Online shopping has taken the world by storm. Whether it is clothing, footwear, or food, we heavily rely on our devices to get us what we want. A significant benefit of online shopping is that you can shop whenever you want to. Even if it is midnight, you can place an order for that concert ticket you absolutely need.
The convenience and comfort of online shopping drive consumer behavior in favor of the ecommerce industry.
The way the world shops has evolved. More and more people are bypassing brick and mortar stores in favor of online ones. According to Statista, the immense growth in the ecommerce industry has aided the industry in accumulating revenues of more than $2.8 trillion in 2018. This figure is also bound to grow as more digital natives approach adulthood.
However, there is one source of concern. There are many scammers and threats looming online. While people shop online for different reasons, the necessity to shop smartly stays constant. With a little effort, consumers can ensure their shopping experience is secure.
Here is how you can ensure your online shopping experience is safe and smart.
Use trusted sites
Firstly, always make sure you are shopping from a reputable online store. A little research never hurts and can potentially save you from getting ripped off. If you are ordering from the official website of a big ecommerce giant, you can relax. But if you are ordering from a fishy new site, perform due diligence.
Shopping from a trustworthy site reduces the chances of getting exploited. Moreover, online stores should exercise transparency and allow product reviews. That brings us to the next step.
Read product reviews
On sites like eBay and Amazon, a multitude of products is listed. How would you know which products are worth buying? Reviews can help in the decision-making process. Too many one-star reviews are a red flag and indicate that you should not make such a risky purchase. On the other hand, numerous five-star reviews suggest that the product is worth a go.
Always be on the safe side and check the product reviews before finalizing a purchase. Never waste money.
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it
Respecting your financial resources will go a long way. Did you know that the average US consumer annually spends $5,400 on impulse purchases? Online shopping is tempting, and that is why you should keep a constant check on yourself. Before you finalize a purchase, you should ask yourself whether or not you need every single item that is in your cart.
If you don’t need an item, you shouldn’t buy it. There is no point in spending more than you actually need to.
Respect your budget
When you respect your wallet, great things will happen in your life. You will be able to take that vacation you always wanted to, or buy that car you admire. Nothing is difficult if you put your mind to it.
Even wearing great fashion on a budget isn’t impossible. You can find reasonably priced leather jackets in New York or California easily. Additionally, you can even compare the prices of specific items and choose the one which is the most reasonable. Perhaps you can wait for an online sale or use a promo code. Care about your financial resources and life will become a breeze.
Never compromise on security
Shopping on a site without a valid SSL certificate is a bad idea. An SSL certificate or a ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ encrypts and secures sensitive data that could otherwise be misused in the wrong hands. Scammers need a single chance to get hold of passwords or credit card numbers.
Online scammers use critical pieces of personal information to impersonate individuals and extract cash through credit cards and loans. According to Norton Lifelock Cyber Safety Report, over 118 million people belonging to sixteen different countries were found to be victims of identity theft in 2018. The least we can do is to ensure that we are protected from this avoidable scam. Make it a point never to share personal information on a site that isn’t secure.
Have a strong password
Being careless puts you at risk. So you should never compromise on the strength of your password. This quick-fix will help you stay safe during your online shopping spree. Instead of allowing anyone to intrude in your id and meddle with your private information, you should be secure.
In this decade, there is no excuse to have a weak password.
Know the shipping and return policy
Being more informed about the policies of the store helps in making the right decision. According to a recent survey, 77% of the respondents reported that they abandoned an online purchase due to negative shipping experience. So individuals can save themselves from unnecessary heartbreak if they read the shipping and return policy before filling the cart.
The more informed you are, the better it is for you for a good shopping experience. However, you should make sure your information is safe.
Protect yourself against malware
Pervasive malware programs can potentially steal your passwords and target sensitive data like credit card numbers. In the first half of 2019, there has been a 60% increase in the number of victims of malicious software. With respect to the realities of the internet today, preventive action is a must.
You should never ignore the danger of malware. Before shopping online, make sure the device you are using has an active and efficient antivirus. Browser-based vulnerabilities are the most exploited. Therefore, don’t permit your browser to automatically use its password-saving features. Use a reputable password manager instead.
Don’t divulge unnecessary details
A reputable ecommerce site will never ask you for your social security number. Be careful when you see a website asking you for fishy information. The odds are that such a place is not worth shopping from anyway. Always trust your gut feeling and abandon the cart right away.
Identity theft is rampant, so you should do your best to protect your information. Always use your internet when you shop online instead of relying on a public network. Divulging more than you need to will lead to dire consequences.
There is a plethora of ecommerce sites that you can use to purchase what you want. However, shopping online is not for the faint-hearted. Buy from reputable websites that have a valid SSL certificate and be respectful of your financial resources. Cybercrime is abundant. So a little research can help you become a smarter consumer and save you from unnecessary losses. Whether you are shopping online for a cool jacket or a pair of sneakers, be vigilant.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.