from companies that are just starting, be sure to check out their reviews with scrutiny before beginning your shopping.
2. Only shop from SSL sites
E-shopping calls for payments using your credit card or PayPal (which now needs credit or debit card verification as well). If it ends up in the wrong hands, your credit card information can be used to make fraudulent payments without your consent.
Avoid this by shopping from websites with a secure socket layer (SSL), the most basic data encryption technique. Such websites start with HTTPS and not HTTP. They also have an icon of a locked padlock that appears on the left side of the address bar just before the URL.
Fortunately, many browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox will flag off HTTP websites as insecure. You just need to check the address bar before doing anything else on a site.
3. Always use a VPN
Online swindlers do not relent. They are everywhere including the online shopping platforms. The intention might be to spy on you to steal your user data, infiltrate your network with malware, to track you down and so on.
Fortunately, you can avoid all this by shopping online with a VPN. A Virtual Private Network (VPN), is a safe and secure way to send and receive internet traffic safely and securely. This is one of the most reliable security suites for an internet user.
Thanks to VPNs data encryption technology, you can navigate through different shopping platforms while on shared networks without the fear of leaving your footprints behind.
4. Check your bank statements
Keep track of your finances by checking your statements regularly. This is the only way to ensure that you are not footing any fraudulent charges and that all the payments made are as per your shopping history. Fortunately, thanks to technology, you can now view electronic statements from the comfort of your smartphone or laptop thanks to internet banking services.
If there are any suspicious activities on the statement, contact your bank to have the issue resolved. It’s advisable to have a specific card for e-shopping rather than using every other debit card in your name. Subscribe to email or SMS alerts for each payment request. This will enable you to keep tabs on your finances.
5. Not satisfied? Lodge your complaint loud and proud
Never shy off from letting an e-seller know how you feel after shopping with them. Better yet, never settle for substandard products in silence. You have the right to a return policy, leave an honest review, or to apply for a refund.
If the seller disregards your complaint, report the matter to consumer rights authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission.
6. Focus on the features of a product
The only way to see a product from an e-store before it’s delivered to you is through a photo. It is especially so when you are exploring new products. Sellers have perfected the art of presentation and are using high-quality professional pictures.
The perfectly-shot all-angle photos may lure you into overlooking the other essential features of a product such as its benefits and dimensions. Focus on the importance of a product to your life, its actual dimensions, ingredients, available colours, and so on.
Failing to pay attention to these details may end up frustrating your e-shopping experience while you are the one to blame for not being keen.
Online shopping is fast, easy and convenient. There are unbeatable bargains and thousands of beautiful products and selections. We acknowledge that a few vices are preying on unsuspecting e-buyers out there. They should not deter you from enjoying the mind-boggling selection available on most online stores. By implementing the tips and tricks shared above, you are well on your way to becoming an e-shopping expert.