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Retail Therapy

How to be a savvy online shopper.

If you’ve purchased something on the Internet recently, you’re in good company. Last year, 26.8 million Canadians bought goods or services online.

Nowadays, you can buy almost anything online, from groceries and electronics to clothing and home furnishings – it’s no wonder that roughly one-third of respondents to a 2019 survey indicated that they planned to spend more money online in the coming year.

Why shop online?

Some people appreciate the convenience of online shopping, some like the wider choice and, for others, the lure of a good deal is what brings them to the internet.

Always open

Many of us don’t have time during business hours to go shopping. For the busy professional, the shift worker or the parent of young children, the only spare time to shop may be at night or in the wee hours of the morning. The internet is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. No bricks-and-mortar retail outlet can match that.

Easy and convenient

Whether because of traffic snarls and extortionate parking prices in urban centres, or driving distances in rural areas, it can be a pain to get to the store. Online shopping avoids all that – the traffic, the crowds, the lineups and the over-eager sales-people. Even better, deliveries come right to your door. Online shopping can save you time and the hassle of going out and getting the item yourself.

More choice

Unlike traditional retail stores, with online shopping, the world is your oyster. Your options are no longer limited to your local area, and you can access goods from almost anywhere in the world.

Cost savings

If a retailer can manage with fewer bricks-and-mortar stores, it saves money. So, to provide shoppers an incentive to make purchases online, retailers often make discounts and special offers available. Shoppers can also subscribe to a retailer’s emails so they never miss a deal.

Product comparison and reviews

Many Canadians do online product research to figure out what they want to purchase and where they’ll get the best deal. You can easily compare products and prices from a variety of retailers online. Consumer reviews are another benefit, letting you read what people are saying about a product or service before you buy.

Caveat emptor (buyer beware)

Although it’s easy, convenient and fast, shopping online can have a few drawbacks and areas to be wary of. Here are some things to watch for.

Protect your information

To make a purchase, you need to provide personal and financial data over the internet. Pay attention to the web