E-commerce is constantly growing, as are online offers. Here are our tips for profitable and safe online shopping.
The term e-commerce has now become a word of common use in our life and everyone happened, at least once, to shop online, generally driven by the convenience of delivery and often lower prices that allow us to save. And in fact, the number of consumers who buy the most consumed products online, from shoes to detergents, and who love to take advantage of the web, also for special offers and sales, is constantly increasing.
For instance, in 2019 alone, according to the Milan Polytechnic B2C eCommerce Observatory, Italians have spent 31.6 billion euros online, an increase of + 15% compared to the previous year.
Even the traditional sales period saw a good part of the buyers turn to online stores: 21.3% preferred the web – and the particular offers of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – with an increase of + 2.4% compared to the previous year. The sectors that currently share the largest market shares are leisure with 41.3%, which also includes gambling, followed by tourism at 28%, shopping centers (i.e. those who sell generic products retail, such as Amazon), insurance (4.9%), electronics (3.3%), fashion (2.2%), publishing (1.9%), home and furnishings (0.8%) and the health and beauty sector (0.3%).
Nevertheless, it is also good to underline that the possibility of being scammed or seeing your credit card data stolen by some hacker is always around the corner and cybercrime strategies are in constant evolution. Therefore, everybody should pay attention to the reliability of the sites on which they shop online, use prepaid cards, have a good antivirus and be alert to avoid phishing campaigns (which by offering phantom prizes or discounts try to access to your devices).
Further tips you can find right here and they are drawn up in order to help you to save money on online shopping because there are actually many ways to do good business.
1 Do not rush to complete purchases
Avoid times when there are large peaks of interest online, for instance during the week between 9 pm and 11 pm and on weekends in the evening. According to Idealo, the best day to buy, for example, women’s shoes are Wednesday (5.8% savings compared to the same purchase made on Tuesday) while for men’s shoes it is Friday with a saving of 6.4 % compared to Thursday.
2 Learn to use the price comparison
There are countries where the use of price comparison is constantly growing of almost 50% compared to 2017, for instance. Nonetheless, many people still ignore the advantages to compare prices before making a purchase.
3 Check the shipping costs
It is a great classic to find offers much cheaper than others and then see that the prices “rise” at the time of payment. Many retailers, in fact, lower the price of the products but raise management or shipping costs. The advice is to fill 2, 3, 4 carts on different sites and compare the final price. Watch out also for the presence/ absence of VAT tax: not inserting it is an offense, but sometimes it happens.
4 Purchase multiple products together to reduce shipping costs
As already highlighted, shipping costs can affect the final account, mainly if a minimum spending threshold is not reached. Combining multiple purchases into a single order can, therefore, be a source of savings.
5 Shop out of season
There are products that have seasonality and that are used only in some months of the year, for example, tires, summer or winter or air conditioners. For these purchases, it is recommended to make purchases out of season, or at the end of a season when the shops need to empty the warehouses to make room for new goods and new arrivals.
6 Do not choose branded products at all costs and use the datasheets to compare
A not branded product is not always of a lower quality than its branded equivalent. If we add to this that non-branded products often cost considerably less, the reflection on which product is more convenient to buy is spontaneous.
7 Watch out for reviews
Look at the reviews of other users. This can be very useful for making the best possible purchase.
8 Consider both local and foreign e-shops
Thanks to the cross border trade, it is possible to enjoy a much wider range of products, so it is always of interest to evaluate not only purchases on local but also foreign sites.
9 Search among used products
Used does not mean ruined, malfunctioning or worn. Online you can find second-hand products in good or perfect condition. However, a rule applies: what we buy used must cost at least half of the first-hand price. This type of trade, in fact, represents almost 50% of buy and/or sell used. The second-hand market is worth € 21 billion according to a Doxa study.
10 Use cashback sites
Cashback sites, in addition to saving money, give the opportunity to earn. They are not like the discount codes that are applied only to some products and are limited in time. The cashback, on the other hand, always works on all the products of the affiliated stores. On cashback sites, the savings increase by purchases number: when registering the user is a novice one, but accumulating cashback can become a “lion” (the levels are 14), earning 100% of what he spends.