Smart Online Shopping Tips

Convenience and speed are among the greatest benefits the Internet has bestowed upon us and both these attributes are best demonstrated when we shop online.

When compared to a brick-and-mortar experience, online shopping has numerous advantages. It helps you avoid the hassle of looking for parking; it saves you the trouble of walking down seemingly endless shopping aisles as you search for items; it helps you save time because you don’t have to travel to the mall; and it helps you skip the long queues at the checkout counter! In addition to this, online shopping gives you access to global premium brands, which may not be available locally, and often entitles you to better deals, bigger discounts and more reward points, which you can redeem for free purchases later on.

So what do you need to shop online? Just a credit card! Your credit card empowers to you to shop from anywhere 24 X 7 through online shopping. Credit card companies such as HDFC, ICICI, Kotak (and even issuers such as VIsa & MasterCard) often have special deals for online purchases. For instance HDFC currently running a program where their members get up to 5 times the points on online purchases. Such offers encourage people to do more of online shopping as there is a sense of gratification for the customer in terms of gifts he can get. However, when buying off the Internet, always ensure that your online purchases are safe. Here are some online shopping tips that will help:

o Always verify that the URL of the website is correct by checking it in the address bar of the Internet browser. This will protect you against phishing.
o Only shop from trusted, well-established and reputed websites.
o Never type sensitive information such as your credit card number, CVV etc. in pop-up windows.
o Sign up for services like ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘Master Card Secure Code’ before shopping online with your credit card for a safer shopping experience.
o The URL of the webpage where you enter your credit card details should start with ‘https’ and not ‘http’. This indicates it is a secure website.
o Jot down relevant transaction IDs or take printouts of the purchase confirmation screen for future reference.
o Check to see that the webpage you are on has a closed padlock or a key icon on it before entering sensitive information.

As you can see, online shopping is a great way to carry out your purchases from the comfort of your own home. However, to ensure that you always have a pleasant and safe shopping experience, make sure that you keep these simple and handy tips in mind before packing those virtual shopping carts! Happy shopping!