It can be difficult trying new things, shopping online is no exception when attempting it without any help. With a little guidance and know-how shops that once appeared daunting and confusing can become easy to use with purchases appearing on your front doorstep the next day.
This article will take you through the basics of shopping online so you know what to look out for when doing it yourself.
For this article we will be buying groceries for Sainsbury’s online shopping store to show you examples of all the areas covered in this article. There are many of other websites that you can shop from with almost everything seen in shops being available to buy online. Websites such as Amazon lead in online sales and operate solely online.
Whilst most online shops will deliver anywhere in the UK grocery shops allow you to see if there is a supermarket nearby that can deliver your goods to you without them perishing on the way to you. Entering your postcode into a location search found on most supermarket websites will notify you instantly whether you can receive deliveries from your location
Creating an account
Most online stores will require users to create an account to purchase products; whilst it does require you to own an email address once your account is created it only takes a few minutes to register and allows you to save important information such as delivery locations and shopping lists making online purchasing faster and letting you to do more with your day.
Information on how to create an email account can be found here.
Just like in the shops most online stores will feature deals on products. Companies such as Sainsbury’s will also include all deals you will find at their shops on their online store so you won’t ever miss out on a bargain; not only that but all deals can be found on one page, never again will you miss out on a great deal or pick up all of your shopping only to find another brand cheaper on another shelf.
Search for Products
Sometimes you simply can’t find the product you’re looking for and after much searching you’re pointed to another part of the shop.
Online stores remove the hassle of being unable to find the product you want with the use of a search engine. Similar to websites like Google, customers can enter the exact word or phrase needed to find specific products. t
The search engine can also give options as you type to make finding the product you need even easier; when I typed in the word “beans” I was given the option of “green beans” or “baked beans” along with many other choices allowing me to quickly choose exactly what I want. All relevant results will be presented to the customer giving you the same amount of choice compared to if you were stood in the shop.
Adding Products to the Basket/Trolley
The basket/trolley (for this we will call it the basket) is just like your physical basket when you go shopping; everything you want is added to the basket and when you’ve got everything you simply head to the checkout to pay. The basket is usually found at the top of each website allowing you to view everything you have selected; not only that but it will tell you the total price of your products before you’ve reached the till.
Never again will you go to pay for your shopping and realise you forgot the something or that you haven’t got enough money for everything. The basket also lets you view the quantity of each product selected, with the press of a button you can change the amount or totally remove a product from your basket without the worry of having to return to a shelf.
Sainsbury’s allows us to see exactly what is in the basket at all times and is found at the side of the page making shopping quick and easy and notifying us if we may benefit from a deal.
Once all the products have been chosen we must pay for our products. Most supermarket stores will require you to have chosen products totaling over a certain price to reach the checkout so make sure you’re buying enough products to be eligible for online purchasing; Sainsbury’s requires customers to have purchased over £20 of products before they can proceed to the checkout however not all companies run this policy.
Delivery and billing address details are required to confirm the purchase and book a delivery. Additional information can be added at this stage, this can include adding your telephone number in case something goes wrong with your purchase. Most stores will also ask for any membership details to ensure you get your points for shopping with them.
Most supermarkets give you the option to choose whether to receive your products by delivery or by click-and-collect as well as what time you would like to receive your goods to make sure you’re available when they’re ready. Other companies such as Amazon will deliver your products to you on an estimated date; delivery drivers will either deliver to a neighbour, a safe place, or a local depot if you aren’t in.
The cost of delivery will vary on how urgent you need your products, the sooner the delivery the most costly it can be to receive your goods so it can be handy to plan ahead when shopping online. Sainsbury’s allows you to view a timetable showing the exact prices of specific time slots allowing you to choose the perfect time to get your shopping.
Premium delivery services can also help you receive your products faster and cheaper; Amazon’s Prime service charges customers on a yearly basis with the perk of free next-day delivery amongst other features, if you find yourself shopping a lot on just one website it can be handy to find out if they offer a premium delivery service.
Paying for the products will finalise the purchase and begin the process of your order; this can be performed on most types of credit or debit card whilst other websites allow you to purchase your order through secure payment websites such as Paypal. Most bank accounts allow you to set-up a password to ensure a secure bank transaction without the worry of others stealing your information.
With this information you should know a little more about the basics of shopping online and allow you to purchase goods without even needing to leave your home.
For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of shopping online click here.