A recent survey shows that more than 71% of the American population now shops online, with over $304.9 billion spent online by online shoppers in 2014 alone. Different people shop online for various reasons. Online shopping offers shoppers flexibility, convenience, better price offer and discounts, ease of access and various options. Online shopping involves visiting an online store, checking out items of interest and placing an order for the item(s).
With online shopping, you can buy almost purchase virtually anything on earth. From clothes to home essentials down to electronics, even cars, and whatever you can think about. Apart from planes and trains, there is almost nothing else you can’t shop for online.
While great shopping days like Cyber Monday offers online shoppers a great feast of shopping, you can up your shopping by relying solely on best deals and your budget. There are so many reasons why you should consider shopping online. And believe it, you can actually shop online like a boss. With so many incentives at your beck and call, the sky is the only limit to your online shopping spree.
Here in this article, we shall be discussing the reasons why you need to shop online. Also, we shall be taking a look at the various ways you can shop online like a boss that you are. There is money to be made from merely shopping online. With thousands of deals and coupon codes flying around, online shopping is becoming more and greater and expanding than ever before.
How to Shop Online Like A Boss!
Why should you shop online?
If you are not already shopping online, and don’t see any reason why you should start, we will show you some of the reasons why you should start in the next few lines.
They Offer Better Deals:
Shopping sites pamper shoppers with various deals when shopping, there are massive giveaways, and crazy discounts at different times of the year. One of such is the Black Friday, where you can get your dream gadgets at a very low price compared to other normal days.
Online shopping offers convenience to shoppers, you can sit in the comfort of your home, order that red dress you’ve always wanted or that digital camera. You don’t have to leave your house at all, ordered items can be delivered to your doorsteps as soon as 24 hours. You don’t have to stay on queues, as you can make your payment securely online.
Online shopping affords you the luxury of comparing items from different online shopping websites and read reviews of people who have purchased and tested the product. This gives you the advantage of better decision making. Online shopping gives you the opportunity of buying from different brands from different sites.
Time and money efficient:
Online shopping helps to save you the time and money you would spend if you want to visit physical stores which may include eating and fuel.
Online shopping runs on trust. Unsecured or bogus sites can steal your card details, but we will treat you to how to protect yourself when shopping online further down. You have to shop on well-known and trusted online stores. These are the three well-known and well-trusted online shopping stores in the world.
Alibaba: Alibaba is an International online stored owned by Jack Ma and was launched in the year 1999, it has an annual revenue of over $15 billion with over 400 million active users. The company has its stronghold in China.
Amazon: Amazon is an America based online store, which also has operations all across Europe, Australia and Asia. This online store is well-known for great prices and crazy discounts during its special days which includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Prime day and Back to School. The company was launched in 1994 and has 244 million active users with over $100 billion spent by users in 2015.
Walmart: Walmart is the world’s largest retailer. The company offers shoppers option of shopping in its physical stores or online which is an added advantage. The company was launched in 1962 and has over 19 million active online store users.
Newegg: Computer Systems, Cameras, Networking and office solutions.
The Home Depot: Power tools, Kitchen and Bathroom remodeling products, patio and furniture.
Fresh Direct: Groceries and meals.
Tips for Shopping Online:
Getting a great deal for a product online is a lot more than just getting the lowest price, you should also consider the arrival of the product, quality and safe warranty of the product. A good deal on a product must have a warranty of returning the purchased item if it is not up to standard. If you are considering shopping online and this is your first time, you need to check the following tips out.
1. Try to look out for the best deals online:
You can do this by doing a simple Google search. You can search for “top ten” lists e.g. “Top ten cheap digital cameras”. You would be shown different types of products and their prices, you get to read reviews of people who have used the shown products, the issues they experienced which will aid your decision making. Ask your friends for a recommendation.
Tip:If you are shopping on a site like Amazon, try to look out for reviews from people with the “Verified Purchase” tag as these are the people that have been confirmed to buy the product, theirs’ is an honest review.
2. Check review sites:
You can check online blogs and video blogs to know more about products and get a quick breakdown of its features, Pros, and Cons. Sites like YouTube where reviews are carried out on products or read blogs like CNet and Consumer Reports to get have a better knowledge of what you want to pay for.
The reviews on these sites may also include a link to the online store the reviewer got his own from. Review sites compare products to see their advantages and disadvantages. This helps to keep potential buyers informed of the product they are about to purchase.
Coupon or discount codes can help you save a lot while shopping and can save a lot on your purchase or shipping costs.
4. Check the shipping terms:
Some online stores charge huge fees for shipping that can make a shopping bargain very expensive. Make sure they provide tracking and insurance for the purchased items. Beware of sites that won’t ship the purchased item within 10 days.
5. Avoid dynamic pricing:
By clearing your browsing history. Online stores tend to show higher prices to high-income Zip codes. You can also avoid this by browsing or shopping in incognito mode. You can even exploit this if you live in a high-income Zip code by hiding your IP location with a VPN.
6. Use browser add-ons:
Chrome now has an add-on called “Priceblink” which automatically help you search for a product, get the lowest price and shipping costs and also notify you of available coupons you can apply. Awesome, right?
7. Check if the site is secured:
This is a very important routine when shopping online. Make sure the web address of the page you want to enter your card and personal information starts with “HTTPS” and not “HTTP” e.g. “https://www.amazon.com/”
Tip: Use a standard means of payment like PayPal or Credit Card!
One of the best ways of getting the most out of online shopping is to keep your calendar starred for big shopping events like:
Black Friday: This usually falls on the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday deals dominate large online stores, with insane discounts up for grabs during this time. You can get a very expensive item at a 50% discount during this time.
Prime Day: Prime day is a special shopping day first launched by Amazon in 2015. This day is exclusive to Amazon and comes up every 12th of July.
Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday is a great day to buy electronics and technological equipment, they tend to be cheaper on this day.
Back to School: This falls to the end of the summer, it features great deals on school supplies and also on electronics and clothing.
Online shopping comes with a few risks which include personal information, identity theft, and fake products. As mentioned earlier, we will discuss a few tips you can use to protect yourself when shopping online.
Below are some tips for you to safeguard your private information while protecting yourself from fraudsters and dubious online stores.
Use a secure connection: Ensure your computer’s firewall is on, this protects the computer from malicious software and websites that can steal information. It is not advisable to use a wireless network while making payment online, but if you are out of options, make sure the connection is encrypted (Use a virtual private network).
Only shop on well-known and trusted online stores: E.g., Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba, and if you must shop on a site that is not very well-known, check with sites the review online stores and read the reviews from people who have tried the store.
Do not use stores that ask for information that is more than necessary: Avoid stores asking for your bank account information, social security information or driver’s license number. All you need to make a purchase is a method of payment (Card or PayPal), telephone number, shipping address and email address.
If the online store requires you to create a password for the site: Make it a strong one. Do not use passwords like “12345” or “abcde”, use strong passwords like “LioN?Hear#” combine uppercase and lowercase letters, mix with numbers and symbols. While making your password complex, keep it in mind it should be easy to remember.
How to Buy On Amazon (really easy):
Online shopping is the new trend in the shopping world, online shopping offers a lot of options for shoppers, and you can get the best value for your money while shopping online. It is relatively easy to shop online, all you have to do is get on a trusted online store, search for an item of interest and placing your order. With over 70% active online shoppers in the United States alone, and the quality of services offered, there is no doubt the percentage can only soar up in the coming years.
While technological breakthrough, particular the use of the internet has brought the world closer than ever, some few risks are also involved. Notwithstanding, there are ways you can overcome them. Play smart, do your research and act constructively, and you will never be a victim of online shopping fraud.
Everything comes with a price. But with the right planning and knowing where to look for your goods, you can shop online like a boss.