Online shopping has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity in recent years, and it has become many customers’ preferred way to shop.
It’s by far the most convenient way to get all the goods you need delivered right to your door. Whether you want groceries to last you the weekend or a new top-of-the-line drone to expand your gadget collection, you can buy them online.
But the question is - what are the best online shopping websites?
This post will present some of the top options and review each, so you can make an informed choice for the next time you shop online.
Do you want to save money the next time you’re doing shopping online? If often buy from other countries and in different currencies online, a Wise account could save you a lot of money on currency conversion fees – as you’ll get the rate you see on Google plus a small fee. Also, you can also hold different currencies in more than 55 currencies – but more on this later.
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When it comes to online shopping, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice.
From Amazon to eBay, it seems like there are more online retailers than days in a year, and new ones are popping up every week.
The wide variety of sites is of course a good thing, yet many have analysis paralysis when faced with so many options. That’s why in this post, you’ll find overviews of ten of the very best online shopping websites, which should help you come to a decision.
There are several factors to consider when you go online shopping. They include how much you’re willing to spend to qualify for free shipping, what level of quality you're seeking, and how reliability you need the customer service to be.
There’s also the delivery process, of course, which, if you’ve shopped online before, you’ll know can be a real dealbreaker. While the best online stores like Amazon offer a premium membership to speed things up and get your goods even quicker, others drag their feet and can take an age to ship your purchases.
Without further ado, here are the best online shopping sites, along with the pros and cons of each.
Everybody has heard of Amazon; such is the reputation of the huge online retailer.
Founded in the United States by Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon started off selling books before diversifying its inventory to include just about everything today. These days, it is hands down the largest online shop for pretty much all of your needs.
Amazon serves a vast number of countries around the world, offering numerous product categories ranging from electronics to e-books and kitchen appliances to furniture.
Buying online can be a hassle sometimes, but Amazon is one of the best at streamlining the process for the customer.
- Premium membership service Prime offers next-day delivery and discounts
- Regular sitewide sales
- Reliable customer support
- Some find that the mobile version of the website isn’t user-friendly
While Amazon dominates the online retailer space, it doesn’t allow users to bid on products, unlike eBay.
eBay is essentially an online auction site, which lets you place bids on items you’d like to buy. Buying through eBay can be a gratifying process, making it the best online shopping experience in some people’s eyes. You will often have to keep an eye on the bidding throughout to ensure yours is successful at the end, which can be quite a thrill.
The site offers a wide range of products that are put up for sale by individual sellers, so you’ll find all kinds of brand-new items mixed in with second-hand possessions.
- You can find rare collectibles and other unique products
- Bidding is enjoyable and, in some cases, lets you buy items for less money than you think they’re worth
- It can be difficult to tell the condition of the product, and all you have to go on is the seller’s word.
Walmart is the grocery store that offers so much more than just food and drink.
While you can of course stock up on your groceries from the popular website, you can also find health supplements, electronics, and beauty products on the website.
For everyday items and anything else you might need around the house, Walmart has you covered. The website also has a premium membership called Walmart+ offering no order minimum shipping and other perks.
- There’s free shipping if you spend more than $35¹
- You can return items free of charge
- The quality of clothing and other items you can buy may vary
Etsy is a haven for creatives who want to monetize their hand-crafted goods, and it’s an excellent website to visit if you want an artisan-made product.
From wedding rings to handmade soaps, Etsy has it all.
The best part about Etsy is knowing that each product is unique and has been lovingly crafted for your enjoyment. There’s also the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting the creatives behind the artisanal work.
- You can find bespoke jewelry and other unique handcrafted items
- Lets you support creators and reward artisanal work
- There are several fees to consider when selling products on Etsy
Wish may be the first online shopping website on this list you’re unfamiliar with, but many recognize it as the cheapest online retailer around.
If you’re looking for bargains and cheap products, then Wish is hands-down your best bet.
Online shopping can be expensive, especially when you factor in shipping costs, but Wish provides a more affordable alternative so you can save money when you shop online.
- The prices are very low, and there are regular deals and heavy discounts
- You can choose to receive a notification whenever the product you’re looking at goes on sale
- The delivery service isn’t quite as reliable as other online retailers
- You deal with third-party merchants, so experiences with purchases may vary
Best Buy is an electronics retailer with a website full of enticing deals.
If you’re looking for a new phone, laptop, or speaker system Best Buy is a solid option as it has a wide selection of products, regular deals, and offers curbside pickup within an hour or free next-day delivery on certain items.
- Option to pick up the product at the store or free delivery when you spend over $35²
- Wide selection of electronics and digital goods such as downloads and e-gift cards
- There are no free returns
- Customer service only available via phone call
Target is another large brick-and-mortar store that offers a wide selection of products, like Walmart.
If you’re scanning the internet for everyday essentials including everything from clothing to groceries, then Target is an excellent option.
You can also find a range of homeware and garden furniture on the website, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
- Free shipping when you spend $35 or more⁴
- Free returns
- At times the website can cancel orders placed, due to stock shortages
Home Depot is the place to go if you need anything to kit out your house.
If you’re decorating a new place or doing up your garden, Home Depot has everything you could need to make a house feel like a home.
There are several categories of products, including large indoor furniture and kitchenware.
- Free shipping if you spend over $45³
- Free returns
- Sometimes it can be difficult to get hold of a customer support person
- There are no financing options
Sears is an online retailer that offers a comprehensive selection of products spanning categories such as homeware, electronics, and fitness.
This is an online shopping website that could be compared to Amazon in terms of the variety of its product catalog.
- Free shipping on orders over $59⁵
- You can only send a single order to an address at a time
- There is no phone number to call for returns
Kohl’s is a large department store with a vast online catalog of products.
The website sells clothes from major brands like Levi’s and offers a wide selection of jewelry, furniture, and general houseware.
- Free shipping over $75⁶
- Free returns
- There are no financing options
- There are many exclusions with the coupons and discounts
If you’re shopping specifically for clothes or shoes, you might want to look elsewhere on the internet, as there are plenty of stores dedicated to fashion.
While several of the online retailers listed above offer a wide selection of clothes, not many of them have the big brands.
That’s why if you’re shopping for clothes you should go directly to the source and shop on the website of your favorite clothes store, or an online store dedicated to clothing such as ASOS.
Make sure to give your favorite stores a follow on social media, too, since this will keep you abreast of the latest deals and discounts.
ASOS: ASOS dominates the online clothes shopping space, much like Amazon does the online retailer space. It’s well known as one of the top websites to go to when you need to add to your wardrobe, and many customers rave about the reliable return policy and quick refunds.
Nordstrom: Nordstrom is another online retailer offering a selection of high quality clothing and excellent customer service. The website stocks top designer brand clothing and accessories, so whatever you’re looking for, you should be able to find it.
Forever 21: Forever 21 is an online clothes website for those with a youthful spirit, looking to keep up with the current fashion trends. There are plenty of deals and discounts on the website, and a wide selection of clothes.
Boohoo: Boohoo is an affordable website that offers all kinds of clothing, and isn’t afraid to go bold and bespoke. If you’re looking for an eye-catching piece to add to your wardrobe, it’s a good website to start with.
American Eagle Outfitters: American Eagle Outfitters offers products in the American Eagle and Aerie brands, which spans everything from comfortable jeans to swimwear.
Urban Outfitters: Urban Outfitters is a ‘lifestyle retailer’ which combines creativity and cultural understanding. It’s a popular clothing website offering all kinds of styles and looks to suit every individual.
Perhaps it had happened to you before that you ordered something from abroad and ended up paying much more than you should’ve. You’ve been charged currency conversion fees and hidden mark-up fees, and you didn’t really expect to pay this much in total.
To avoid this, we have a solution for you.
When you shop online with Wise, you can pay in the local currency and get the mid-market rate (the one you see on Google) when sending money overseas. This way, you don’t spend more than you need to. Plus, you can also keep more than 55 currencies on your account.
There are no markups or hidden fees, and no international transaction fees, which means no surprises on your bank statement after you’ve completed a round of online shopping.
It takes only a few minutes to open a free Wise account – and start saving money.
- Walmart - Shipping
- Best Buy - Shipping
- Target - Shipping
- Home Depot - Shipping
- Sears - Shipping
- Kohl's - Shipping
All sources checked on 4 June 2021
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