Home / Lifestyle / News

Joys of online shopping not just for the young

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2012-12-27 14:44

At first, Gao helped her colleagues and neighbors of similar age to buy things online. Now some of them have learned how to do it on their own.

"Whenever I need something, I will first search online," she says.

"It's often cheaper to buy the same brand of clothes on the Internet compared with the shopping mall. If I've tried them on in the store, I will definitely come home and buy them online, which is a good bargain," says Gao, who now only goes to the supermarket to buy some articles for daily use, such as vinegar, soy sauce and rice.

According to Gao, the key is to read the product's instructions and other buyers' comments carefully, consult the online customer services, and check the price of the product. But if it's much cheaper than the normal price, it's better to be careful.

"I can walk for 10 km without feeling tired, but will be exhausted after shopping for an hour. Online shopping is perfect for people like me, who never enjoy going to the shopping mall," says a 60-year-old man from Hubei province, who gives just his surname, Yu.

Related: Pointing the way home

He says he's got more choices online and can easily compare the prices of the same and similar goods.

"I buy whatever I can online - including food, clothes, furniture, airplane and train tickets - and also make hotel bookings. I usually buy things on the leading e-commerce sites, which offer very good service," he says.

According to Yu, when he moved back from Beijing this August to his hometown, a small city, the convenience of online shopping became more obvious because many things he used to buy are not found in the local supermarkets.

Gao says the Internet provides everything for her, and sometimes there are better alternatives online than in the stores.

The only disadvantage: Sometimes online suppliers have to change or cancel the order because there may be a color difference between pictures and the real item, or the size varies for different brands, she says.

Related: Tablet taboos

"I often help others pay online. It's essential to make sure it's not a fraudulent payment website," Gao says.

Some people, however, have to ask their kids to pay online for them because they're not familiar with the process.

Chen says the elderly must carefully read the online terms and clauses, such as the delivery fee. Also, they may have safety concerns about receiving parcels at home, because many live alone rather than with their children.

He suggests that e-retailers design a user-friendly website for older people, with large fonts and clear web pages. They can cooperate with the community service centers to teach older customers how to surf the Internet and make online payments.

"The e-retailers can send the goods to a community service center, which will then distribute them to the elderly in the neighborhood. It not only reduces the delivery cost, but also solves the safety problem," he says.


Joys of online shopping not just for the young

Tracking changes at a railway station

Joys of online shopping not just for the young

Stories from the morgue

Previous 1 2 Next