Best practices for online shopping
Authored by: Monica  

Considering the ubiquity of e-commerce, it is good to have an SOP of sorts when it comes to online shopping. Given the staggering number and variety of online retailers, it is indeed a good idea to keep a few things in mind before strolling down the virtual aisles with your shopping cart.


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01. Security – the e-tailer should have a site security certificate or badge. Some of the leading ones are:

    • SSL certificate by Comodo,
    • Accreditation and ratings by BBB or Better Business Bureau,
    • Verisign, GeoTrust vendor certification, among others and
    • A few more like an ‘https’ prefix in the URL and the lock icon in the status bar

02. About the vendor – it is a good idea to read (yes, it will take a bit of time – but it is worth it!) the ‘About Us’ section of the retailer. Relevant information, correct language and even an active blog are some of the indicators of a trusted vendor. You could also:

    • Look for a physical office address,
    • A solid privacy policy,
    • Guarantees on authenticity of merchandise and
    • Safety assurances such as a BuySafe Guarantee which means that the vendor’s reputation has been verified


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03. Research – apart from using search engines to read up more about a vendor, you could also read customer reviews about the vendor and its products. There are also various online forums that will have people talking about a vendor. One word of caution though – online comments are not always unbiased! So, it is a good idea to read through multiple information sources while doing online research.

04. Prices – to determine that you are getting what you ordered at the right price, you could keep a few things in mind:

    • A site badge such as Upfront Merchant means you can quickly find what you are looking for and get key information on all price components on the product
    • Price protection – some websites offer price protection which simply means that
    • Easy to follow returns policy so you can get your money back if the product is defective in any manner and
    • Transparency when it comes to the price structure – are there any hidden costs? What is their information on customs or import duties? How about sales taxes?

The digital experience of online shopping is convenient and fast! And you can guarantee yourself serenity and fabulous quality products when you keep just a few things in mind.

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