Online stores exist because they hope to provide convenient and mobile shopping experience to their users. These online retailers are very recent innovations and they have been the “hype” web commerce today.
As with any “offline” store, each online retailer aims for a “repeat business.” Each site works hard to make their customers return for more merchandise and, hopefully, more referrals (which also imply more customers). However, it cannot be denied that there are a lot of bogus online stores that have sprouted all over the World Wide Web. Some of these “fake” stores are exact replicas of authentic and legitimate stores while other sites are simply retail sites that are put up to scam people into paying for items that they will never receive.
This does not necessarily mean that you should not shop online as there are a lot of legitimate sites that you can find. If you want to be sure that you will only be transacting with a legitimate site, here are some features that you should look out for:
1. A highly professional layout. Products information and menus are clearly separated instead of having them seemed cropped up in one small space. Legitimate sites often allocate enough funds to pay for a professional layout. Menus and product information are clearly separated and the entire page is “clean.”
2. Search box. Legitimate sites feature a search box on their site and this search box is clearly visible even if you navigate away from the home page.
4. Product descriptions. These are often highly detailed which includes the various features of the product that they are selling and potential benefits (whenever applicable). The site also includes specifications, requirements (if needed) and a thread for comments or reviews of previous customers or some highly qualified persona.
5. Shipping details. This piece of information is also clearly detailed within the site and some sites even feature frequently asked questions about shipping and payment details.
6. Reliability icons. These are icons from organizations that can vouch for the reliability of the site like that of the Better Business Bureau.
7. Secure ordering. The site would always transact over secure servers to protect their client’s information from identity theft and they would not have to worry that their information will be hacked. You will know that you are in a secure server if you will see a small lock icon in your browser.
8. 800 number. This is often placed in a position where it is clearly visible to all users. This number is appropriated for questions regarding the site or any of the products, as well as for purchases.
9. Contact us. Legitimate sites encourage their clients or customers to send them an email, snail mail or make a phone for any queries or comments.
10. About us. This page features a brief history of the site and their progress during their operation.
If the site that you are visiting contains these elements, then you are definitely safe to shop on that particular site.