Since almost everyone has access to the internet, entrepreneurs capitalize on it. What once was only possible to do in malls and boutiques is now possible online. And what is this? Online shopping!
Benefits of Online Shopping
Many people have been shopping online for years. But this industry suddenly gained popularity in a short amount of time, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Easy Access to Products/Services
One of the main reasons is the ease of access. With the stay-at-home rules and travel restrictions that dominated most of 2020, many people were forced to stay home. The threat of getting infected also discouraged most residents from leaving their homes. They turned to the Internet to search for the products and services they needed.
Various websites and apps are available for almost anything you need. Whether you’re searching for groceries to buy or craving some Chinese food, you can get what you need in just a few clicks of the mouse or your phone.
Time and Cost Savings
Not only will you save time shopping online, but money as well. You don’t have to gas up or wait long hours in traffic with online shopping. This is beneficial to those who work full-time and never have the chance to shop for themselves. Stay-at-home moms also find it hard to leave home to shop for supplies, especially when there are little kids to take care of.
So, it’s no surprise that everyone is hopping onto this trend. With a simple tap, all you have to do is wait until your orders arrive at your doorstep. Usually, you’ll receive a notification if your order is already at the last-mile delivery, so waiting will not interfere with your other activities.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
Not Seeing the Actual Product
The top disadvantage is not seeing the actual product before buying. Looks can be deceiving; if you don’t see the product physically, what you receive may not be what you expected. You form expectations of the products you buy because of how companies advertise them. Online shops present beautiful and appealing pictures of the products, which might be far from the actual appearance of the item you get.
For example, a product’s size is hard to gauge if you’re looking at a product image without a point of reference. Some e-commerce businesses forget to include the size in the product description, too.
In traditional shopping, you get to see the product. You can examine the material, color, and size and check if the product is durable and to your liking. It lessens the chances of buying the wrong item or being deceived by its appearance on a picture.
Wrong Product Specs
Another disadvantage is when you receive an item with the wrong specs. For instance, a pair of shoes or a shirt has the right size you indicated, but it doesn’t fit you.
Product Defects or Damage
Defects are also a reason you may want to return the products. Since big companies perform mass production, quality control is sometimes overlooked. As a result, you get a damaged item. It usually happens during holidays or peak seasons, when there’s a sudden spike in demand.
What You Can Do
There are things you can do to prevent receiving the wrong items. One is to send a message to the seller before placing the order. Ask them the other details you want to know that they have not included in their product and service description. You may voice your concerns about specific features. You may also request additional photos of how the product will look up close.
When you receive a defective product, you must contact the seller immediately. Notify them about your issue with the product you received. There is a timeframe for returning or exchanging an order. Ensure that you don’t go beyond the deadline, or you won’t be able to exchange the product. Wait until they get back to you with a reply regarding the concern.
The next steps depend on the seller’s return guidelines. It’s best to be aware of their return and exchange rules. Visit their website so you will have an idea. They may also guide you on what to do. Learn who will shoulder the cost of shipping the returned items, you or the seller. If you live far from the seller’s warehouse or shop, this might be a problem. Discuss it with the seller.
Be Wise Online
It’s imperative to be a wise consumer, especially online. While online shopping offers many benefits, you should also know how to adopt preventive measures to have a positive purchasing experience. And if you can’t enjoy a product you bought fully, you know what to do.