Why Are People Scared of Online Shopping?

We all know that someone who’s scared of buying things online. No matter how much more advanced the technology gets, there’s a considerable number of people who still believe in face-to-face shopping, regardless of the goods sold. It doesn’t matter if it’s everyday items such as clothes or shoes, or something much more exclusive such as plane tickets or room accommodations – not everyone will sit behind the laptop or smartphone, browse, add to cart and complete the purchase. But what many fail to understand is what happens “behind the curtain.” It’s a FinTech hub such as our own that is behind every single payment. We are not only monitoring every transaction but paying attention to who can actually sell things online  – a proof that the FinTech industry is much more than it meets the eye. But let’s go back to the topic – why are people scared of online shopping? Why is it easier for some people to start their car and hit the store to buy something rather than complete the task in just several clicks?

The history of online shopping

One might get the impression that online shopping is a relatively new thing, whereas the truth is entirely different. Some state that online shopping started around 1980 in the UK, when an online shopping system called Videotex was invented. This was a combination of Teletext, regular television, and telephone, which might sound quite unusual. The truth is that online shopping was indeed perceived as science fiction back at the time. In 1982, though, happened Mintel – an online service that was accessible to phone lines, and it could have been used to purchase small things online, book train tickets, chat with other people on the platform, and check things such as the weather or stock prices. 

But the real online shopping happened in 1991 when Jeff Bezos started Amazon. This was the time when the Internet was relatively new but quite commercialized. This resulted in the creation of the early forms of e-commerce, and Amazon and eBay were the first platforms that sold certain goods online and shipped them in some parts of the world. These two platforms gained so much popularity that a plethora of other websites started operating in the same way, making it possible for PayPal to be founded just six years later – in 1997.

Today, the world of e-commerce is incredibly powerful. The omnipresent use of the Internet and the birth of social media made it possible for this industry to flourish. According to research conducted by Statista in 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide purchase things online.

What people are scared of and why they shouldn’t

But why are then people still scared of shopping online? The truth is that there are plenty of reasons  and questions behind someone’s discomfort with online shopping, some of them being:

Are online businesses genuine?

The truth is that many e-commerce businesses have a real website set up, but everything behind it is a big scam. Firstly, seeing a website that seems like it was made years ago and then abandoned is not that rare, which can raise an eyebrow. But on the other hand, there certainly are websites that do not provide the services nor sell the goods that they say they do. The truth is that e-commerce frauds grow every year, and there definitely are fraudulent e-commerce businesses that reach out to you, but there are certain things that you can pay attention in order to be on the safe side.

What you can do as a shopper: The most important thing you need to do is find websites that are completely safe and recommended. This is not a difficult thing to do – simply try to find other users’ comments and see if the website is actually selling the quality goods it states. Apart from that, there is always the option of finding out about a certain website and e-commerce through a friend. Since we are all connected to the Internet, googling about the e-commerce website you want to purchase from is simple. Finally, you can also opt to check out their social media. The followers, likes, and comments you find on social media can tell you a lot about whether the e-commerce business is genuine.

What you can do as e-commerce: The fact that there are fraudulent businesses on the Internet can cost you a customer, two, or even ten. To stop this from happening, make sure that your website is updated following all the latest trends. Also, pay attention to the look and customer support. Creating a powerful and trendy home page is not a difficult task anymore – there are plenty of websites and tools that can help you set it up in the best and most effective way possible. Moreover, do not forget to include your valid information, insert your address, phone number, and email – it’s always better for your customers to get to see it in case they want to check if you’re real (which you cannot blame them for). Finally, improve your “About Us” section as everyone wants to hear and rely on your story.

Am I safe?

The second most prominent reason why many people turn away from online shopping is the fear of their information being used in the wrong way. First and foremost, giving your bank details to anyone is never a smart issue, but this is where you will have to see if you trust the e-commerce that you’re buying from or not, which correlates to the question mentioned above. Only when you have complete trust in the truthfulness of the business you’re buying from will you stop double-guessing this choice. Most companies right now recognize the problem of bank details theft, so they introduce secure checkouts. 

What you can do as a shopper: Find the badge on the checkout page, and you will be good to go. Apart from that, make sure that you trust the businesses you’re buying from.

What you can do as e-commerce: Make sure to use the services of companies such as McAfee or Trustee. Also, feature their logo on your checkout page, to show your customers they can feel safe. Moreover, it would be great to introduce alternative payment options and thus give your customers the possibility of paying however they feel safe.

The second most prominent reason why many people turn away from online shopping is the fear of their information being used in the wrong way.

Is the product the same as in the photo?

It doesn’t matter what social network you turn on; you will not fail to see “when you order online vs. when it arrives” posts that are gaining a lot of popularity and have become a part of the meme culture. Buying things online and in-person is not the same – many products require touching the material and seeing the actual product. This happens mostly because many shoppers rely on the sensory aspect of shopping, meaning that they have to touch it to see if they want to purchase it. Feeling, smelling, and seeing the product in person are essential factors in shopping, and this is the only thing that online shopping lacks. 

What you can do as a shopper: Once again, make sure to know what you’re ordering. Some goods are not made for online purchases, while others require some research. If you’re browsing for clothes or for anything that is made out of fabric, purchase from shops and websites that are trusted.

What you can do as e-commerce: The best thing that you can do here is have available return policies or exchange rules. Apart from that, make sure to incorporate a customer support form because more than half of your potential and existing customers pay attention to these seemingly small things. This is also something what results a good customer experience. You might want to include a useful review for every single product that you’re offering – ask the purchasers to leave a comment or a review on your website so that future customers know what they’re buying.

What if I need help?

The clerk in the store is not just a cashier, but rather a person that you can always ask in case you have questions. The lack of such a person can be a nuisance, especially for people who are shopping online for the first time. What if you don’t know what size you want to buy? Or what model of a camera you need to buy for your business? Even though online shopping has its perks, these are the small things that make live shopping more user-friendly.

What you can do as a shopper: Try to see if there is data about the product that you want to purchase. Clothing shops frequently provide a table of matching sizes, while technology shops always leave a table of all the specifics and characteristics. In case you are choosing between two types of the same product, you can always find characteristics of both online and compare them.

What you can do as e-commerce: If you have the assets, you can introduce a phone call after the order, at least towards the clients who have a specific suggestion that could help you. This is also something that can save you a lot of money on returns as you will make sure that everyone gets the right size or the right product.

What if you don’t know what size you want to buy? Or what model of a camera you need to buy for your business? Even though online shopping has its perks, these are the small things that make live shopping more user-friendly.

Will I have to wait long?

The waiting time can also be a reason why many opt for live shopping instead of shopping online. This much depends on the courier service in question, and the availability of the product that you want to buy. Some products might be able to be shipped the same moment, while others are not, but that is also an issue that can easily happen to a physical store. Not every store has all the products the company offers, and sometimes you might wait for your product to be shipped even if you went to the store. 

What you can do as a shopper: There is really nothing here you can do, as you cannot rush the courier company to have something delivered to you faster. But it would be good to know that these options can happen if you went to the actual store, especially if the product you want to buy is a larger one, such as a car or piece of furniture.

What you can do as e-commerce: Make sure that you send the goods straight away and that your customers can track their orders. That is one of the best ways to enhance your customer experience.

What is happening in the backstage of online payment?

Not many know about what happens in the backstage of an online payment. The vendor and the purchaser are simply the first and final points but it’s Fintech companies that make this magic happen. Starting from banks and from providers of alternative payment options, there is much more than meets the eye. There are five essential steps in this process:

  1. The buyers see the goods they like and submit a payment request through their cell phone or a computer.
  2. The service provider routes the data it receives through a secure connection to the bank or the credit card company.
  3. The credit card company or the bank approves or declines the transaction. This happens based on the available funds or credit score on the buyer’s account. Once approved, the transaction is routed back to be processed.
  4. The transaction is stored, and a record is sent both to the seller and the buyer.
  5. The bank or the credit card company sends the funds to the seller.

What is fascinating is that all of this happens in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

Working in Fintech

The Fintech industry is relatively new, and it’s rapidly becoming more and more important and popular. Fintech hubs are slowly opening in all parts of the world, mostly because the demand is very high. You can apply for Fintech jobs in Serbia and join our team if you want to work in an innovative and fresh industry. 

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