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How to help your loved ones make the most of online shopping

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Online shopping is a great experience and an excellent service, which can make your life easier. Unfortunately, not all older people can safely work out online shopping, even though the convenience of online shopping would be incredibly useful to them, especially if they have any mobility issues.

So, to help you inform your older friends and family members how they can shop safely online and get the most experience, we’ve spoken to online shopping expert Buzz Carter from DotcomBlinds.com, to give you some tips on how you can educate and inform your older loved ones on how they can be safe when shopping online and get the most out of the experience for them.

Start With The Basics

When introducing an elderly loved one into the world of online shopping, it’s important to start off with the basics and show them the process of making an online purchase from start to finish. While it may be second nature to a younger person, lots of older people don’t have the same exposure to the internet as you do.

By showing them how they can interact with websites and what details they’ll be expected to provide, you can ease them into the world of online shopping as well as educate them on what details are safe to share with online shops and websites.

It would be easy to start off with a purchase from a site like Amazon that has a simple design, so they can work out how to search, filter and select products before moving onto other sites with less intuitive designs.

Help Them Identify Safe Websites

Next up, you should show your older loved one how to identify if a website is safe or a scam. They may not remember everything you show them, but it’s important that they can tell if a website is safe to protect them from being taken advantage off.

A good jumping off point is to look at well known sites. If your loved one can recognise a brand name of the retailer that’s usually a sign it should be safe. Next up, you should teach them how to see if a site is secure. You can tell if a site is secure as they will usually have https:// rather than http:// at the start of the site’s URL. Safe sites will also usually have a lock symbol next to the URL on their web browser. Another good thing to check is the end of the URL. Most websites finish with .co.uk or .com, so let them know to be wary of sites that have a different ending to their website like .ru .xyz or .za.

You may still need to help them know whether a website is safe to shop on from time to time, but these tips as well as a list of safe sites should help them work out when they’re safe to shop online.

Show Them How To Shop Around

Now that your older loved one can safely navigate the internet, it’s time to help them get the most out of the online experience and help them get the best prices for what they want. To do this, you’ll need to show them how to shop around.

Shopping around online can seem like a daunting experience to an internet novice, but with Google it is easy as pie. The simplest way to shop around is to search for the exact product name on Google and check out the top results. They should all have pricing details and with this they can find the shop that gives them the best value.

Also, by Googling the product, your elderly loved one will be protected from scams. Google take all of that very seriously and work very hard to prevent scam sites and untrustworthy businesses from appearing high in their search results.

Inform Them How To Get Discounts Online

Now they know how to surf the net safely and find the best price, it’s time to show your loved one how they can save a bit more money when shopping online.

There are a few ways to help out with this, but we’ll focus on the two simplest and safest solutions!

The first solution would be to install a service like Honey on their web browser, Honey is a tool that works automatically, which makes it easy to use. Any time they get to a website’s checkout page, Honey will search the internet for any deals and automatically apply the one which saves them the most money, making it a no hassle way to save some money.

The second solution is to just ask! Most online stores will have a phone number or a website chat feature, a lot of the time website employees will be more than happy to provide a discount if you simply just ask for one. This is a case of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” so let them know this is something they can do in a pinch.

Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash

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