In the last decade, the face of fashion retail has changed fundamentally. Like the world around it, the sector has been caught up in the sweeping tidal wave of technological revolution, with every business that matters taking their wares online and giving us the opportunity to buy over the internet.
As purchasers, we have embraced this change with aplomb. The statistics say it all: an estimated 1.66 billion people worldwide purchased goods online in 2017, and by 2021, e-commerce is expected to represent a phenomenal 17.5 per cent share of total global retail sales.
It seems we’re all getting in on the action, but along with its increased convenience and accessibility, internet shopping does have some downsides – namely, it puts us at risk from online hackers and fraudsters.
This is why it’s essential to educate yourself. If you want to know more about how to shop safely in the 21stcentury, here are some top tips and tricks to help you.
Do your research
It may sound eminently obvious, but one of the best ways to protect yourself online is by making sure you research any retailers you’re not already familiar with. An established business likely has a plethora of reviews available online - if it doesn’t, this ought to set your alarm bells ringing. Check out the company’s social media pages (Twitter and Facebook in particular), type their name into Google, and see what the unbiased are saying about them.
Pay by credit card
Although people tend to worry about their details being cloned online, purchasing via your credit card is a much better way to safeguard yourself than most realize. With inbuilt protection schemes in place, you’ll find that, in instances of fraud, guarantees, and non-delivery, you’re in a far better position than if you had used an alternative payment method like your debit card.
Use a Paysafecard
Credit cards are a useful tool when you’re looking to protect yourself online, but they’re not the only payment method that can help with this. Paysafecards are another option to look into. Preloaded with an amount of your choosing, they can be used for everything from web gaming to internet shopping, and as you can see, they’re accepted at thousands of online retailers across a whole host of industries. The best part is that neither a bank account nor a credit card is needed, so there are zero risks of your details falling into the wrong hands.
Check the website’s security certificate
Last but not least, don’t forget to carry out these two simple safety checks before you buy: firstly, that there is a small padlock symbol in the address bar, and secondly, that the website begins ‘https://.’ These hallmarks denote that the retailer and their website fulfill certain protective criteria, and have the necessary certifications to keep sensitive information safe and secure on your behalf.
Following these little tips will help you to shop savvy, the sure-fire way to make sure your online experience is the sort of worry-free retail therapy you so deserve.