Shopping through the Internet is more and more frequent. It is also more comfortable and it can save a lot of money to the buyer, but it can also generate frauds, frustrations and scams.
Commercial transactions through the Web comprise a growing number of items and are becoming a very frequent option among shoppers. At the same time, many stores and businesses now offer their products and catalogues “online”.
According to a study made by IBM in 2011 among 28,000 consumers of 15 countries, 86% of consumers would like to use Internet, their TVs and mobile phones to shop while eight out of ten people believe that the social networks will allow time saving when shopping.
Said analysis have made it clear that the percentage of consumers that want to use the technologies to either shop or perform research about products and services is growing, at least six points since the last time the study was performed in 2010.
Such increase in the interest people have in e-commerce have been verified among consumers with ages ranging from 15 and 60+, which have participated in said studies.
However, with the growing demand for products and transaction volumes through the Internet, there is also a growth in the risks consumers are exposed when buying, if they don’t take the right security measures.
According to Javier Echaleku, founder and director of the e-commerce consulting firm Kuombo, located in California, U.S.A., consumers are very intelligent and analyze the different options available in order to buy where information, security and customer service allow for a safe and profitable experience.
However, to buy safely, Echaleku advises not to buy on Web sites that don’t offer tranquility, in which the buyer is not treated as deserved or in which they are not able to explicitly get warranties offered by the seller, such as returns or trial periods. Besides, according to this expert, there should always be clear how much the client will pay for the product’ shipping and handling directly to his/her home or business. Also, there should be a phone number easily identifiable in order to keep up –to-date with regards to the status of the product and the seals guaranteeing a safe transaction.
The Norton Club from Symantec (a company specialized on Web security) suggests that the consumer should learn about the reputation virtual stores have (just like you do with physical stores) before making an order or payment transaction.
It is also recommended to read the terms and conditions of agreements, print and store them; pay special attention to the return policy of the store and the fees for replacement when returns are made.