In 2020, 17% of global commerce occurred online. Although eCommerce was already on the rise, the pandemic has ensured that online business shopping is here to stay.
How much online shopping do you do? As a small business owner, do you source your products in person, or have you considered buying supplies online?
If you aren’t already buying work supplies online, now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon. Keep reading for five tips for successful online business shopping.
1. Read Reviews
Whether you’re choosing a cable pulley or shopping for new computers, your first step is to read online customer reviews. This gives you invaluable insight into what it’s like to work with a particular supplier.
Read buyer reviews and pay close attention to their experience. Were they happy with the products they received? Did they have positive interactions with the seller?
Look for general patterns in user reviews. One bad review isn’t necessarily enough to blacklist the company, but take note if many customers share the same bad experience. On the other hand, some unscrupulous companies may “buy” stellar reviews from fake customers.
2. Check the Exchange & Return Policies
It’s understandable to feel hesitant about buying supplies online since you can’t inspect them yourself. The way to combat this (valid) fear is by reading the fine print.
Ensure that the seller has a transparent, easy-to-understand policy for returning or exchanging items. That way, if something is defective or of lower quality than expected, you can send it back for an exchange or refund.
3. Automate Frequent Purchases
Does it seem like you’re always running out to buy the same items? Make life easier for yourself by setting up an automated order for your most frequently used supplies.
For example, you can arrange to have paper and printer ink delivered weekly, monthly, or however often you need it. Simply set up a “recurring delivery” and then go about your business. Not only will you always have the supplies you need, but you’re likely to enjoy a discount too!
4. Buy in Bulk From One Location
This option may not work depending on the types of supplies you need. But if possible, buy your products in bulk from a single supplier.
You’ll spend less time replenishing your supplies and more time focused on your business. You’ll also save money on shipping and can take advantage of wholesale or bulk purchasing rates.
5. Go With Your Gut
Do the labels on products seem strange? Is the price unbelievably low or the promised delivery time unrealistically fast?
When buying supplies online, always trust your gut. Like everything else in life, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is!
Improve Your Business by Buying Supplies Online
Buying work supplies in-person isn’t always practical. As the pandemic continues, buying supplies online will continue to be part of the “new norm” in the business world.
Use the tips above to ensure your online business shopping experience is a positive one.
Now that you know more about shopping online, what’s next? Our site is full of more tips and advice, so keep browsing!
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