Online shopping is becoming more and more popular and the numbers shopping online looks set to reach new height this Christmas. According to The Telegraph, Brits are expected to spend more than 350 million hours shopping online in the build-up to Christmas, a 15% increase on 2010. What are the pros and cons of doing your Christmas shopping online?
One benefit is that you don’t have to go out into town for your Christmas shopping. If doing all of your shopping online there is no need to travel to town or an out of town shopping centre on a cold winters day. It can all be done from the warmth of your own home and you don’t have to race around as part of the large Christmas crowds.
There are sometimes online offers to be found that are not available in the shops. With the increase in online shopping, retailers are targeting this customer base with enticing offers.
If you are shopping on the internet you have a choice of an endless number of retailers. If your favourite retailer doesn’t have a physical store then you would normally have to go somewhere else, but it doesn’t matter where they are if you are buying through their website. You might even be able to buy from retailers based abroad.
Christmas shopping can be stressful; rushing around at the last minute trying to find presents for everyone. Shopping online can take away the stress and make it a lot more relaxing.
While shopping through the internet has its positive side, there are also some negative points.
For one, you can’t see what you are buying prior to making a purchase. This means you won’t find defects that you might if visiting the shops. It is, therefore, more likely you will have the hassle of having to return items.
There can also be extra charges when shopping online, especially delivery charges. In some cases this can make online shopping a more expensive experience.
One of the main fears of shopping on the internet is online shopping safety . For example, it is possible your bank account details could be stolen or your computer could be infected with a virus.
So looking at the pros and cons, should you do your Christmas shopping online?
A large part of it comes down to personal preference. Some people love going into town for their shopping, while others hate it. But, is it safe? The reality is that despite all the stories we hear, in the majority of cases internet shopping is safe. Internet safety needs to be considered, but if the right precautions are taken then it shouldn’t be a problem. It is wise to only use websites that you know you can trust. There are two other key things to look out for; make sure there is a lock symbol in the address box of any webpages that ask for payment details and make sure the web address beings with ‘https’ instead of the usual ‘http’. You may be wondering if you can return items bought online. A misconception is that you cannot, but you have the same legal rights as if you were buying from a physical store. If in doubt, check the terms and conditions on the website or call the company.
Andrew Marshall ©