In the past, teaching kids to be responsible consumers focused on grocery shopping, bargain hunting, and general brick-and-mortar shopping tips. While it’s still important for kids to know how to safely shop in person, they now must also know how to shop online.
e-Commerce was already growing prior to the pandemic, but COVID-19 and quarantine only accelerated online shopping. Online shopping continues to grow and is here to stay.
Kids now need to know how to purchase products online safely.
Here are some tips for teaching kids how to shop online.
Before teaching your child how to shop online, it’s important to establish some rules. The last thing you want is your child to go on an online shopping spree with your credit card! The rules will depend on your child’s age, but some ideas include:
- Only allowed to shop online with supervision.
- Cannot use the credit card or make a purchase without permission.
- Providing a list of appropriate sites, and kids are not allowed to shop on sites outside of the list.
Provide a Demo
Kids learn a lot from watching and actively participating while an adult provides an explanation. To introduce your child to online shopping, include them in the process. At first, they can simply watch while you explain the steps you are doing. Remember, for kids, this may all be new. Talk out loud as you shop, explain what makes you choose one product over another, or how you will check multiple sites for the best price.
Supervise Online Purchases
Many kids will want to spend allowance or birthday/holiday money shopping for something online. Once your child has learned how online shopping works, you can supervise their online shopping. At first, you may need to offer more guidance about where to look and choosing the best item. As your child learns more and can complete the purchase alone, you can simply supervise them to ensure they are sticking to the rules.
Online shopping is easy and convenient, but it is not risk-free. As you teach your child about shopping online, be sure to teach internet safety practices as well. Discuss what makes a site credible or suspicious, how to identify low-quality products and the dangers of sending money to people. Make sure children know how to spot a potential scam or suspicious site and encourage them to tell you of any concerns they may have.
Teaching kids to online shop safely and efficiently is now a crucial part of helping them develop into smart shoppers. Start with the tips above when teaching your children about online shopping.