Online Shopping – is it safe or not?

Online Shopping
Kumar Sunil

Kumar Sunil

Dreamer & Enthusiast

Creative. One word says it all for Sunil. A engineer, an enthusiastic and conscientious Information Technology consultant by profession, Sunil shares a special interest with entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

Those who say money cannot buy happiness, I am sure they don’t know where to go for shopping.

Nowadays, the purchasing power is increasing (we are 3rd largest after US and China) but the problem is, “No Time for Shopping.” The marketing experts realized it a long time ago and came up with an idea of online shopping; shopping through the internet.

This invention has made things so easier for the people around the globe that they now can enjoy shopping without leaving their home. No need of wandering from one shop to another.

You don’t need to burn extra petrol/diesel, and you don’t have to stand in the long queues etc. Everything is now a click of a mouse away and you can choose how, how much and when you want to pay, be it in EMIs, cash on delivery or net-banking.

A hundred of websites and mobiles app are already there in the market with the search tool on their website, where the buyer can search for the product under a huge inventory of categorized items.

In addition, buyers can also expect some of the best deals, offers, discounts and even the money back guarantee. To make this process rather user-friendly, sellers offer the around the clock customer support to deal with all inconveniences faced while making an order or when the product has been received.

The popularity of these stores is increasing by leaps and bounds; just Google Xiaomi Mi 5 (nearly 14 million registrations).

Despite these endless advantages, why do most of us are afraid of eCommerce? Being an online marketing and conversion expert, I am always approached by international businesses who are really worried about the conversion rates and bounce rates of their eCommerce websites.

The fear is justifiable, as online shopping means the absence of physical presence. Whether you are a store owner or a buyer, here under are a few points that you can check within a website before you proceed to check-out.

Let us discuss the methods through which online shopping can be made a safer option –

Are you landed up on a page that seems like of the 90s and never updated since? A page with poor design, bad user interface, nothing relevant, and a lot of ads. The first ever thought that will come to your mind is, “what the heck. Seems like a dodgy page for collecting important information only.” the final reaction will be and should be, ALT +F4.

It is very important that one makes sure that the website is secured. One can evaluate its safety by seeing that the address of the website, it should not start with HTTP:// instead, and it should start with HTTPS://. Another thing that one can look for is that a secure website usually has a lock logo in the right corner of the website.

Miss not checking the trust signals like trust marks, logos from external accreditors who are there to assure that the store you are about to buy from is safe. You can check for a few common ones like McAfee, Verisign, BBB, TRUSTe, and PayPal in some cases.

Is the website – straight to the point? Being a user, you don’t want a useless redirection at every click, confusing carts, and suspense before you finally arrived at the page of desired product. The more you confuse, the more you lose. If a website is not letting you see what you are looking for, no use of staying there.

Can you please check the payment options available? Good eStores with real intentions means availability of every possible method of payment. Be it cash on delivery, EMIs, and credit card.

I must say, try not to use your debit card (in case you don’t have a CC or COD facility available). The rule of thumb is either COD or credit card. The credit cards offer more protection from identity theft and the best part is that the bill can be easily paid on monthly basis.

Do give a closer check on the Privacy Policy and Return Policy. The most valuable information about what part of the personal/contact information it (eStore) will be storing in their database.

Also, what procedure they follow for replacing damaged goods? Do they have a 24 x 7 customer support for redressing complaints and grievances? Is there anyone to whom I can talk in case of any trouble with my purchase?

There are countless eStores that can offer you the similar looking product at a rather competitive price.

Just by adding tag lines like ‘product may look different from what they are shown here or all images are digitized for a closer viewing,’ these fake stores set them free from all associated liabilities.

Therefore, always and always, buy from reputed stores only.