Sit in pyjamas in the evening browsing the shops. Yes please! With a drink of choice? Excellent! And I get to have my favourite shows on in the background.
I actually think this article should be renamed: Why don’t people shop online?
It can be a little daunting shopping online. I remember my Mum’s first few purchases, a phone call each time to make sure it was going right. Everybody knows how to walk into a shop and pick up some things, but not everybody feels comfortable doing the same online.
So why do people choose a trip to town rather than websites? A quick question around the office tells me:
- It depends what people are buying as to where they choose. Clothes, for example, often need trying on. There are brilliant return policies on most websites now, including eBay, but understandably, you want the product there and then, not after trying on a few.
- They want to feel and check out the product in person, to make sure it is of high quality.
- They have had a bad experience in the past, such as receiving something of lower quality than described, or the wrong product altogether.
- They enjoy the experience of shopping.
These answers are understandable, but there are ways around them. I am going to help you love internet shopping as much as I do! Of course, I do think you should actually still go outside now and then. I also accept no responsibility for your increased shopping habit.
1. Social Media + Emails
If you have a few favourite brands or shops, sign up to their newsletters, like their Facebook page, etc. You will know what they have coming into the shops, and you often get exclusive discounts that can be used online.
2. Use cashback/voucher sites.
Sites such as Top Cashback and Quidco give you a small percentage back from each order you make via their links. For a new mobile contract, you can get up to as much as 30% back. You can then withdraw your extra savings. Voucher sites can make a huge difference to your order. Just search online for the store + ‘voucher’ and try out a few that show up.
3. Measure yourself.
From head to toe. Measure each part of your body that will affect the fit of an item, and keep this information updated. Sizes vary across websites just like in bricks and mortar stores, so this way, shopping for clothes is less stressful.
4. Read reviews.
To get a feel for the quality and fit, there are often reviews on site to help you. If not, just Google the product name plus ‘review’. Chances are they say more about the product than the description.
5. Compare easily.
comparing online is much easier than running from shop to shop hoping to get the best deal. Google is great for this. If you search for what you want, then click the shopping tab, you can set the item in order of price. (I do not work for Google, just clearly like it too much!)
6. International calendars.
There are always online sales around Christmas, Easter and other holidays throughout the year. But don’t forget, international sites will have different holidays, for example, July 4th Sales. It’s worth checking them out.
7. Shipping and return policies.
Always check out the shipping and return policies. Do this before you even start to shop if an international site. Make sure they ship to your area. Make sure you can return any items easily that are not suitable. All stores are required to have a return policy, but they do differ slightly, so it is worth checking to put your mind at ease.
Like shopping, but for free! Loads of Facebook sites and brands have online competitions. Take advantage of this and try your luck. Magic Freebies is a great site for seeing what’s going free at the moment. Also, Prizefinder is a great website for it. There are loads out there!
9. Avoid people.
This sounds a bit sad, but there are some days when you just can’t face dealing with others, but you have to get things done. Online grocery shopping was invented for this I’m sure!
10. Avoid queues!
Most working people have to do the majority of shopping on the weekends. It’s so busy! None of that online!
11. For convenience.
You can do your shopping at any time, wherever you are. Decided at 10pm that you need a new outfit? No problem!
12. You can be discrete.
Nobody can see the bag of embarrassing purchases!
13. No (or less) compulsive shopping.
In a shop, it’s easy to go in for one thing, and come out with loads. It’s not your fault! Upselling is a massive game, and they’re good at it. Those little treats by the counter? Purposely placed to tease you while you’re bored in those queues!
14. Payment security.
Paypal is excellent and used by many retailers now. Paypal will hold the funds from the seller if there is an issue with the product. Even if the company does not use paypal, your purchases are recorded so there is no chance of not receiving and losing your money. It is much safer to shop online than it used to be.
There is so much more available to us online than in the shops. While I like a browse in shops still, there is no denying that the internet has opened up a multitude of options.
So what do you think? Going to join me in an online spree?
Do you already indulge online, or are you a bricks and mortar shopper? Why do you choose one over the other?
Written for Branded Value.