Online and dangerous: a licence to shop!

Social media and e-commerce has opened up the world of opportunity even further.  Now you can tweet away on twitter, poke around on Facebook and become the ultimate voyeur on You Tube!

Long gone are the days you can only go shopping on the high street, and checking your bank balance (or overdraft) is no longer restricted to the opening times of your local branch!

So as many are wooed and wowed by the progress of the internet – others, including myself, question whether this is the pandora’s box to those who can’t resist a good bargain.
Shopping online enables people to ensure they’ve got the best buy price and then…with such a great offer within their grasp, put in their details and before you know it, the product has been dispatched and is already on it’s way to them.

Unfortunately, apart from advising great restraint and discipline, there is nothing more I can do to encourage people not to buy everything they see on the internet; but advising you to know your rights when buying online is something I can advise on, and something I strongly advocate you being aware of.

The generation spearheading the power of the internet as a social networking and retail frame are those who, according to statistics just released, don’t know the rules of the game.  The Department of Business has recently found that most 16-24 year olds don’t know their consumer rights when making purchases online or in the shops.  Because of this, they lack the confidence to fight their corner when things go wrong, and financially, this could leave them low on cash because they lack both the knowledge and confidence to get their money back.

The research further confirms that 58% of the 16-24 year olds asked, look to the internet as a resource of information and guidance rather than official bodies and 70% say they are eager to equip themselves with a higher level of understanding on such matters.

If this is a generation who prefer to communicate virally rather than face to face, then shouldn’t we be taking responsibility to learn their language and speak to them in a way they understand?  I fear without doing this, it could easily lead to a collection of incorrect purchases which are not returned or refunded and from this we could be looking at another generation of debtors… all because they lack the knowledge and confidence to speak out loud, and because we fail to teach them in a forum they can relate to.

By utilising tools such as you tube, twitter, etc to speak to this target group, we can communicate the facts of budgeting, money management, and consumer rights to a generation who desperately need to know these things.  Is it not our duty to make sure what we create and how we communicate with them is exciting, and something they want to talk about?

T mobile’s, latest viral marketing campaign attracted 11 million viewers!  The success has led to their follow up ad:

I ask, if they can do it, and connect so effectively with the younger generation, why can’t we?

Tell others:



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