WOT’s advice for safe Christmas online shopping

Christmas shopping

The peak season for online shopping begins before Thanksgiving and runs right up to Christmas. As popular as shopping in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home is, 70% of online shoppers still abandon their shopping carts before finalizing the transaction because they don’t trust the web shop. It’s no wonder because, at this time of year, tens of thousands of new scam sites appear on the web. Every day.

Together with it’s fellow-company Klarna which offers safe payment options in the Nordics, Web of Trust advises online consumers to use the following guidelines for safe online shopping:

1) Check for quality seals and certificates

Quality seals and certificates granted by third parties show, for example, that the web shop uses a secured connection, protects the customer’s privacy or is trusted and recommended. The WOT Trust Seal proves that the web shop has earned a good or excellent reputation among the WOT community. Unfortunately, some sites on the Internet use fake seals or certificates, which in reality are just images copied from the genuine article. If the seal or certificate is genuine, it often links to a site owned by the issuing entity.

2) Evaluate the look and functionality of the web shop

The finished look and functionality suggests the quality of the e-business. Check the privacy policy carefully to avoid spam and other unwanted surprises after you place an order. However, don’t be fooled by the fine looks.

“Fake websites almost always resemble genuine websites,” Vesa Perälä, WOT CEO points out. “Often consumers realize they’ve came across a scam site too late – when their credit card number has already reached the wrong hands or when the purchased products never arrive.”

The free browser extension Web of Trust shows websites’ reputations based on real user experiences. Combined with antivirus protection and a firewall, it ensures that web users are safe both from technical and bad shopping experiences.

3) Pay attention to payment options

Several payment options are part of an online store’s good service but they also show that several financial institutions supervise the web shop and have checked its credit rating. Usually the payment methods are presented at checkout or in the delivery terms, but the best to see them would be directly on the front page. When paying in advance, make sure that the site uses a protected connection that can be identified by https://.

4) Customer service matters in e-commerce

A reliable web store dedicated to serving their customers well give their contact information on their site, along with clear delivery terms and a return policy. You can test the quality of the service in advance by calling or sending an e-mail. If you do not get a response to your inquiry before the transaction, you probably won’t get a response afterwards either.

5) Learn from other shoppers’ experiences

There are several channels to share shopping experiences on the web, such as discussion forums, Facebook and Web of Trust. Check what other shoppers say about a web shop and share your own experiences to help other make informed shopping decisions.

Safe Christmas online shopping for all!

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