Your Online Shopping Guide: The Festive Season Edition

While a large portion of the population is probably already 'Christmased out' and had their Christmas shopping signed, sealed and delivered weeks ago; we are confident there are still many of you (whether you want to admit it or not) who are not particularly keen to venture near a shopping mall and have opted for the less stressful option of online shopping.

Let's make it easy for you...

We're here to tell you everything you need to know to make your online shopping as seamless and simple as possible. We'll even go as far as to say, you might even have fun!

1. Use Familiar Websites

Online shopping has taken off in a big way in the past few years. There are thousands of websites, Instagram accounts or Facebook pages that run their own online stores. Make sure the sites that you are using are legitimate. Make sure that someone you know has used them before and had a good experience, or do your research to see what consumer feedback is available.

2. Make a Wishlist

If you are doing the bulk of your Christmas shopping at once, it can be rather overwhelming trying to remember who needs what, how much this item was compared to the other similar one you just saw, which colour looks better etc. etc. Make a wishlist of products you like as you browse. That way when you finally sit down to purchase your goods you know where to find them and you can add them to your cart straight away. This saves you time and gives you peace of mind that you will know where to find what you are looking for with ease.

3. Look out for Specials

Sometimes we can be so fixated on what items we think we want to buy, we log onto a page and go straight to the search bar to direct us to our items. However, this is Christmas remember? It's the best time of year for businesses and they are most definitely going to find new and exciting ways to get you to spend your money. Always look at the home page for promos or the 'specials' page if the site has one. If you don't investigate properly you might miss some amazing sale prices or bulk deals that are right under your nose.

4. Check Delivery Dates

This is not an ordinary online shopping experience. This is a Christmas online shopping experience. Which means you have a deadline to keep in mind - it's the 25th of December in case you forgot. So this obviously means that you need to make sure that you order your gifts with enough time to arrive so that you can wrap them and get organised for the big day. Make sure to double check the expected delivery date of each individual item before checking out. Sometimes the delivery date can be weeks away due to one item that needs to be shipped in from another warehouse or they are awaiting stock. If possible, try to swop out that item for something else or order it separately, so as not to delay the rest of your gifts arriving in time for Christmas.

5. Is your Account Safe?

When it comes to spending your money safely and securely, you can't afford to cut corners, literally. Only disclose your personal details in an account that you have created that needs login details, which of course only you will know. With online payments use a trusted site such as PayPal or '3D Secure' which requests authorisation from you via your phone before completing the payment.

For more information on this read our How to Create a Strong Online Password.