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Online Smarts Matter When Shopping at Stores Online

Aug 17, 2007
When it comes to shopping at stores online, it can be said there that there is nothing good or bad, only thinking that makes it so; yet it is still reasonable to see that there are positives and negatives to everything, especially when it comes to buying anything online. The advent of the cyber-world introduced the convenience of online shopping that saved time but it also brought with it the inconvenience of frustrating online experiences that waste time.

Shopping at stores online remains a popular choice for many although there are definitely elements that direct shoppers to the good venues and steers them away from the bad. When it comes to saving time or getting hold of those hard to find items, online shopping is the first and sometimes only line of defense. It is also a method that is great for saving three very precious commodities: gas, time and sanity.

However, the online shopper is an unforgiving shopper. Sites that load quickly, remain navigable and have a smooth checkout can expect to see a repeat of customers. A single bad experience with a site hurts in more ways than one. Not only will the customer end up going to a competitor to complete the sale, the shopper is likely to tell at least 5 other people about their negative experience.

Poor site navigation, checkout problems or a poor description of products is a definite turnoff to consumers who will pick up and go elsewhere. It can turn shoppers off from even shopping at the site's brick and mortar store if the experience is bad enough. Likewise, a bad in-store experience will keep shoppers away from its online store.

A good experience when shopping at stores online entails fast loading pages, an easy checkout and a zoom view of products with a 360-degree product shot. A thorough description is necessary since the physical item is not there for the shopper to examine, a drawback of online shopping. A good site provides all these things, knowing that consumers first and foremost want to feel good about the purchases they spend their hard earned dollars on.

Often, these sites will also provide a number of perks or deals just for online shoppers. Privacy policies are clearly displayed and sensitive information is kept safe with methods of encryption. Return policies are also clearly stated and reasonable. Many reputable sites are members with the Better Business Bureau and clearly state this on their site.

The internet is such a vast terrain of nooks and crannies for the good and the bad to hide in that there is no way to say that shopping at stores online is either all good or all bad. Everything has its plus and minuses but with more and more incidences of online fraud, it's never a good idea to let one's guard down while shopping on the Internet.

With bad online shopping experiences, not receiving or receiving items different from those ordered tends to be the largest complaint. Email can be sold to third parties, personal information can be stolen and phishing scams tend to encourage shoppers to only go to sites they are familiar with. At times, shopping at online sites can require just as much research about the site as the product one is looking to purchase.

When it comes to shopping at stores online, common sense is the name of the game. Good sites and bad sites both warrant attention, especially when such sensitive personal and financial information is required to complete a transaction. A million online stores offer a million different online experiences and staying alert is the only way to navigate through them all.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for My Top Reviews. My Top Reviews offers business advice and reviews of stores online. For more information, visit http://www.mytopreviews.com/storesonline.html .
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