Electronic commerce, popularly called e-commerce, simply means the trading in products or services using the internet. Recently, the use of E-commerce in Kenya started gaining a wide range of growth. Such that one will be right to say that, it is actually trending and admirable in Kenya. Of course, with more and more companies recording double-digit growth and increased sales even in their first year of operation, you are right to say that sales are going digital in Kenya. This has made most retailers and brands to have moved to establish virtual shops on some E-commerce company websites to cut down the big gap between offline and online and maximize on sales. Despite the big acceptance of e-commerce in Kenya, many are still very uncomfortable shopping online. In fact, they feel unsafe trading online, so we hereby dish out these 10 tips that would help you for safe online shopping, we hope you wouldn’t have to be scared anymore.

How To Enjoy Online Shopping 

Don’t click on links from spam emails to make purchases

It is entirely absurd to click on an email that was sent by an unknown person and shop on its landing page. Make sure that you know at least little about the retailer’s website and then key in the search words for yourself e.g. jumia, kaymu, to mention but a few.

Ensure to create a very unique/strong password for online account

When asked to create an account with any of the shopping sites you intend to shop from, try as much as possible to create a strong and unique password. Simple passwords like 1111, 2222, 1234 or using name and the likes should be avoided completely.

Avoid dishing out too much information

When you must have finished creating an account with an e-commerce company, you should expect to give the same information in future purchases or transactions e.g. telephone number, email address, shipping address, methods of payment. When you are asked conflicting questions or for suspicious information including bank account details, driver’s license numbers, spouse or family information….darling run as fast as possible.

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Don’t get involved in ‘Extremely good offers’

If a particular site offers extremely good or pleasant deals such as extremely low prices, you’ll be right to get suspicious about them. That is not to say that during mega sales/flash sales, most E-commerce sites don’t offer unbelievable discounts. However, look out for the timing and the products as it will be exclusive to a limited quantity of products and also within a specific time. You can also search for discount coupon codes that can significantly lower your purchasing price.

Look out for the company’s shipping, warranty and return policy

Don’t be too quick to rejoice when they charge much less for the shipping. Make sure the shipping fee charged by any company is quite reasonable for the product you buy and the distance as well. Also, the return and exchange policy should at the very least be flexible enough with a time limit of at least 7 days. Additionally, ensure that the warranty policy is reasonable and appropriate.

Use the best anti-malware program on your computer

Don’t overlook the use of the best anti-malware program and the virus signatures that are always updated. Make sure also that your firewall is on when using a public wireless network and your own wireless network is encrypted with a password to prevent anyone outside from collecting information – not even the slightest of it.

Use a reputable method of payment to pay for products

While some genuine E-commerce sites will offer cash on delivery payment method within a certain geographical location, if you are outside those specified regions, use payment methods that must provide you proof of payment like Mobile money transfer and Credit cards.

Guard your Credit card and Debit card details

Normally, a credit card will allow for a certain spending limit while your debit card – linked to your bank account – does not offer same. Of course it is no wonder why when your credit card financial information is stolen, your money at the bank will still be very much intact but on the contrary most debit cards do not offer this advantage. So be careful in giving out your debit card details.

Make sure you keep all the records of your purchase….you could print or save a copy of your orders

It’s a rather wise practice to keep a record of your online purchases – possibly a documentation of your all your purchases. When dealing with the right site, you will receive a confirmation email with the order number. Just make sure to print, take a screenshot and save till you are able to lay your hands on the product you ordered. And if the product fails or item is not shipped within 10 days without prior communication, please don’t relent…follow it up.

Download shopping apps created by trusted developers

Always read reviews on your smartphone or tablet. Of course, many of the big online retailers in Kenya have, for convenience, created apps that allow you to shop amazingly and compare prices. Avoid downloading illegitimate app and ensure to get a mobile anti-malware for viruses and spyware.

Shop from online merchants with a good reputation

Finally, make sure you are dealing with online stores you know their physical addresses, to say the least. Yes, as such you can, with a hike at most, go into their office if there is a problem to be resolved. Also, find out if people have used it once, their views about it, and also if anyone of your friends has tried it in the past.

If they assure you that it is safe, then use it. But if they are new you could do your own research by going through their site’s reviews too, customer complaints on social media pages also, ask around. And if you see none? Please don’t use it just yet. Wait till you are able to get concrete information about them.

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