When the concept of online shopping was first introduced people regarded it with suspicion, understandably.  Even with today’s improved security measures, transmitting payments over the internet can be a bit scary but purchasing from trusted sites does a lot to minimize risk. You can also find discounts and sales by doing a little sleuthing and comparison shopping.

Truly, the benefits usually outweigh the good and the industry has definitely come a long way.  Here are seven reasons to consider giving online shopping a try:

Price Comparisons

How many times have you been a store getting ready to make a major purchase wishing you knew whether you were getting the best deal?  We all wonder if another store carries the same item for a better price and, with online shopping, it’s easy to pull up several sites at once and compare pricing.  This gives you the power to choose the best bargain without the hassle of even leaving home. Places like PriceGrabber and Google Shopping allow you to easily search and see the lowest prices.

Ratings and Reviews

Does this rice cooker really double as a slow cooker?  Will this bed frame be wobbly or is it sturdy?  What happens to this comforter when you put it in the washing machine?  We all wonder about the quality of the items we are about to buy but, with the internet, we can seek out the opinions of fellow consumers by looking at the ratings and reviews for a specific product which allows us to make informed decisions. Most websites have customer reviews built right into their product descriptions.

Verifying Availability

You’ve fallen behind on getting your Christmas shopping done and, after looking at your list, race to your local department store to buy gifts.  You spent time getting ready, traveling to the store and then looked around only to realize that they are sold out.  With online shopping, you can literally spend 10 minutes checking the availability of certain items and, if they are sold out, put yourself on a list to be notified when it is in stock.  It doesn’t get much easier!

Huge Selection

Traditional stores are limited in the items they carry since they only have so much space. When shopping online they have a wider selection to choose from. Also, there are so many online stores to choose from that you aren’t confined to purchasing from local businesses.

Online Exclusive Deals

Many big name retailers offer huge online deals and discounts, often to empty their warehouses for the next shipment.  If you like a particular store, sign up for their newsletter.  You’ll be the first to be notified of special savings and coupon codes.

No Lines

Waiting in line is dreadful, especially at really popular stores.  This is so much worse around the holiday season.  Not only are the lines long but shoppers are busy, pushy and cranky.  Why not spare yourself the pain and suffering by shopping online?

Digital Proof of Purchase

Have you ever lost your receipt and ended up stuck with something that was damaged or the wrong size?  With online shopping you have proof of the entire transaction saved on your computer (or even your account with the store) so you will never have to worry about tracking down your proof of purchase again!

While it is important to always be vigilant about the merchants we select, online shopping has revolutionized how we do business.  With back-to-school just around the corner, this could be a good time to test the waters.