September 28, 2008

Why Shop Online?

Shopping online used to be scary. You never knew when, or if, you would get your order. Who were these people you were giving your private information to? Who else was getting the information? In 1996 when we applied for our first merchant account and told them we were selling "online" they looked at us like we were speaking another language. We had to walk the guy through what we did and how we kept the information safe, encrypted and that we were not going to sell it to the highest bidder. Let's just say the bank monitored us pretty closely during the first few years.

These days online stores are the norm. Nearly every retailer, large and small, has a presence online. There are many reasons to shop online. Here are just a few:
  • Anything you want you can find online.
  • Shop in London, Sydney, Canada or Los Angeles without leaving your kitchen.
  • Find unique items made by independent designers you can't find anywhere else.
  • Buy your Christmas presents without changing out of your pajamas.
  • Buy a gift today and have it delivered across the country, gift wrapped, tomorrow!
  • Save gas, time, money, aggravation and energy.
To ensure a pleasant experience there are a few things you should do prior to whipping out your credit card. Make sure the business you are buying from is legit. They should have contact information, including a phone number and address. If you've never purchased from them before and have any questions, call them. Shopping cart systems are extremely safe in general. Your information is transferred in an encrypted format to a secure database and is regularly purged for safety against hackers.

For your part you should read the shipping and return policies just in case. We offer a no questions asked return policy for 15 days after retail purchase. Every company has different rules so make sure you know what they are before you give them your money. If you're shopping on Paypal, Ebay, Etsy, or one of the many online shopping malls read their policies as well. Make sure to check the shipping policies as they may differ during the holiday rush time of year. You want to give yourself time to receive the merchandise in time. Doing your homework in advance will save you aggravation later.

Still not convinced? Check out these scenarios:

You need to buy a last minute Christmas gift for your niece in Florida. You get dressed, hop in your car and discover you need gas. So you whip around the corner to the local gas station and find a line around the corner! You sit in line for 30 minutes (or more!) wasting yet more gas, money and time, to pay $4.25 a gallon. You make your way to the local mall and find you have to park in Timbuktu. As you get about half way across the parking lot it starts to rain and you forgot your umbrella in another country. You run to the doors and squeeze your way into the crowded mall of harried shoppers.

Since you have no idea what you want you have to push from store to store all carrying pretty much the same things. You finally settle for something and stand in line to pay a harried cashier. When you finally make your way home you have to wrap the gift, box it up and then go back out to the even more crowded post office to send the thing out! Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Alternatively you pull on your cozy bathrobe and make yourself a cup of tea. While it's steeping your flick on your computer, go to Google and start a search for that gift you need. You sit down in your warm house, listening the the pleasant patter of rain on your windows while perusing the limitless options available to you online. You find the perfect unique gift, maybe even a one-of-a-kind, at a great price to boot. You enter your credit card or Paypal information, choose over night delivery to your niece with gift wrapping and hit "submit".

You have just purchased the perfect gift and will receive glowing praise for a job well done while saving gas, money, the environment and your sanity. I ask you, can it get any easier?


The Pear Project said...

Good article. I hope everyone will do all their Christmas shopping online ... esp. at my site ;)

Zularis Naturals said...

Don't forget my favorite reason to shop waiting in long lines! I often use paypal to pay for online orders as long as the company accepts it. This way you don't have to enter in your credit card number.