By Ndem Nkem
Shopping online is now Nigeria’s “it” way of purchasing merchandize. You can’t blame any one of the online consumers either as internet retail outlets seem to provide lower prices and greater convenience. Aside from its accessibility, online shopping is stress-free, and the best way to find cheap products and amazing bargains on everything from groceries to electronics. Also, there is a variety of choices, and shoppers can choose an item based on their preferred brand, style or color. Basically, if you wish shopping was more fun, satisfying, and affordable, try doing it online!
Everything with advantages however comes with a lot of guidelines and rules…as well as disadvantages too. To ensure you have a smooth time shopping online in Nigeria, there are certain things you should know before you start any online shopping spree. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking site has 5 tips for smart online shopping.
Always check for product details
Although most online shops will include a picture and even a short video of the product on sale, with zoom options, the product picture does not always capture the true essence of the product as they are most times photoshopped. Making your decision based only on what you have seen is a grave mistake. To avoid becoming a victim of a bad purchase, ensure you read the product description. Check product information before adding the item onto your cart by taking the time to read and understand the contents of the item.
No matter how loyal you are to an online shop or how much you believe in their reputation for offering the best prices, ensure you always compare prices. There may be discounts on same products on other sites or promos that include perks to purchasing the product. The idea generally is to make sure you are finding your new purchase for the absolute cheapest price possible. There are so many price comparison sites that can save you the stress of juggling through various sites looking and comparing. A good site is pricecheck.ng.
Reviews can be very revealing
Most Nigerians do not take time to make comment or review products as they feel it is time wasting, however, the few who do, usually include certain details that may not have been included in the product detail section. Generally, customers’ reviews are one of the best ways to learn about a product when you’re online shopping as it informs you of the experience of people who have actually used the product. They reveal certain hidden fault or special advantages to using the particular brand or products. Again, you may want to regard the product ratings as well.
Consider the return policy
If you are shopping online, ensure you shop from a site that creates room for returns. Look out for the return policy and peruse before you make your purchase. Companies have different return policies for certain item types, such as media, furniture, clothing, and perfumes. Ensure the rules are specific enough, that way you do not have problems in the case where you need to return a product.
Shipping cost and time frames
Shopping from an online shop automatically means you cannot receive the product the same day. However, you need to ask: How long do I have to wait? Most online shops in Nigerian ship items anywhere from two to 18 business days for standard orders and up to six weeks for oversize items. Express shipping is sometimes available (although it can be expensive) and the shops sometimes also offer free delivery on certain products per time. To take advantage of the shipping options, you need to keep it in mind when comparing prices or shopping as well.
Ndem Nkem is Travel/Tech writer for Jovago.com