5 Steps to Easing Your Online Tea Order

Ordering online is quite commonplace nowadays — the change from store hopping (driving from one store to another) to web site hopping (cruising online from one web site to another) has been relatively swift. Thanks to this wonderful development, we lovers of all things tea have a plethora of choices at our fingertips. There are not only teas both common and scarce, but also teapots of all kinds, teacups, infusers, strainers, teapot warmers, and a host of tea time treats from puddings to cookies (what the Brits call “biscuits”) to curry sauces to jams and jellies. In fact, the hardest part about ordering online is ordering online!

Online Ordering
Online Ordering

Online stores use specialized software called “shopping carts” that can be downright tricky, since they are not always designed to be user friendly. You can get all of your stuff entered and find out that there is no way to back up and change something or that after doing all that hard work of entering, you now need to enter something that you don’t have available (at least, it always seems to happen to me). You can make the process easier, though, with these 5 steps:

1 Line up your list of items to buy before you begin the order process.

A bit of organization helps you get all the items you want and not forget something. Sites usually have a “Buy Now” button by the item, but you may not be sure that you want that tea or teapot yet; you could find yourself wandering off to another part of the site and wanting to come back to that item later and not being able to get back there. Sort of like wandering around a shopping mall (yes, they still exist) and not buying something when you see it but not being able to find it again later. Just as with a long road trip, you will want to have your journey planned a bit (but leave a bit of room for spur of the moment excursions).

2 Check the availability of each item on the site before ordering.

Good tea vendors will show this. It saves you having an item back-ordered. You can decide if it’s worth the wait. Most vendors will ship in-stock items ahead of the back-ordered item at no extra charge.

3 Read vendor descriptions carefully, including any restrictions or special conditions.

Some vendors offer bulk pricing and other special conditions you need to meet for ordering certain items. Usually, the site’s shopping feature will warn you when you are not meeting these requirements, but if you check ahead, you save yourself having to go back and find the right version of a product.

4 Have coupon and special offer information handy at the time you order.

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but as many times as I have gone to the grocery store with the coupons I had so meticulously clipped out and put in the special coupon holder I think that this bears stating here. Plus, when ordering online, the more info you can have already lined up, the better.

5 Double-check your order before hitting that final button.

I can’t stress this enough, especially with the item numbers some sites use. A digit’s difference can be the difference between getting that lovely jasmine tea you wanted and instead getting some chamomile that you detest. The temptation to hit the “Done” button will be great, but you must resist or pay the consequences.

Happy ordering!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 thoughts on “5 Steps to Easing Your Online Tea Order

  1. I agree with Hannah – sometimes you think your system is perfect and then a customer does something that you never thought of, but yet has it’s own logic.As long as you look after that customer and learn from the experience, it’s actually a plus when someone finds an issue.

    1. A.C. Cargill

      Gee, I keep getting the reaction that the vendor feels at fault. I was trying to encourage consumers to do some advance preparation. Ordering without it leads to a lot of misorders, returns, and higher costs all round! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Bulk Tea — Not Just for Tea Shops « Tea Blog

  3. Speaking as a tea company representative we do try to make the website as user friendly as possible! I would recommend that if you ever have a problem on a tea website drop the company an email – we spend so much time on our own site we don’t always notice if it’s not easy to use for first time users!

    1. A.C. Cargill

      Great to know! The English Tea Store is very good about that, too. My main point was for the user to do his homework first. Too many folks don’t and then blame the company. Thanks for reading and the comment! 🙂

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