I simply cannot imagine life without online shopping. I mean who has the time these days to physically go to every store to shop as often as we would like? Judging from the number of bookmarks on my computer, the saved pages on my iPad and Instagram screenshots on my phone, collected from stores all-over the world, my life would be truly chaotic if I had to be physically present at all the places I buy stuff from. And I bet the same applies to you. As our technology evolves and the globe becomes more centralized what with social media as a marketing (and selling) tool so has our online shopping experience. So probably some online shopping tips that applied in the year 2010 may not apply today. Therefore as the world evolves we should too, and equip ourselves with new information and the latest strategy to handle the change. With that in mind let’s talk about smart online shopping tips that will make our lives a lot easier in this tech age.
Of course. Before you even begin browsing for anything; ensure you are on a secure connection. It’s totally crazy to input any details of yourself on a site that you do not trust let alone make a payment there. Check the web address once you get to the site so you don’t become a victim of phishing. Determine credibility of a site (if it’s not a renowned one) by checking simple things like image quality, spelling errors etc. If it seems shady just don’t do it. That dress or shirt you love so much will be stocked by a site you trust and if not yes you can live without it. When paying online use an online payment portal like Paypal instead of putting your credit card details directly on the site. Also another trick is to use a prepaid card that’s not connected to a bank account and dedicate it only to online shopping. Don’t put too much money in it( reload when necessary). I personally use a DXB connect card. Where possible, especially with the domestic sites, order to pay on delivery. (Jumia Kenya has that option) MPESA is also a great option but be sure it’s a legit store because once that money is gone you won’t get it back.
Now if you are on a site that you just stumbled on, or an Instagram or Facebook page you haven’t ordered from before, remember the rules above but also do not go overboard with your orders. Some sites put up images that are completely different from the actual item. So you may buy oranges thinking its apples. Order only one item that you really like, and nothing too expensive. On social media, DO NOT send anyone money before they deliver the item. If they don’t like that arrangement simply move on to the next vendor.
Check the promos
Now that you feel comfortable enough to start shopping, check the deals first.High end sites like Express and H&M often have offers on select items. Download an app like Honey which literally scours the internet for any promos and so at checkout it will apply for you the best coupon code. How cool is that! Closer home, a site like Rupu (Kenya) is known for good deals. Jumia also always has an under KES 2,000 section that you should go through just in case. Even if you are shopping on Facebook a simple search with keyword ‘deal’ on a page could show you if they have posted any deals. Same goes for holiday deals.
Search by size
If you are too petite for instance, or you are a shoe size above ten, you may find a great item while browsing but it turns out it’s not stocked in your size. To avoid agonizing over something you can’t have especially if you are looking a specific item on a site (say black pumps, red dress etc.) do a search with the keyword then right away check the sizes they have.
Use a wish list
Most sites allow you to save the items you like for later. It helps to ensure you are getting the best deal. If you aren’t absolutely sure about something let it lie on the wish list for a bit and with time you might find that you don’t like it as much.
Ensure you’re getting the best price
Some sites show great deals but fail to mention things like high shipping costs and ridiculous other charges, so be sure to check all that.Do a price comparison search on other sites. What seems to be a score could be a normal price or even higher. On sites with many vendors like Amazon for instance you have to be sure that’s the very best offer.
Look carefully at the images. Some sites like my all time favorite ASOS , offer a “view catwalk” option where you are able to see the item worn on video. Begin to imagine how you would wear the item before you purchase. Be open to the fact that it will look different on you or might need some alteration, so it best be worth it. Read and believe the reviews. Check and double check the size charts and convert your size accordingly. If ordering on social media, request for two sizes to pick what fits best. Take note of sizes you’ve ordered before from the same store because some labels have a different fit. Check the return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with something you can’t wear, or be charged to return it.
Edit your cart before checkout
Before checking out, go through your cart and be absolutely sure you need every item in it. Sometimes because you aren’t actually carrying the items around in a basket, you may buy more than you intended. Other times you may mistakenly buy something twice. If you’re not sure of something leave it on the wish list.
Bookmark & subscribe
If you truly like the site, it is best to subscribe to their newsletter (I cringe as I say this because of spammers but it’s worth it sometimes). This way you will be notified of any deals or new stock or if an out of stock item you liked is back in stock, or is now available in your size.
Armed with the above tips and tricks, go conquer the world of online shopping and have fun while at it. Happy shopping!
Thanks for reading and stay elegant. XX