According to recent research1, more than half of senior citizens are using the internet for most of their daily activities. Apart from using it to find information through search engines, there has been recent growth in communicating with family and friends via email and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Seniors are also using the internet to stream videos, TV shows and movies-on-demand.
However, the growth of digital savviness hasn’t been adopted in all areas. While almost half of Australians are already choosing to shop online2, older Australians are still wary to use the internet for buy items. There are several reasons for this, ranging from security concerns to complicated accessibility and the unfamiliarity with eCommerce processes.
The Basics of Shopping Online
Online shopping provides the modern world with several benefits that can also make elderly lives easier. With COVID-19 forcing many older people to reconsider their need to go into public areas, online shopping makes it more convenient to shop. More items are now able to be purchased through ecommerce, including groceries, medicines, and even experiences – without having to worry about social distancing. As a result, many retailers have started to look for ways to make the digital experience easier. Here are some things to know before you start looking to shop online.
Creating an account
When shopping online, you will usually need two things: an email address and a credit card. With the email address, you can create an online account that securely stores important information such as your name, shipping address and payment information. The benefit of this record is to store your purchase information in one place and make it easier to reorder in the future.
You may need separate accounts for each site; however, some will allow you to shop online and “checkout” as a guest without storing any of your personal information. You don’t need to create an account if you are just browsing or ‘window shopping’.
Most sites are arranged by product categories, depending on what they sell. For clothing brands, this may be split between “Men’s Clothing” and “Women’s Clothing” and then by clothing type. Homewares are usually arranged by rooms i.e. Bathroom, Bedroom, Living Room. If you are buying groceries online, this will usually be arranged by the food category i.e. Fruit & Veg, Bakery, Dairy, Meat.
All you need to do is to browse through the categories on offer and then choose the type of product you are after. There may also be a search bar at the top of each page that allows you to quickly find what you are looking for without spending too much time looking. Each product page should also contain a detailed description of the product, sizing information and the price to pay.
Adding to cart
Once you have found a product you would like to buy, simply “Add to Cart”. Online stores will usually highlight this function with a button that changes colour when the item is in your virtual shopping cart. Do not add anything to your cart until you are sure you would like to buy it. When you are ready to finish shopping simply navigate to your shopping cart/basket (this is usually an icon in the top corner) and click to start the checkout process.
This is where your bank card comes in handy. Fill out the information required and enter your card details to complete the order. You should receive an email with a confirmation of your order and receipt.
Things to be aware of shopping online
- Cyber security is important. Never share your account details including passwords and credit card information with anyone. Discover out more great internet safety tips for the rest of family
- Most products may need to be delivered to you; hence you may have to pay for shipping. The delivery amount is calculated in addition to the cost of the purchased item and usually based on the distance from the store’s warehouse to your address.
- If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase, the refund process is very similar to shopping in-person. You will need to contact the site’s customer service team by email or on the site and provide details of your order number. Keep in mind that not everything can be returned sop read the terms and conditions before buying!
- Make sure you shop on secure sites. You can tell by looking at the URL (web address) to see if it begins with https instead of http. "S" stands for secure and means the site is using a security certificate.
Have you got any more tips for our seniors’ online shopping guide? Contact the Southern Phone team today.