ECommerce for dummies: the client

Brandon – Why don’t you buy on online retailers or at least compare prices online before buying in the mall?

Brenda – Ohhh Brandon, you know, I’m scare of giving my personal info away, and I always want to touch the product, feel it in my hands.

Brandon – You can find unboxing videos all over YouTube.

Brenda – Un…WHAT? You’re so advanced for me, at least You’re my computer expert and I’m sure you’re going to explain me all this things without asking for anything in return, don’t you?

Brandon – Ok ¬¬

Voice over –  I’m sure there are at least 4,000 people talking about this issue all over the world. It’s time internet analfabets jump to the ring and learn to do the things on their own way, but they need a guide or tips from experts to understand the way ecommerce works. That’s why we are here, to help them to do it.

My intention with this post is to answer those initial questions about buying on the internet, from the client point of view. I’ll talk about the seller point of view in the next post. Let’s see where this little chat ends.

Brenda – What’s Ecommerce?

Brandon – Buying and selling on the internet build ecommerce ecosystem. You don’t need to go to the pyshical store to purchase a videogame, there are multiple and safe online retailers where you can buy it. Even you can buy the videogame as a digital good, so you don’t need do worry about cleaning the dust over the physical box.

Brenda – But, How can I start? can I buy food? anything?

Brandon – You can find anything you want on the internet. A good beginning would be using Google and type the product you want to purchase. I can assure you that the first results will belong to online retailers. If you’re going to need stuff for your future children, then take a visit to mothercare.es . Otherwise If you’re looking for accessories for your mobile phone, or you need a new one, don’t forget phonehouse.es. There’s an awesome online store that sells medieval stuff, like swords, shields, armors,…and also knifes for your kitchen. I bought a knife to peel fruit and I’m very happy with it, the store is aceros-de-hispania.com .

Brenda – I’m atonished with the things you’re telling me, but What happens if I buy a pair of shoes and don’t fit me well? may I send them back?

Brandon – Of course Brenda, an online store is not interested in bad experiences from its clients. Take in account that Twitter, Facebook and forums are used to spread bad reputation about online retailers, and they are very fast channels, so the online retailers fight for getting good purchase experiences for their clients. If you have bought online and your experience was good, you’re going to tell it to your friends. This is like in the real world, you visit the same stores repeatedly because someone told you about it and you liked it. The best online retailers manage all the steps in the delivering back proccess, but read over the terms to avoid anything confussing. Anyway, most of online retailers ca be contacted by phone or e-mail, and with this I want to tell you that if you want to purchase in an online store which has not phone number, doubt about it.

Brenda –  As you said, this is so very similar to the real world, but I’m still scared about giving away my credit card info on the internet, and everyday you can see news about Hackers breaking into the systems and stealing info. I don’t know Brandon…

Brandon – Do you think it’s safe paying with credit card in a restaurant? It’s easier to copy a credit card physically than your bank info on the internet. Why? There’s a tool called SSL ( Secure Sockets Layer ) that can be installed in any website, and it works encrypting any communications between you and the store, so it makes you almost invulnerable against spying attacks. Web browsers, like Firefox or Chrome, can identify Websites that own SSL certification, and show you an icon with the status of it. If it’s green then you’re safe.

Brenda – Ok, so I watch out for the SSL icon and that must be enough for me to feel safe. Otherwise I don’t want to pay with credit card, are there any other ways to pay? may I pay when receiving the package?

Brandon – Paying when receiving the package is out of date, although many websites give you the options. Take in account that paying with credit card is safer in case they want to cheat you, because the trasnaction can be traced by the bank. There are other methods in which an intermediary takes responsabilities for you in the payment process, like PayPal. If a website accepts PayPal, you only need to log in with your credentials and accept the payment. Previously you must have signed up your credit card or bank account into your PayPal account.

Brenda –  It looks easier than I thought , I just have to use my favorite web browser and purchase!

Brandon – Don’t be so fast! The problem of purchasing on the Internet is not on the communications between you and the store, it’s in your computer. Most hacking cases report that Bank info is stolen in the client personal computer through trojan virus or similar. So it’s very important caring about the security in your computer. Donwload an antivirus-antispyware software to clean your PC. If you use Windows I recommend Windows Security Essentials.

Brenda – Ufff Brandon you must watch out my PC, I don’t know how to do it! :-S

Brandon – (¬¬ oh my god)

Brenda – With everything I’m learning with you I feel safer and with more confidence to buy on the internet. But, How do you find those awesome offers you’re telling me? 

Brandon – When you visit a mall, you explore any shop until you find the best price that fits your budget. I do the same, but online. I have a respository of a few online stores that I trust in, and they serve me as a price comparator. The best price, adding delivering costs, win my money. Watch out for the delivering terms and cost because they are very different in each store.

Brenda – Pufff  I’d rather take my car than paying for delivering costs.

Brandon – How much the gas cost? ¬¬

Brenda – Well, it’s not cheap and If I get into a traffic stuck…Brandon, I trust in my friends advices, because they spend a lot of money and have more experience than me reviewing products, because of that I always ask them about the experience with the products. But my friends do not purchase online, where can I ask opinions about products?

Brandon – A good number of online stores incluide tools for the clients to comment and rate products, so that’s available for you. I usually access Amazon, the biggest online store on the internet, and read over the review other clients write about a product I’m interested in.

Brenda – Oh yeah, that’s good my friend. It seems I have everything in my hands to begin with this ecommerce trip. But before we finish, may you explain me what does the word “unboxing”, you mentioned before, means in ecommerce?

Brandon – When someone receive a new product and wants to show everybody how it ‘s like, they usually record the process of unpacking the box of the product and do the first trials in it, like turn it on(if it’s electronic stuff), measuring the sides(if it’s something for the house)… . I really appreciate this practice because it helps me to build the product look-and-feel in my mind. This gives you more confidence and helps you answer for the questions you may have. YouTube is the perfect place to find unboxings of everything.

Brenda – Perfect Brandon, I’m going to gather all the info you gave me and try to purchase something on the internet, thanks for your help!

To be continued…

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