Consumer Insights:A Guide to Online Shopping

Buying a virtual product online was a dilemma for many years until it was put into reality thanks to online shopping companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, Ebay and our local brands such as Jumia, Kilimall ,Masoko just to mention but a few. It is quite amazing how online shopping has change our business landscape. Online shopping is proving to be more secure and by click a button on your smartphone or computer an order is placed. Shipping is fast and you have the option to get your purchases delivered to your door step. Technological advancement has enabled the ease of doing business and brands such as Jumia, Kilimall, Masoko and Glovo which offers on-demand delivery are leveraging on these. Big brands such as Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba have expanded their wings to meet customer demands in almost all parts of the word by shipping online purchased products direct to them.

With all these in place the consumer is at the center stage and unless one is careful with what they are buying and from who, chances of being disappointed or conned cannot be ruled out. As we empress online shopping here are a number of factors to put in mind and be on the know zone.

Brand.

With so many online shops already available and others coming up day and night, it is important to identify the brands you can trust and relate to. Getting opinions from friends or people who have interacted or used these platforms can be the best way to jump-start you if you are found between a hard place and a rock. This is quite necessary if you are just getting started with online shopping.

Price.

Online shopping comes with a variety of choices of the same product from different sellers.  You get the value of your money when you know you have made a purchase that you feel is worth the price tag. Many sellers have listed their products on these platforms and this somehow gives you the bargaining power as a buyer.  By going through product list available on the online store one is able to make an informed decision.  Additional costs such as transportation fee and taxes should not be overlooked as these sums up the amount you will pay.

Image Dimension

Virtual images can sometimes can be deceptive. Many clients have ended up being disappointed after making a purchase because what they received is either too small in size or too big compared to what they perceived in the images they saw online. It is therefore necessary to check out on the description section of the product before placing an order. Pay close attention to the size or dimensions of the product to make sure it meets your specifications and need.

Authenticity

Nowadays it has become hard to differentiate real from fake. Products may look similar but their authenticity sets them apart. Although price tag has previously been used as a determinant factor for authentic products, it is not the best way to distinguish between real and fake. Before placing your order consider going through ratings and approvals by some of consumers who have purchased similar products before. Their experiences and opinions can be the best way to help you make an informed decision. A product with low rating and negative approval from dissatisfied clients is likely to make you a dissatisfied client if you purchase it.

Ratings and Approval

A public visible rating system offered by this online shops solved most potential issues. In an event the product price is relatively unbelievable the buy can see how many successful transactions the seller has completed. As a buyer you should also read reviews from other consumers. We are living in a world where feedback is the engine that improves the overall performance of businesses. Smartphones now have empowered consumers to give nearly instantaneous feedback on any product or service. Leveraging on this as a consumer is key.

Payment Method

Majority of online shops allows buyers to choose a suitable payment method. You also have the option to pay upon delivery of the product. If you are yet to win the trust of a certain online shop or service provider it is advisable to pay after the delivery has been made. You standout to get products at a discounted price when you pay before delivery with some online shops but do so if you are sure and you have won their trust.

Delivery Time

After placing your order you want your product to be delivered to you as soon as possible. Making a comparison of delivery time by various online shops can be ultimate guide to choosing a reliable partner. Although in most cases the delivery time depends on your location and the time of product, taking note of the time it will take for your product to be delivered is very key. You want the delivery to be first and swift.

Return Policy

The last thing you want is it to buy a product online and when you are not satisfied you find out it is an uphill task to return it. Although these scenarios are rare the possibility of experiencing such cases are possible. In case a mistake is done and you receive a product different from the one you requested or there is a problem with the problem, your online shop return policy should provide a room for replacement within the shortest time possible.

Pick Up Point

Before placing that order, the biggest concern is how your order will get to you. Most online shops like Jumia and Kilimall have various pick up points you can use to pick your product. Most of them deliver products straight to your doorsteps if you choose that option, but this mostly comes at a fee. If you choose to pick your product at a pickup point, it is important you choose a pick up point near to you. This will reduce expenses incurred in terms of transportation and time spend.

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Being on a look out is important there are more benefits trying out this online shops as you stand to benefit most from offers and promotions they carryout. Trust is won by trying out and online shops such as Jumia, Kilimall and Masoko have been proven to be trustworthy. There are still more online shops out there you can try out.

Isaac Andati

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