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October is here and without knowing it, it’s time for our annual year end shopping spree soon. As you well know (since you’re reading this online), shopping over the internet is much efficient in terms of time spent, money and other resources as compared to the conventional offline routine.
However, a recent survey by PWC found only 22% of Americans shop online via mobile devices on a monthly basis, while China is at 65%. Not to mention that over 23,000 shoppers surveyed in 25 countries, only 54% of them purchase products online on a weekly or monthly basis. This would probably mean the remaining 46% of respondents (which I trust represents majority of the worldwide internet users) are casual or non-online shoppers.
This is a very much surprising as we would think that the whole world is going for online shopping. This seems to indicate there is still much work for businesses to do to galvanize the non-online shoppers to action.
It’s About Time We Become an Online Shopping Geek:
While there is still much for businesses to do, nobody can deny that the online shopping arena does offer much benefits to consumers. Here are a few tips how we should be an online shopping geek and make the most of our shopping experience:
- Compare Prices
Never buy-on-first-sight. Every online shopping geek knows you’ve gone full retard if you purchased an item you’re looking for without comparing prices. Even the largest online merchant does not necessary sells at the most affordable price or with the best deal. Ensure you find the best price by ‘Googling’ or search at multiple online shopping platforms.
Apart from compare prices, comparing other information like delivery time and shipping costs to help you make a more informed purchase decision. Plus, this is way easier online. Imagine the hassle you have to make if you had to compare prices offline.
- Shop with Coupons
While some people collects coupons in extreme manner, the rest of us (including me) rarely bothers with this. Without realizing, we’re missing out a lot. And no, I’m not saying we should go full retard as an ‘extreme coupon collector’ but rather to do this in moderation.
Utilizing online coupons are a great way to save money. Why pay full price when you can save less? Just Google and you’ll easily many online stores offer these money-saving codes. Sites like Groupon, Coupons.com, iPrice and many other websites can provide great coupons on top of discounts offered at shops.
Also do look out for periods prior (or during) special events like Thanksgiving’s Black Friday, the annual #MYCyberSale and of course the year end Christmas seasons when many interesting coupons are made available.
- Never Purchase Items from Insecure Sites
You can spot clues about the security by checking the website’s URL. Secure sites begin with “https” rather than “http“. The added “s” shows it is a secure site. Another clue is to look for a padlock icon in the website’s address, which indicates that the site uses encryption to ensure security.
Never purchase anything from websites without “https” in the URL even if it offers crazy amazing deals.
- Pay with Credit Card
Did you know using a debit card exposes you to higher risk of identity theft and financial fraud? Consumer protection laws (though varies in different countries but in general) offers better protection to credit card users as compared to debit card users.
However we have to be sure to spend in moderation and review credit card statements regularly to keep a track of all transactions and not overspend.
- Never Shop on Public Wi-Fi Connections
Public Wi-Fis are not secured and your personal information can be easily compromised by hackers. Only shop when you have secured internet connections.
- Find out the Return Policy Before Purchasing
Here is where many has gone full retard: Purchasing an item with an incorrect size and finding out that it is a non-exchangeable product. As good practice, always go through the return policy of each online retailer before making your purchase.