The world of online shopping has never been more accessible nor more useful than today. Whether it’s a fear of going grocery shopping because of the global pandemic or the inability to go because of watching kids, online shopping can help you.
However, there are a few ways to better your online shopping experience that aren’t so obvious. Going into 2021, let’s go over a few ways to enhance the online shopping experience.
5 Tips for Online Shoppers
1. Subscribe to Loyalty Rewards Programs
Online retailers like Best Buy and Amazon reward shoppers for shopping at their websites by offering loyalty rewards, discounts that are designed to keep loyal shoppers loyal.
The quality of the loyalty rewards program differs between retailers, but if you use a certain retailer often, it doesn’t hurt to sign up. Be careful of retailer-branded credit cards—with high APR, these cards can seriously hurt.
2. Use a VPN to Stay Secure While Shopping
Online shopping can be done anywhere, anytime. This is both a good thing and a bad thing—good because it’s convenient, bad because it’s unsecured.
Many cybercriminals target online shoppers that use public networks. If you shop while using public networks, make sure to encrypt your traffic using a VPN. A VPN actively encrypts the connection between your device and the server, meaning no cybercriminal can access your data, even on public networks.
3. Download an App Dedicated to Discounts and Promo Deals
Apart from keeping an eye on all the promo codes for your shopping, you can also choose to download an app like Honey, which enters in discount codes automatically at checkout and notifies you of potential promos and deals. It’s not perfect, and the discount codes used don’t always work, but it’s potential savings, so why not use it?
4. Beware of Fake “Deals.”
What prevents sellers from marking up the price of their items then cutting the price back to the original price? Nothing. Nothing at all. It happens all the time, and users should beware of falling victim to this tactic.
Honey, the discount app I mentioned earlier, has price history charts that allow you to see if a seller has performed such a tactic. If they have, you know to look elsewhere. This scam is popular around major shopping holidays (Black Friday, Christmas, etc.).
5. (Responsibly) Use Credit Cards for Cashback Rewards
Credit cards can be a dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong person. However, they do offer benefits over bank-linked debit cards, the biggest benefit being cashback rewards.
Cashback programs give you a small percentage of money back on certain purchases. For example, Discover may give cashbacks for purchases of food. These deals differ from company to company, but they are well worth it.
Online shopping is a fantastic and vital tool in today’s world. Long gone are the days walking from store to store trying to find any item you need.
There are issues that can arise from time to time, but with these five tips, you’ll be able to shop online without having to fear the worst and spending more than you need to.