Things to consider when shopping online. Photo/Couresy

Online shopping has increasingly become one of the most preferred ways to purchase items. A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that online shoppers in Kenya doubled in 2017 compared to the three previous years.

The convenience that comes with online purchasing is the main reason as to why customers opt for it. Shopping online has become even more popular during this time when people are asked to observe social distancing and stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there are success stories of shopping online, the increasing number of online scams has got people sceptical about purchasing goods from online stores. To avoid falling into the trap of uncertainties that come with online shopping, here are a few factors that customers should consider before making any purchase.


When purchasing a product from online retail, it’s best to look at reviews from past buyers. These reviews will give you an idea of the quality of products and services offered by the seller. Most reviews also help you know if the seller is credible or not.

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Read product details

One big mistake people make when shopping online is not reading the product description. Most people make their purchases based on the image displayed. Reading and understanding the details of the product before putting it in a cart will save you from disappointments.  

Compare the price of the product

Price is always an essential factor when it comes to purchasing almost anything. When making an online purchase, you want to buy a quality product for the best price. Some consumers will go for items based on discounts and offers while others are wary of ‘too good to be true’ deals. Due to the availability of many vendors on the online space, it is prudent to compare prices between several vendors to get an idea of the best price for value. 

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Return and cancellation policies

Before you consider using an online store to make your purchase, it’s crucial to check the return policy. This will give you an idea of what to do if the wrong product is delivered or you get what you didn’t order. Online businesses should declare their return policies and the procedure for refund. Being able to return a product will make you confident in making your purchase.

Scams and Fraud

The last thing you want when purchasing online is to be scammed by fraudsters. Most websites appear to be online shopping stores which collect your personal details and use it for fraudulent activity or even steal from you. This is why it’s crucial to check the verification of these stores before you make any purchase. There are various ways one can check if a website is fake such as Google Trusted Stores.