According to a report by Digital Future in Focus 2013, the Philippines has the fastest growing internet audience in Southeast Asia. A study conducted by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NCBH) in 2013 supported the aforementioned research. NCBH says 36% of the population in the Philippines is using the internet. This reflects how mobile devices have significantly affected the growth of internet usage.
The internet has been beneficial for entrepreneurs too. Many have started their business online. Even brick-and-mortar stores have created their own shopping websites to cater to more customers who prefer buying online.
Benefits of Using Online Shopping Sites
500 Filipino respondents were asked, in a survey conducted by Grey Group Asia Pacific, to see the Filipino consumer’s shopping preferences. Even though a bigger fraction said they still prefer to shop in malls and department stores, the survey results show 46% of the respondents choose to buy online.
Shopping online offers many advantages, such as:
- Convenience –Shopping online is easy and hassle-free. You don’t need to spend hours on travel time just to visit all the stores you want to visit. Just log into any of the online shops you’ve registered to using your computer or mobile devices, anytime and anywhere. The items you purchased online can even be delivered to your doorstep within a matter of days.
- Wide variety of choices –There are a lot of products now available online. Whether you want to order a burger for lunch, read the latest book in the series you’ve been waiting for, or buy a shirt from your favourite clothing brand, in just a few clicks, you can readily do nearly everything you want.
- Price difference – Many online also shops give discounts and announce sales on their websites. You may also visit different websites that provide shoppers with coupons and vouchers. They give bigger discounts of up to 70% on their regular items and shopping deals.
- Easy payment options –Stores online provide different payment options for their valued customers. It’s very easy to pay for the stuff you buy from these shops, so long as you’ve credit cards.
Precautions when Using Online Shopping Sites
Despite online stores being truly convenient platforms for shopping, as a consumer, you should also be aware of potential dangers associated with them. You typically risk your security and privacy when shopping online. To guarantee safer transactions, pay close attention to everything you do online that relates to your sensitive information and of course, your money. Here are some safety measures you can take:
- Use HTTPS (https://www.websiteurl.com) for safe browsing over insecure networks.
- Beware of phishing or hoax websites. Many people do not realise their difference from legitimate websites because fraudsters and hackers can duplicate the content.
- To ensure security over connections used by your devices, install tools that can block spyware and malware.
- There are other tools you can use for free that can detect untrusted sites.
Online stores will continue to grow as more traditional shoppers switch to using the internet for their shopping. Anyone can shop online anytime without restrictions. However, precautions are needed especially when disclosing credit information on these websites. To fully enjoy your shopping experience, find ways on how to keep your web usage safe and secure. The tips above are a good start.
This article is exclusively written for YourFinancialBlog.com by MoneyMax.ph, the Philippines’ leading financial comparison portal which helps Filipino consumers make the right financial decisions as they settle on the best credit card, home loan, broadband plan, and more—fast, comprehensive, and free. Please do check our website to learn more.