Online shopping made simple header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Sometimes, the thought of a day shopping in a busy city centre can be all a bit much. Whether your personal pet hate is crowds, queues or loud music, the overall atmosphere can be overwhelming - particularly during busy periods such as the run-up to Christmas.

However, there is another option: online shopping. It may seem complicated, but these days most companies have an online presence, and they design their websites to make it as easy to buy as possible - after all, they don’t want to miss out on potential sales.

Another advantage of shopping on the internet is that you can search through hundreds of options at the click of a button, rather than trawling through rails and shelves in real life. What’s more, many companies have more products available online than in any of their stores, so you’ve got even more choice than you might expect.

When it comes to buying clothes, some people are reluctant to buy online, due to concerns about whether the items will fit. If this is you, keep an eye out for businesses that offer free returns. This means you can order multiple sizes, try them on in the comfort of your own home, and then simply return anything that doesn’t fit or suit you at no extra cost. In fact, this is a popular strategy for many savvy shoppers who find real life fitting rooms stressful or unpleasant.

If you are getting organised ahead of a major holiday or birthday, you’ll be pleased to know that many companies will allow you to post your goodies straight to the intended recipient, complete with gift receipt. Some even offer a gift-wrapping service, although there is generally a small charge for this.

Some people find the business of typing out all their personal details for every transaction tedious, and there are a few ways around this. If you shop somewhere on a regular basis, signing up for an account can be a good way to take the hassle out of transactions. In these cases, all you need to do is log in using your email and a password, then provide a few details about the card you will use to pay.

Another option is to sign up for an online payment service such as Paypal, which will handle all your transactions through one account (again, accessed through an email address and password), all while keeping your financial details secure.