How to spot unreliable E-commerce websites

E-commerce has grown exponentially in the Philippines, and with it comes the increased emergence of E-commerce websites. In 2020 alone, over two billion people worldwide purchased a product or service online! And thanks to E-commerce automation, merchants have found it easier to put up platforms, monitor their sales, and even connect with their customers. 

However, online shopping also requires customers to be mindful of the E-commerce platform they are browsing because online scams are now prevalent. No one wants to be a victim of any scam, so it’s important that you ensure the reliability and credibility of the E-commerce website you’re buying from. But how can you do that even if you’re not that tech-savvy? Look no further, because we’ve listed down ways on how you can spot an unreliable E-commerce website:

Something is off with the URL

A lot of customers pay little to no attention to the address bar of their browser when shopping online. This is a big mistake. The address bar contains vital information on how secure you are while using the E-commerce website. Some fraudsters also set up unreliable websites (Example: using URLs that are just one letter off from legitimate websites or using URLs that are not affiliated with a legitimate store) hoping that you won’t notice it in the URL, so always double check if you have the correct website address! 

The E-commerce website is not encrypted

When checking out from a secure platform, you will see these things in the address bar: a padlock icon and an “S” in “HTTPS”. What do these two mean? The padlock icon means that the site is using encrypted communications to secure any sensitive data you submit on it. The S in HTTPS stands for “secure.” Specifically, it means that the platform is using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or a protocol that employs encryption to keep intruders from “hearing” your conversation.

Incomplete E-commerce information

A legitimate E-commerce platform has complete contact details on who the seller is, how to contact them, what kind of products they have, and their terms of service or privacy policy. You should be cautious if the website doesn’t have any of these. If you are a first-time buyer, get in touch with them first. After all, reliable E-commerce business owners would be very happy to answer your queries!

There’s no trust seal displayed

Trust seals are badges that business owners display on their homepages, login pages, and even checkout pages. These badges are easily recognized as they remind customers that there are additional security mechanisms in place. When clicked, the trust seal will display the platform’s SSL certificates. This is an important part of a site’s legitimacy. If the platform you’re checking out doesn’t have a trust seal, be wary of it.

The E-commerce website looks and feels odd

As you check out the platform, check on these things – Does it look professional? Are the items well laid out? Did they use high-resolution photos? Are there no typographical or grammatical errors on the website?

Also, compare the website to ones that you already trust to see if there is something peculiar about it. Most reliable platforms make an effort to ensure that they follow quality standards across all their communications. If the suspicious platform does not look and feel professional at all, there’s a high chance it’s a malicious one. Avoid it at all costs.

You should be able to tell whether a site is safe and reliable or not with these basic tips. Scrutinizing E-commerce websites is a bit of work but it pays a lot to be cautious, especially with online transactions.

So what can online merchants do to create an online shopping experience that makes customers like you feel secure and satisfied? Well, that’s something Payo can help with!

Payo is a tech-driven company that is constantly pushing for E-commerce automation as a way to improve the local E-commerce landscape. This is evident through the tech solutions they provide, like their secure Cash on Delivery integration, their holistic merchant dashboard that makes monitoring orders easy, and their automated SMS updates that keep customers informed of their orders’ status.

When a customer’s E-commerce experience is fast, convenient, and secure, their satisfaction shall follow! If you’re an online merchant, you can sign up with Payo today or send us a message at to know more about what we have to offer.