Friday, April 22, 2016

Tips For Fun, Safe, and Secured Online Shopping

My husband and I are self-confessed online shoppers. Over the years, we have really appreciated how much time-saving and fun online shopping is. Just like most people in North America and Europe, online shopping has been preferred by consumers year after year.  

On the other hand, there are still so many people who are still reluctant to do it especially those who are living outside North America and Europe. Admittedly, I understand the reluctance, as online shopping does have its risks. That’s why, in order to maximize the benefits of online shopping, it’s important to remember some of these important  tips to make your online shopping more enjoyable, satisfying, secured, and safe:

Tips | Secured Online Shopping | Chichi Mary Blog

1.   Check the reputation of the online store

You can check the reputation of the online store through their reviews or press coverage.  If the store has accumulated a series of press write ups about their business, there's a better chance that it is reputable. A store will not spend time & money to reach its customers if their goal is not to be honest/reputable. If it is a smaller store, there is a big chance they have reviews from their past customers.

In the case of our own online girl’s boutique, Chichi Mary, we have accumulated some great press reviews for almost three years. We had done this by letting the press try our service and products that we offered in our store. Here are some of our favorite reviews from top bloggers and online sites:

We did start a bit late when it came to asking reviews from our customers and admittedly, not all customers are always willing to make a review.  But we are happy to receive great feedback from our customers.  But remember as a customer; always take each review with a grain of salt.    

Customer Reviews |  Yotpo | Online Shopping | Chichi Mary Blog
One of the great reviews we got from our customers.

2. Check if the online store is SSL Certified

SSL what?! Not to get technical about it, but a website that uses SSL is basically giving you reassurance that no one can easily eavesdrop on the data transfer between your web browser and the website you're visiting. Think of it as a secure phone call between you and the other party. Without this encryption process, your data is basically swimming exposed during its long travel through the internet, waiting to be fished out by anyone who has the right tools.

SSL Certification is acquired by online retailers to ensure your safety during payment processing.  Always look for the padlock logo in the website address field during checkout.

SSL | Secured Online Shopping | Chichi Mary Blog
Look for the padlock logo during checkout to ensure that your transaction is secured.

For more information about SSL, you can read this link.

3.  Check their customer service

Customer service plays a very important role in online retailing.  If you have any inquiries or hesitations about your purchase, consider dropping a note to their customer service or even call them.  If the customer service replied promptly and was very helpful, it is a good indication that you can trust them. 

At Chichi Mary, we frequently help our customers by giving them detailed measurements of the dresses if they’re uncertain about the sizing. This way, we try to remove one of the sources of anxiety with online shopping -- the fear that what you bought won't fit.

4.  Read product details

Online shopping requires being comprehensive too.  It is important to read the product description or the fine print before you make the purchase so that you’ll not have a bad surprise when you receive your order. If data is not available, contact their customer service. 

Product Description | Stella Cove | Chichi Mary | Girl's Boutique
A sample product page of a Stella Cove Dress at  Chichi Mary -- where we try to put more information about the product as much as we can. 

Try to read some product reviews if available.  If you’re buying a pair of shoes or clothes, read their size guide.  It will help you in making your decision. Always keep in mind, that for each brand there’s a different size guide.  Although as an online retailer, I know that not all brands really provide their specific size guide but a general size guide is usually provided. If you’re still not convinced, consider contacting the store for detailed product information.

5.  Don’t forget to check the store policy.

In order to manage your expectations, make sure you read the store policy before making the purchase.  There’s a lot of online deals but make sure you agree with the returns & exchange policy of the store so that you’ll not feel disappointed in the end.

Store policy and other important information are usually found at the bottom part of the webpage.  At Chichi Mary, this is also where you can click our SSL certification aside from seeing the padlock logo during checkout.

Online shopping is fun and once you get the hang of it, it’s hard not to get hooked.  It gives you a different kind of shopping experience!  So whether it’s snowing bad or raining hard, it doesn’t prevent you from doing your shopping especially if you need to buy something that you will be needing soon.  It’s never too late to do your first purchase online.  Hope to meet you online!



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