From reading news online to communicating with our friends and family via various social networks, going shopping online has become the norm throughout the years.
One of the biggest advantages of online shopping is that people can buy anything from groceries to clothes to home appliances, all from the comfort of their home. For example, since the pandemic outbreak, studies show that about 74% of UK respondents across all age groups now feel comfortable buying products online.
The businesses also provide their customers with the same services and support they would if they go in-person shopping. Therefore, the growth of online shopping has become very impressive, and it doesn’t seem like it is going to slow down. For that reason, whether you are an active online shopper or you are just getting started, here are some tips you should look out for in order to become a better and a smarter online shopper.
Tip 1: Use online catalogues
One way through which online shopping has become immensely popular is with online catalogues. These catalogues are especially useful to those who don’t want to spend their shopping budget all at once or are going through some financial crisis.
Also, the catalogues do background checks to find out your credit history, and if you don’t have a bad credit rating, they allow you to pay for any product or service weekly or monthly. For example, if you want to make a large purchase, but you can’t afford to pay for it all at once, you can go for the weekly payment catalogues which allow you to pay for the service or goods in weekly instalments.
When you make the purchase, you will be given a weekly statement that will include the item you have purchased, the date of the purchase, the amount you have paid so far, and the amount and date of your next payment. This is very helpful because you don’t have to worry about saving up to pay all at once, but instead, you will be able to spread out your costs and get yourself something else in the meantime.
Tip 2: Shop from reputable websites
When you go in-person shopping, you can see how the retail shop or the grocery stores operate. But when you shop online, you can’t really know, and sometimes you come across websites that might seem sketchy to you. So, to make sure you are shopping from reputable websites, you must watch out for several things.
Firstly, the easiest and fastest way to check for the website’s authenticity is to look if the website is encrypted with SSL, which means that it must start with https://.
Secondly, check for the contact details. Every legitimate store must have a phone number, an email, and an address. These are very important because if you have questions about their services, you should be able to contact them immediately.
Thirdly, look for the payment logos, such as Visa, MasterCard, etc. These financial institutions do a thorough background check on shops that process online payments, so if these logos are present on the website, then it is legitimate. Lastly, if you want to go a step further, you can find out who owns the website using the tool WhoIs, which will give you the historical information of the website.
Tip 3: Determine your needs
Another important tip is to figure out what you really need to buy, not what you want.
To avoid overspending your budget, it is recommended that you create a shopping list every week. For example, you can create a meal plan for the following week. This way, you will be able to buy what you need for your meals and avoid buying unnecessary products that you will not use or that will just go stale.
When you create a shopping list, make sure you adjust your budget, which depends on your income and your situation. For example, when you shop online, you worry about creating a gasoline budget. But, since you will be shopping from the comfort of your home, you can use your gasoline budget to buy something else you need. Just remember to stick to your budget.
Be careful with purchasing things that bring you comfort and definitely avoid buying anything you don’t need. However, if you end up with money left in your budget, you can always treat yourself with something you’ve wanted for a long time.
Tip 4: Search for coupons
It is well known that by shopping online, you can save time and even money. You save your time by not driving to the stores or waiting in long queues, but you save money by using online deals such as coupons.
Many e-retailers use and accept coupons as a marketing strategy to attract more customers. For that reason, they are useful to both businesses and customers. There are several benefits of coupons.
Firstly, they are convenient to use. They can be valid for days or even weeks, so you can use them whenever you like.
Secondly, if coupons are offered with the products you buy regularly, that means that you can purchase these goods in bulk at a discount price.
Thirdly, coupons are offered occasionally. Because of that, customers can plan their shopping activities beforehand, which would lead to the perfect timing when they can use these coupons that have discounts, receive freebies and other deals. There are many websites you can search to see which offer great deals using coupons. Usually, e-retailers send out newsletters to their customers to inform them of these online deals.
As we all know, the e-commerce business is on the rise, becoming an essential part of our everyday lives. When we shop online, we are offered many services and options, but also the opportunity to save our time and money. However, we must be smart about how we shop online.
Even though it appears to be more convenient than in-person shopping, following these four simple tips can make you a better and smarter online shopper. Planning and sticking to your budget or searching for online deals can really come a long way, so keep in mind that smart shopping leads to successful purchases.