What you see is not what you get! The online shopping experience

In this modern world where technology has become the order of the day, a young girl who was born after 1990, should not find it difficult to do virtual shopping...


In this modern world where technology has become the order of the day, a young girl who was born after 1990, should not find it difficult to do virtual shopping.

For some reason that is my case. I prefer going to the physical shop to see, feel or touch and sometimes even try it on before I finally make a decision to buy the product or not. You can say that's weird especially when online or social media shopping is the 'ish' now. As the world develops, technology is enhanced and life becomes easy.

Imagine lying on your bed, scrolling through your page on Instagram or Facebook, spotting a very nice shoe and tapping on it and the next day a dispatch rider is at your doorstep with the shoe. That should be cool right? This mode of doing business is gradually taking root.

Instead of young men and women following the 'slay queen or king' trend and posting unnecessary photos all the time, doing business to rake in revenue is not a bad option so I definitely support online shop owners and I wish their businesses well.

However, 'what ought to be’ is not 'what is'.
My friend once bought a hair-piece from an online shop, the shop owners used a very beautiful picture of the hair and quoted the amount on the side, when she saw it, she contacted them and paid for it. I insisted she visits the physical shop if they had one to verify what she was seeing on their page is indeed what it is. But that made me uncool so I did not insist anymore. Only for her to get the hair-piece in the comfort of her home without it meeting her expectations. In fact, it was far from what the owner posted online. She couldn't return it, because the shop categorically stated on the page 'no refund'. All she could do was to write a bad review about the product and service and post it on her page.

Even with that she got a lot of backlash that seemed to suggest that she was trying to defame a hardworking woman (the shop owner) who wants to make ends meet. But if she wants to make ends meet, does that have to come at the consumers cost? That's the situation with most online stores. They entice you with what you see on their platforms but they are nowhere near what you get if you buy them. Very few of them ensure customer satisfaction.

For those fake vitual stores, the least said about them the better. Should we accept this ‘behaviour’ as the disadvantage of virtual shopping? I don’t think so
Let's get this straight, not buying from virtual stores like myself is not the solution. Online has taken over and every kind of activity is going on there including finding soulmates, so you cannot rule out its importance. Nonetheless, our satisfaction and interest as customers must be assured when we decide to buy from online stores or any other shop for that matter.

World consumer safe day

World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated every year on the 15th of March as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. The day provides us with a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, to prevent market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

Even though Ghana has a policy on consumer rights protection, a legal framework is needed for the policy to be effectively implemented. The bill is currently in parliament and CSOs continuously call on parliament to pass it such that if you purchase cotton print fabric online, satin will not be delivered to you and if so happens you will have access to refund or a better option. It’s about time our rights as consumers are protected.

What you see should be what you get!

By: Gemma Appiah



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