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Shop ‘til You Drop: Online Shopping in the Digital Age

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Shop ‘til You Drop- Online Shopping in the Digital Age

Shop ‘til You Drop: Online Shopping in the Digital Age

For those of you who dread the burden of shopping: circling for a parking spot, going into a store, wading through crowds of shoppers, meandering through each aisle, and waiting in a seemingly endless line to check out, there is an alternative for you. For those of you who delight in the feat of shopping, you can still experience that joy while shopping online, minus the crowds and aggravating parking. Whatever your sentiments are towards shopping, there is a plethora of online stores at your fingertips!

It is impossible to talk about online shopping without mentioning the online retail giant Amazon. Amazon is the most popular shopping website with close to 2.6 billion visitors a month. Almost anything you can imagine buying, you can find on Amazon. A few features of Amazon include a user-friendly interface, easy to use search functions, a prominent display of the top-rated products, the ability to curate wish lists, quick delivery, and savings on items marked down in price. Amazon also has a highly-rated app, which makes your shopping experience even easier.

Speaking of retail giants, Walmart also has a website and an app for your shopping experience. Walmart is one of the largest retail chains in the world. The online store offers “everyday low prices” to online shoppers, as well as additional features such as pickup, delivery, the ability to scope stores for certain products, and more. If you place a pickup order at your local Walmart, you can select the time frame for pickup (for example, 5-6 PM), choose substitutes in case of item shortages, receive updates about your order via text, and there’s a window of opportunity to edit your order before it is locked in. Walmart also offers delivery so that you can shop on their website and have your items delivered without ever leaving your home.

Another honorable mention among large retail stores with websites is Target. Target’s inventory features a diverse range of goods from clothing to garden furniture. Target’s website and app feature store pickup, delivery, and exclusive online prices and items.

The largest online auction and shopping site is eBay. eBay is considered the go-to place for rare items that you won’t find elsewhere. eBay has items listed for auction or buy-it-now. Buying and selling on eBay is a unique experience, and a good way to either sell your items to a global/national audience as opposed to the limited scope of a yard sale, or find that coveted item that you can’t find anywhere else.

Whereas Amazon is the equivalent of a huge online department store, Etsy is the equivalent of a local craft fair; it is the largest eCommerce site dedicated to arts and crafts, and many sellers on Etsy are small business owners. Etsy is considered the go-to place for handmade items, craft supplies, and more.

Wayfair is an online store for furniture, home décor, and other household goods. When it comes to shopping around for multiple options of home goods, Wayfair has it covered! The U.S. shopping site boasts over 30 million items, which includes exclusive brands.

Temu is akin to a visual search engine, and is very similar to Pinterest. You use the search bar to find goods, and then browse through images. Temu also uses gamification to engage site visitors. The creative functionality of Temu has promoted it to be one of the most downloaded shopping apps.

Most of the aforementioned websites have an app you can download onto your smart device from your appropriate app store. Apps can enhance your online shopping experience by allowing you to curate wish lists, expedite and simplify the checkout process, and many apps offer exclusive deals and savings.

There are many more online shopping websites, in fact too many to cover here. Here are a few safety tips to consider when shopping online:

  • Be wary of entering your payment information into a website that does not have the secure connection indicated by the protocol (front part of the website address) “https”.
  • Verify the legitimacy of a website before you enter any payment information into that website.
  • If given the option, do not save your card information on a website. Checkout as a guest instead, or use secure payment methods such as PayPal, Venmo, etc.
  • When it comes to clicking links on a website, when in doubt, chicken out. In other words, if something appears or feels fishy about a link you are contemplating clicking, don’t click it!

Shopping online can be just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable, than in a brick and mortar location. Scope out those deals, and enjoy your online shopping experience!

For further information, visit your local branch of the Citrus County Library System and ask about our free technology classes. Classes are held throughout the county on a wide range of topics and subjects including Online Safety and Privacy. For additional information about programming, please call your local library branch, go to the library’s website,, or follow @CitrusLibraries on Facebook and Instagram

Derek Vorobok
Instruction & Research Librarian at Homosassa Branch

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