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Over 190 million people in the United States practice online shopping sites, and that number is expected to increase exponentially over the next decade. The total value of the global e-commerce earnings is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion in 2015 as online shopping grows more commonplace and businesses accommodate their marketing efforts to achieve more online sales.
Online shopping is comfortable, easy, and allows consumers to analyze prices, find coupons, and check reviews in a way that can’t be done in brick-and-mortar shops. However, the immense demand for online shopping has given rise to rip-offs, so buyers must be careful to avoid online shopping scams.
Some online shopping trends demanded to become more commonplace in 2020 and beyond are an enhanced focus on mobile compatibility, more collaboration among brands’ online stores and retail locations, improved encryption technology, enhanced ability to shop via social media websites, faster shipping activities, and more opportunities for customers to get free shipping.
Even now, new additions like drone delivery, same-day delivery in big cities, and grocery and fresh products delivery services like Peapod and Amazon Pantry are changing the face of what it expects to shop online. All of these improvements will make the practice better, safer, and more comfortable for buyers in the future.
While online shopping is undoubtedly comfortable, many consumers continue to have an interest in the safety and security of their information, especially as mobile sales grow more commonplace.
There’s even modern technology from Apple called iBeacon, which amounts to mobile monitoring within brick-and-mortar shops. This type of monitoring enables retailers to track the frequency of mobile usage throughout certain products to notify customers of sale items or see if they’re matching prices on their phones.
All of these trends increase concerns about online shopping security, whether you buy from your computer at home or your mobile device. Some of the most current concerns people express about online shopping include:
Many of these concerns can be solved by shopping with reputable brands on widely known online Shops, reviewing returns and shipping methods before checking out, and assuring you’re using a secure payment system. If you prefer not to register your credit card information directly into a website, you can often use third-party payment methods like PayPal, which conceal your credit card numbers from other retailers.
Along with improving mobile compatibility and other technological advances, online shopping sites are also becoming more focused on consumer service. Many of them provide online chats with customer service agents where you can ask their policies and ensure you get the best price on whatever you’re ordering. You can also check that your product will arrive on time, and find out whether you’ll get a tracking number when you check your desired product.
If you use online coupons, you can also ask a company’s consumer service representative if they know of any popular coupons or online promotions on the site that would benefit you. This could ease a general concern over whether you’re getting the best deal.
Want to avoid shipping costs? Many online retailers offer free shipping. More and more online shopping sites should, and likely will, start giving free shipping as a perk since research shows that 88% of online customers are more likely to shop on websites that offer free shipping.
If you don’t want your data collected in the form of cookies in your Web browser, remember you can also use private browsing — not only on your computer but also on your mobile devices on other devices. You can also opt-out of viewing many advertisements if you don’t want your buying or product searches following you throughout the Web as you browse from site to site.
Everyone is concerned about identity fraud and hacking — at least, they must be — and as high-profile data breaks are at Target, Home Depot, and other important brick-and-mortar retailers have obtained clear, it’s not just online shoppers that need to be wary.
Be sure to always check your credit report online to ensure there are no mistakes or false charges. Also, never insert your credit card information while sitting in a public area, like a coffee shop. Most reputable websites will list their protection features and offer guarantees that your information is encrypted.