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The Internet has changed the way we buy things. More people prefer online shopping over traditional in-store methods because of the benefits of online shopping. It’s convenient, and you can find the items that you may not be able to get from the local stores.

Covid-19 played a critical role in making online shopping a long-lasting trend. Once people started to make purchases online due to the pandemic, they discovered how beneficial it is. They even became loyal customers in some stores, which minimized the risk of scams.

Alongside benefits, online shopping comes with some drawbacks. However, we will discuss some hacks below that may save you from those cons.

Pros of Online Shopping

dr chai online store

Image taken from Strikingly’s user’s website

Online shopping offers a wide variety of benefits that will encourage you to skip going to stores, and get what you need to be delivered to your doorstep.

1. Convenience

Convenience is the key advantage of online shopping. You can buy anything at any time from the comfort of your home. Numerous e-commerce stores offer everything from kitchen towels to car seats, like Amazon.

Moreover, if you can’t find anything in regular brick-and-mortar stores, you would have to move around for it if it’s crucial, wasting time, energy, and gas. But this isn’t the case with e-commerce websites. If you don’t find the product you want, you just need to tap on another link to reach a different store.

Online shopping is handy for people who work throughout the day and don’t have time for shopping and new parents whose children won’t let them go anywhere. It’s also useful in cases of emergency when you need something and can’t go outside because of certain situations.

2. Sales and Discount Codes

Online stores offer numerous deals, discount codes, and occasional sales to maintain the flow of customers and motivate them to return. Many e-commerce shops will offer you discount codes or some percentage of discount when you sign up for their newsletters or download their app.

Further, you can check out coupon codes websites if you haven’t received any vouchers from the stores you want to shop. They can save you a great deal of money.

3. Access to Customer Reviews

consumer reviews on Pretty Olive Interiors website

Image taken from Strikingly’s user’s website

Many online shoppers leave a review about the products they’ve used, helping both the seller and potential consumers. Prospective users can see other people’s reviews to trust the business, benefitting the seller in generating more sales and maintaining a positive image. Well, sometimes negative reviews work against the company, but for the potential users, it’s still a benefit as they’d know which online store to avoid.

4. Ability to Compare Prices

In brick-and-mortar stores, you have to pay the price the business is asking. But as an online shopper, you can compare the prices of multiple stores. Then you can buy from the one that’s the cheapest for you. Consider using price comparison apps to ease the process.

5. No Parking or Crowd Problems

Occasionally, stores are highly crowded and even run out of many items, making shopping inconvenient. And because of the crowd, you may have trouble finding a parking space, leaving no option but to park far away from the store. With online shopping, none of these problems stand in your way.

6. No Size Problems

People often walk into stores and return with more stuff than they expected to buy. More items mean more inconvenience of carrying them to the car, making space for them, and taking them from the vehicle to your house. Companies take on these hassles for online shoppers, and you must pick your parcel up from your doorstep.

7. No Awkward Encounters with Salespeople

If you’re an introvert, it must’ve annoyed you numerous times when eager salespeople approached you. We know the struggle. The awkward conversation pressurizes many people into buying the product. However, you don’t have to experience that trouble as an online shopper.

Cons of Online Shopping

You must love the idea of saving the time and energy it takes to go shopping and get what you need from the comfort of your home. But convenience comes with some drawbacks. It’s essential to know those cons so that you can be careful and come up with a solution, if possible.

1. Risk of Scams

Scams stay the number one concern for online shopping, no matter how digitally evolved we become.

To avoid fraud, buy from trusted sources, such as Target and Walmart. And whenever paying online, ensure you pay through a credit card and not a debit because you can easily report it to your credit card company in case of fraud.

Moreover, scammers encourage online shoppers to pay through money transfers or gift cards to get easy access to your money. Therefore, if you come across an online store like that, most probably, it’s a scam.

2. Can’t Try Things On

When shopping online, specifically for clothes and accessories, you can’t try them on and feel their material. And the clothes and accessories might look good in the picture or on the models, but they won’t necessarily suit you or your style, making it crucial for you to try them on.

If you buy something and after the delivery, you don’t like it in real, some companies might not accept returns, and others may take another five to seven days.

3. Can Be More Expensive

Online shopping can get more expensive than in physical stores because you have to pay a shipping fee and, in some regions, an internet tax. The shipping fee can be eliminated if your order reaches a certain amount, which might encourage you to buy more stuff than you need.

Practical Tips for Shopping Online

We’ve compiled a list of online shopping hacks to help you save money.

1. Order Through Direct Messages

Companies maintain their social media profiles and respond on time to generate sales. And in this time of inflation, they’d do anything to complete a deal until it’s benefitting them. Ordering through direct messages can get you an exclusive discount.

2. Leave Your Products in Your Cart for a While

Businesses are eager to complete a sale that is half done. They know you leaving the products in the cart is costing them money. And you might think this is pointless but trust us; it is one of the most effective online shopping hacks.

If you want a product, but it’s out of your budget, leave it in your cart. Ensure you sign up for the company’s website using your actual email. After a while, you will receive an email from the website reminding you about the abandoned items in the cart. And with that reminder, they might even slide in a voucher to encourage you to complete the sale.

3. Check If You Qualify for Discounts

Many businesses offer discounts to students, children, the elderly, military members, NHS workers, veterans, firefighters, etc. Some companies might even give you exclusive discount vouchers for loyalty. Always check your email for discount codes when buying from the same website again.

4. Sign up for Newsletters

newsletter sign up form

Image taken from Strikingly’s user’s website

Remember to sign up for their newsletters when shopping from an online store. Some businesses give discount codes to customers who sign up for their emails. And later, they notify their consumers, through those newsletters, about the latest products, deals, sales, and discount vouchers.

How to Build an Online Store?

If you’re looking to launch your business online, Strikingly can help you with that. It’s a website builder that lets you create a responsive website without coding or web design experience. To build a website using Strikingly, you only need to sign up, select the template you like, and edit it in the site editor.

Follow these steps to create your e-commerce store using Strikingly:

1. Sign up and click on the “Create new site” button from the dashboard.

2. You will be directed to the templates section. Choose the one you like.

3. In the site editor, click “Add new section” from the menu on the left.

strikingly site editor

Image taken from Strikingly

4. Go to e-commerce, then select Simple Store.

5. Now scroll to the online store section you just added to your site, and tap “Add products.”

6. Click “Add new products” and fill out the required information.

7. Save your product information.

strikingly product information window

Image taken from Strikingly

Strikingly offers a wide variety of features for its online store. In your Strikingly online shop, you can:

  • Accept payments through multiple payment methods.
  • Add product filter.
  • Categorize store items.
  • Offer coupons to returning customers.
  • Customize checkout form (helpful when the customer wants to personalize their order).
  • Show product reviews. They will help your prospective consumers to trust you.
  • Add store pickup and multiple shipping options.

You can build your online store for free or pay as low as $8 per month to upgrade the number of products you can upload to your store.

Lastly, implement the online shopping hacks discussed above to save money and beware of scams. Try to shop from trusted stores and the ones your friends or family have shopped from because scammers tend to buy fake reviews to make their sites look authentic.