Shop till you drop

Enterprise - - On the web -

The world of on­line shop­ping has evolved through many phases. The con­ve­nience of 24/7, no pres­sure shop­ping, saved time, and the lux­ury of com­par­ing prices are some of the fea­tures for which on­line shop­ping is pre­ferred by buy­ers. A shop­ping site acts as a third party, which keeps mer­chants com­pet­i­tive in of­fer­ing the best prod­ucts and prices.

The com­pet­i­tive­ness on a shop­ping site comes with the ob­jec­tive pre­sen­ta­tion of mul­ti­ple stores and un­bi­ased opin­ions about in­di­vid­ual store or prod­uct. To pre­serve its cred­i­bil­ity, the shop­ping site can even re­move un­de­sir­able mer­chants to mis­un­der­stand­ing. Staying away from spam email mar­ket­ing is also an im­por­tant concern for main­tain­ing brand cred­i­bil­ity. Sell­ers need to cre­ate a pri­vacy pol­icy for their com­pany, as on­line buy­ing is based on trust. This part de­mands a legal frame­work for hir­ing an at­tor­ney and de­vis­ing a pol­icy ac­cord­ing to the busi­ness needs, so that buy­ers are sat­is­fied with the shared in­for­ma­tion.

Many e-com­merce am­a­teurs are driven by at­trac­tive on­line mar­ket­ing strate­gies, but they fail to achieve suc­cess as the con­sumer is not sat­is­fied with the se­cu­rity mea­sures. Sell­ers need to look at the im­por­tant mat­ters of TLS (trans­port layer se­cu­rity) en­cryp­tion to pro­tect sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion, like credit card num­bers for on­line pay­ments.

Microsoft has fa­cil­i­tated buy­ers in this re­gard by pro­vid­ing a brief set of safety guide­lines. To look out for signs of le­git­i­macy of a busi­ness, the sim­plest step is to have cus­tomer eval­u­a­tions from sites like BizRate or Epin­ions.com. Al­ways check the third party seals of ap­proval, click them to make sure they link to the or­ga­ni­za­tion that cre­ated them, as there is pos­si­bil­ity of some un­scrupu­lous mer­chants putting the ap­proval lo­gos on their web­sites with­out per­mis­sion. On the web page where the credit card num­ber or other per­sonal in­for­ma­tion is en­tered, an ‘s’ af­ter http in the web ad­dress of that page must be as­sured for en­cryp­tion.

As Microsoft sug­gests, a fil­ter that warns of sus­pi­cious web­sites and blocks vis­its to re­ported phish­ing sites is very im­por­tant while shop­ping on­line. On­line shop­pers also need to stay up­dated on browsers, as the out­dated ver­sions can­not keep up with se­cure pri­vacy mea­sures.

On­line shop­pers gen­er­ally get car­ried away with the ease this shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence of­fers. They need to be crit­i­cal in the on­line world. For in­stance, it is im­por­tant to get fa­mil­iar with the sell­ers by brows­ing com­pany in­for­ma­tion in de­tail, read­ing the con­tract terms and con­di­tions with a saved print copy and check­ing if the com­pany has won any in­dus­try or me­dia awards. Be­fore plac­ing an or­der, it is nec­es­sary to know the method of can­celling the or­der to avoid an un­wanted pur­chase. The con­fir­ma­tion emails of the pur­chase need to be fol­lowed to val­i­date the cor­rect pur­chase.

While se­cur­ing one­self, the buy­ers must also know how much money is sup­posed to be spent. This should never be ig­nored, as im­pulse buy­ing is a great at­trac­tion while shop­ping on­line or prod­ucts. In par­tic­u­lar, the feed­back and com­ments from shop­pers is a crit­i­cal as­pect and, as a re­sult, sites keep im­prov­ing.

More­over, on­line shop­ping is a sen­si­tive area of op­er­a­tion for both the seller and the buyer. Sell­ers are re­quired to pro­vide clear and suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion to avoid los­ing con­sumers due

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