Online shopping in Kenya in 2019 has been on the rise thanks to reducing cost of data in the country. You just have to look at the number of online shopping sites to understand the growth of the industry.
Look at it this way. Why would Safaricom, the largest telecom company in East and Central Africa set up an online shopping website?
Yes, Safaricom has its own Masoko, competing with other online shopping sites such as Jumia and Kilimall. This tells you two things, that online shopping in Kenya 2019 has become lucrative and big companies such as Safaricom want a piece of the business.
You just have to look at the crazy number of products that Jumia is shipping every day to get a glimpse of how business online is booming.
And I do know that you too are part of this craze, you have abandoned the traditional mortar and brick shopping in favor of online shopping.
But as you do so, could you be making these 5 mistakes people make while shopping online?
Read on to find out.
Before we look at 5 mistakes you are making right now as you shop online, it would be important to note that I wrote in this article the top 7 online shopping websites that you can explore if you looking to shop online.
5 mistakes you could be making right now as you shop online.
I already said that online shopping in Kenya has seen so many people shop online. A big shift from what was happening a few years ago.
However, you must realize that online shopping comes with its own challenges and risks. And you could be making these mistakes as you do so.
Let me explain.
1. Using public Wi-Fi.
How convenient and money saving is it when you connect to free Wi-Fi in your favorite restaurant or Matatu or School?
There are so many free Wi-Fi networks around you. All you need to do is enable Wi-Fi on your phone and scan, and see how many Wi-Fi networks you will connect to.
To most of us, this is saving money on data and will connect to free Wi-Fi without second thought. But let me let you the truth, connecting to free Wi-Fi is like engaging in unprotected sex and expecting not to be infected with STIs.
You should know that these networks do not encrypt information and therefore data transmitted through your computer or phone is insecure.
Do not conduct online shopping transactions on such hot spots, especially where bank accounts and passwords are involved.
Your bank account could be wiped clean. By the way, ask yourself could someone be hidden in the same network preying on you?
Be smart, because if you are not smart people will teach you a lesson you will never forget. Do not use public hot spot to conduct business online. This is one of the pitfalls of online shopping in Kenya in 2019.
Even more serious, scammers could steal your information and steal your identity.
2. Use of common passwords across different platforms.
In this era and age, you probably have many accounts that require passwords to access. Passwords can be a pain to remember.
But that does not mean that you have a common password for all your accounts on social media, mobile banking and Mpesa. Always use different password for different platforms and use passwords that are not easy to crack.
Never use your birth date (tell me your birth date and I have a password to one of your accounts), name of a loved one, name of a pet or Identification number for these are easy to get and guess.
Instead, use something random that is hard to guess.
3. Clicking on all links you see.
During promotions such as the Black Friday, (a practice that is gaining worldwide popularity where goods and services as sold at discounted prices), it may be hard to tell the difference between genuine deals and online scams.
Let me tell you a story.
In the black Friday frenzy of 2016, someone was so excited about the awesome deals from an online shopping site that they ordered items in bulk . They paid online (ask me why I rarely pay online) and waited.
You might have guessed this right; of course, the products were never delivered. Concerned he made a follow up and days later discovered that the site was offline.
Scammers can create sites easily and use them to defraud buyers. Avoid following all links you see, however shop from reputable sites and double check the sites name.
Fraudsters will often create sites that have almost similar names to genuine online shops and use them to target unsuspecting online buyers.
4. Being tempted with unexpected rewards.
Most links will lured with the promise of rewards. Pop ups and emails will be sent to you informing you that you have won rewards or prizes in competitions you have not participated from. Beware, these are scammers.
Do I really need to over emphasize this? You are already aware of this scams or have already fallen a victim.
As they say, when a deal is so sweet, think twice.
5. Impulse buying.
Do you buy stuff not because you need it but because it is the latest model or brand? Then you are doing impulse buying. Online shopping in Kenya in 2019 will tempt you with so many fancy products.
You have to train yourself to avoid this; because you can end up buying stuff you do not need or worse, get into debt.
Online shopping save us time and gives the freedom to compare prices of items from the comfort of our homes or work. In one word, it very convenient.
However, it also comes with its own challenges and risks that you need to know. If you have been making these 5 mistakes, you now know.