3 Resources for Becoming a Better Online Shopper

3 Resources for Becoming a Better Online Shopper

Online shopping is a big part of our lives.

In fact, even if you haven’t gone all digital, you’re likely making purchases online more often than you’d like. And you’re surrounded by people doing the same.

According to researches, more than 50% of Americans prefer to shop online, while 80% have bought something on the Web in the last month.

Now almost every item or service you can imagine is a click away. With such ease of access it’s normal that the competition is tough too. Ecommerce giants are fighting for your attention with every marketing channel known to man, and they don’t give up until they give you the best user experience and make you want to come back to their platform again.

They’ve come to your favorite social media channels to make it even easier for you, and more tempting, to buy stuff that you seem interested in based on your activity in the same network.

That makes it harder for us to do online shopping the smart way.

In order not to make irrational buying decisions and end up in a bad financial situation in the future, we should take control of this aspect of our lifestyle and become a better online shopper.

Here are some resources that can help you out when trying to choose the best product, find a legitimate seller (almost always that would be one of the Ecommerce giants out there), or compare prices and features:

1. Use a product review site.

Product review sites are quite helpful. They are created to give you in-depth information about different types of products, that you can go through before making the decision to buy.

One such site is Brand Ballot, where you can browse different categories and brands and see for yourself which ones seem best for your needs.

With product review sites you can save a ton of time by seeing all the features of a product laid out in front of you, together with some possible issues you might not have considered.

2. Do it safely.

With so much money being spent online, there comes the problem with security.

Many scam sites show up when a new hot market has evolved. Then, there are the fake reviews, the lack of a secure payment system, the data credentials you share that can be used for other purposes, and more.

Even if your device is secure and you’re being careful with your credit card details, there are still some new online shopping habits and practices you can develop to make sure nothing goes wrong.

For a start, use sites you know. Your own research should always come first.

Luckily, more than 72% of millennials check what else is there online before making a purchase, even if it’s in a real store. That’s a positive factor as it means we’re slowly becoming more conscious of what we give money for.

If you’re going to buy from someone on the Internet, though, check if they’re using an SSL certificate on their site first. That simply means having https in the url, instead of just http. It’s a step the owner has taken to ensure that all the data you share during your transaction remains private.

Don’t give excess information when it’s optional. It’s also better if you don’t save passwords and have made them strong enough.

To make it even easier, you can use a password manager tool.

3. Compare prices.

Another thing you can use to become a better online shopper is a tool that compares prices.

For a start, InvisibleHand is one such software that notifies you of a cheaper version of whatever it is you’re viewing online, even if it’s on another platform.

PriceBlink does a similar job.

A browser extension you might like is Honey, which works with coupon codes and saves you the hassle of looking for one by simply putting it in the right field for you.

Online shopping can make your life much more comfortable and easier. But you need to do it the smart way.

Make sure you think every purchase through, form good buying habits, and make use of helpful resources to see who and what is the best on the market right now.

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5 Smart Ways to Incorporate Technology into Your Home

5 Smart Ways to Incorporate Technology into Your Home

A smart home was something we could only see in sci-fi movies just a few years ago. Today, smart technology is becoming more available in terms of prices and offers. Therefore, it’s not so surprising that many homeowners are choosing to introduce technology into their homes and make their lives more convenient, safe, cost-efficient and fun.

In fact, a recent report predicted that a global smart home platform revenue will increase from $4.2 billion (2017) to $39.5 billion (2026).

There is no doubt that the concept of a smart home will revolutionize our interaction with our interior, and impact various other aspects, such as the potential resale value of our properties. Knowing all this, it seems wise to start thinking about the ways to incorporate new technology into your home, today. Here are our top five.

Be smart – save energy

If there are two trends that have marked the previous year when it comes to home design, those are energy-efficiency and new technologies.

So, why not combine them and make smart technology work for you and help you save money on your electricity and heating bills? Your first step towards doing that is installing smart lighting. This change will enable you to remotely manage all the light bulbs in your home by using an app, so you won’t have to wonder whether you left your lights on ever again. The best way to use this technology is to pair it with LED bulbs and thus maximize your savings.

Another popular upgrade that helps you save money and automate your home is a smart thermostat. This device connects to your home Wi-Fi and allows you to set the desired temperature no matter where you are. Some models can even remember your habits and adjust the temperature accordingly.

An important safety upgrade

The times we are living in may be new and exciting, but they are still dangerous. That’s why you should do everything you can to make sure that your household is protected both from the unwanted guest as well as various hazards.

Smart home security takes care of that by offering state-of-the-art locks, high-resolution cameras, smoke detectors and motion-triggered alarms. Compared to the traditional security systems, smart security systems will not only alert everybody with a loud alarm but can also send an alert to your phone in case of emergency.

Comfort and convenience with smart furniture

Smart furniture is not being discussed enough, and we’re here to change that. It is set to completely change the way we live our lives.

Let’s start with a smart table or side table. These pieces can feature LED lights, Bluetooth speakers and wireless phone chargers.

The innovative smart sofas offer similar perks but with more coziness. Besides LED lights and speakers, they provide you with a convenient place to charge your phone, allowing you to have everything you need at your fingertips.

Other innovative pieces include color-changing wardrobes and TVs that can be “masked” into artwork, when turned off.

Make everything work together – smart hubs

You might find it difficult to control all your smart gadgets individually. A smart hub allows you to create a centralized system where all your devices are connected to the cloud, and you don’t need more than one app to manage all of them.

Additionally, smart hubs enable you to automate your devices. For example, this would mean that as soon as you unlock the door (using a smart lock, of course), the light in your entryway will be turned on and the thermostat will set the optimal temperature.

The only problem with smart hubs is that this new technology is still in its infancy, and there are too many manufacturers who do not collaborate. This makes pairing up devices from different manufacturers into one hub impossible. Until that changes, to avoid any problems, you should buy the products from the same brand.

A helping hand voice

If you are among those people who remember the Halloween special episode of the Simpsons on the mention of a smart home assistant, don’t be afraid. The assistants of the real world are nothing like Ultrahouse 3000 voiced by Pierce Brosnan. In fact, this technology can make your life a lot easier by helping you make the home automation run smoothly.

Just like Cortana and Siri are improving the smartphone user experience, smart home assistants will make your life easier.

They can be set to react to voice commands, which allows you to control various smart home features without having to use any app. Also, if you have a camera above your entrance and a smart lock, your assistant can unlock the door when they recognize your face.

It’s an exciting time to be alive, and we are sure that there are plenty other surprising smart home innovations on the horizon. Until then, try out these five, and see for yourself how they can change your life.

About The Author

Emma is a writer and a home décor enthusiast. She believes that good design can be found at the intersection between beautiful and functional. Her inspiration comes from traveling and exposing herself to new experiences.

Let's incorporate technology into our homes. Here are 5 smart home security and automation hacks to get started: