Online retail has grown exponentially the past few years, and with good reason. If you have not tried online shopping, you’re probably a bit hesitant to give it a go. You may fear the return process or have trust issues when it comes to online payment. However, once you find a reputable website you will realise that these are first-time butterflies and after your purchase, you will be hooked. If you still need convincing, then look no further to find out why online shopping trumps traditional shopping.

1. Anytime, anywhere … without anyone

If you are like most working people then the only time you can possibly shop is on the weekends, right? Wrong. Online shopping makes it possible for you to shop anytime, anywhere. One of my favourite pastimes is to peruse online shops in the evenings. I know that I am not alone in my nightly shopping escapades. In fact, the most popular times for online shopping are between 6pm and 9pm. Besides, let’s face it – shopping in bed, while cosied up in your pyjamas is way more enjoyable than fighting a sea of people on a Saturday morning.


2. The excitement

Getting a parcel delivered to my doorstep is one of those little things that simply make my day. When you order online, half of the fun is waiting for your much-anticipated item to be delivered. Whether it’s a gift for someone else or if you treated yourself, having a neat parcel with your name on it (that you get to open) makes it feel like Christmas morning.


3. A one-stop shop

When I go shopping, one of my pet peeves is that I can never find everything that I want in one shop. Like most people, I have no choice but to visit multiple stores, rummage through countless items, and still run the risk of coming home empty-handed. What makes this problem worse is having to carry hundreds of bags from store to store or navigate your trolley clumsily through the mall. Online shopping eliminates these woes completely. Not only is everything easily accessible, but there is also a wider, better, selection of items and brands. I know, it’s a dream come true.


4. No more changing room sorrows

I know that I am not the only one who detests changing rooms. The wait in line, the limited number of items and, of course, the infamous lighting which accentuates every lump and bump. But gone are the days of misplaced self-doubt thanks to less-than-flattering lighting. As long as you know your measurements, online shopping is an absolute breeze. Once your purchases are delivered you get to try them on in the comfort of your own home, while keeping your confidence in tact. If, however, you are unsatisfied with your purchase then do not fret. The return process and policy of many online shops is simple and fair. Usually you can return an item within a couple of weeks, free of charge. Of course, this is provided that the item is unopened or unworn and usually excludes intimates for hygiene purposes.


5. Deliveries and discounts

Most online shops offer reasonably priced, if not free, delivery. This is a definite win considering the surge in petrol prices and unjustifiable cost of parking. Plus, who wants to spend even more time sitting in traffic? Besides the convenience of deliveries, online shopping is also a great way to score on discounts. I have saved massively thanks to this. Besides monetary savings, I have also saved myself the hassle of sifting you through bargain bins and crawling through mounds of marked-down sale clothing to find the desired item. If you’re an opportunist at heart, then online shopping may be your new haven.


A word on safety

By now you’re probably itching to try online shopping. When you do, just remember to be security conscious. It’s always good idea to look out for the little “lock ” next to the URL of the site. This indicates that all your info has been encrypted. First-time online payments may be a little scary for some. Payment systems like Payfast, PayPal and Thawte provide security of your credit card payment. If you prefer not to give your credit card details online there is usually a “direct EFT” option. Still feel uncomfortable? Try contacting the retailer directly and do a traditional EFT and send them proof of payment. With these tips in mind, you can shop online to your heart’s content.

When I first experienced online shopping I had only one regret – that I didn’t try it sooner.

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