In spite of the recession that has weakened the economy over the past two years online shopping continues to increase. One recent survey showed a 13% year over year increase in online shopping and the trend is expected to continue. There are several benefits to shopping online, from convenience to selection to price. But there are also dangers and other factors to consider in the world of e-commerce, and many of these factors can help you to make sure you’re making wise purchasing decisions online.
– There Is No Such Thing As Free Shipping: It’s impossible to maintain profit margins for a company is willing to ship its products around the country for free. Free shipping simply means that there’s not a line item on the sales invoice for shipping. Online retailers make up for the cost of shipping in other ways. One of the most common ways that retailers use a free shipping policy to lure customers is to promise free shipping with any order that exceeds a minimum size. Shoppers end up spending much more than they normally would just to take advantage of free shipping.
– Don’t Believe Everything You Read: Becoming a successful online retailer is much more about building a positive perception of your business than it is about price, quality, or any other factor. Online retailers spend thousands of dollars on their “image,” from controlling their search statistics and Google rankings to the reviews that are written about their companies. Internet Marketing is about marketing and the tools used by retailers are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
– Online Security Isn’t Always Secure: One of the factors that scared people away from online shopping several years ago was the fear of their personal information being stolen. Online security has come a long way, but there are still holes that consumers need to be aware of. You should only provide your credit card information on sites that give you confidence that they are secure. There are very few reasons you should ever provide anyone with your social security number or bank account number.
– Prices Change Constantly: Retailers are constantly searching for the price points that offer them the highest profit margins while still meeting their sales volume goals. Many online websites alter their prices multiple times every day, so shopping around and checking back often can often lead to the deals you’re looking for. Many sites also offer price alerts that will send you an e-mail if an item you’re looking for reaches a price that you’re looking for.
– New Customers Get The Best Deals: The hardest part of running a business is finding new customers and online retailers often offer outstanding deals to attract new business. Some smart shoppers establish new accounts with each new order to take advantage of deals offered to new customers.