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Santa’s Safe Shopping Tips

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With online shopping on the rise this holiday season, here are some tips to make sure your have the best experience possible online.

  • Make sure the site is secure. To ensure you are doing business with an online vendor you can trust, make sure the site you are shopping has a digital certificate. Digital certificates secure data such as credit card numbers or customer account information – so the data you are transmitting online is safe. It also confirms the website and organization that is behind a website is who they claim to be. Usually digital certificates are prominently displayed with a logo on the website’s home page but you can also tell if a site has a digital certificate by looking for a closed padlock icon in your browser’s status bar. Additionally, when you are asked to enter your contact and payment information, the website address of the site should change to https:// indicating the purchase is secured.


  • Shop in the Evenings or on Weekends. In our experience we’ve seen the busiest times on the web are during work hours (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm) and good down times are later in the evening or on weekends. During peak times the quality and responsiveness of the site and the service you will receive could be impacted. What’s more the chance of an error occurring with your order increases when volumes are high. Add in the fact that 27% of shoppers expect to spend more time shopping online this holiday season than last year and it might be a smart move to do your shopping in the evenings or on weekends.


  • Use the Search Engines as a Guide. The amount of traffic a retail site receives is a factor in the website’s Search Engine ranking (where they appear in search engine results). Keeping this in mind, it’s safe to assume that if you search for a specific product on Google, Yahoo or another major search engine, the websites returned on the first page of your search results are the most likely to be legitimate, well established retail sites.


  • Do your homework. Smart online and offline consumers use the web to learn more about the businesses they do business with. Before you buy from an online retailer, be sure their contact information is prominently displayed in case you need to contact them and look for customer reviews online – usually a simple Google search of the company’s name will return any reviews that have been written about the company online and any promotions they may be running.
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