Distant Sleigh Bells?
In a recent BIGresearch study, those who plan to purchase more than last year plan to do it online. The numbers don't look all that bad:
Spending Intentions in the Next Three Months
Internet Catalogue TV Shopping
More 19.4% 19.9% 4.7%
Same 56.2% 55.9% 52.9%
Less 24.4% 33.2% 42.4%
More 24.0% 11.7% 4.6%
Same 57.4% 58.8% 60.0%
Less 18.6% 29.5% 35.4%
Whether it's bricks or clicks, Americans are used to the economy as it is and deep discounts. They are surfing to find 'em. If you are an eTailer, consider some of the following information that the FTC has released to consumers:
While online order only on a secure server. Look for an unbroken key or padlock at the bottom of the browser window to ensure your transmission is protected. Buy only from Web vendors that protect your financial information when you order online.
Guard your online passwords. Use different passwords when you're making a purchase than you use to log on to your computer or network. Pay the safest way. A credit card offers the most consumer protections.
Know Your Rights
Can you get your money back? Check out refund and return policies before you buy.
Read the fine print. When shopping online, sometimes key restrictions on a sale are contained in the "fine print" on a website.