Buying online has been a revelation to both the retail and international trade industries. Once upon a time, it was normal to think you had to leave your house every time you wanted to buy something or even look at it. Today, the world is your oyster, with products available to you from almost anywhere in the world. Internet shopping changed the game and handed the power back to the consumer. If you’re new to internet shopping and aren’t quite sure where to start or what to look for, we’ve got you covered. This is your beginner’s guide to buying online.
Make the most of your purchase
Internet shopping has evolved a lot over the years, from direct sales from big brands to purchasing through assorted retailers to get your items. A big tip for any beginner when buying online is to maximise your purchase with existing memberships you may have. We are all members of loyalty programs, and many of them let you use your points to purchase online. The perfect example is Qantas; you can shop at eBay via Qantas shopping, meaning you can use your points, accumulate more and get the items you’re after.
Using your existing memberships is a great way to get double the benefits of online shopping. Make sure before you go direct, you look through the online stores for your existing loyalty programs or memberships. Not only can you earn more through their points system and occasional cash back offer, but you may be able to save yourself a few dollars as well.
Look for the lock
Internet shopping can, at first, be a little scary. After all, everyone has heard of someone that has been scammed. The safest way to ensure your payment details and data are safe is to look for the lock symbol on the left of the web address for the online store. This padlock represents the company having satisfied their security requirements and having a digital security certificate. This means that any information you enter and share with that website, or the information it sends you, will be secured.
Safety should be an online shopper’s highest priority, and the padlock is the best way to ensure no information sent can be intercepted by a third party and used indecently. For any beginner starting out on their online shopping journey, don’t be fooled into using a website without the padlock, no matter how good the price or free delivery may seem.
Look for shortcuts
Online shopping, especially for items you plan on purchasing regularly, can get tedious if you have to search and add them to your cart every time. This is particularly relevant for online grocery shopping. Don’t add that can of black beans six times every time you do your weekly shop. Instead, take the shopping shortcut and save your lists or regular shops to your profile.
By saving your regular lists, you can simply click one button, and your entire shop will be added to your cart, ready for delivery or click and collect. This feature also means if you want to only make a few minor changes you can do so, and still get the majority of what you’re after. Creating a profile also allows the seller to get to know you a little better, and you’ll be notified when your regular items go on sale. This tip will save you both time and money in the long run, so be sure to create those shortcuts.
Not everything you buy online will be a stellar purchase. Whether it be sizing or quality, you may want to return some items for one reason or another. Before buying online, it’s important you check the returns policy and get familiar with it. Some companies may expect you to return it in a particular condition or may even make you return it to a physical store. The last thing you want is to have to drive to a store when you purchase online for a reason. Returns can seem like a hurdle when it comes to internet shopping, but they don’t have to be. Get to know the return policy before your purchase, and in the event that you need to return something, you’ll know exactly what to do or may not even purchase it in the first place.
Online shopping is a game-changer when it comes to having access to products from anywhere, at any time. With overnight or even same-day delivery, it’s like going to a physical store was never an option at all. Purchasing online can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. If you’re new to internet shopping, take these tips on board, and you’ll move from beginner to pro in no time.