From a simple purchase to finding deals, the internet or online shopping is now one of the most popular options for purchasing almost anything these days. In fact, 61% of shoppers say they plan to cut back on in-store shopping during the holiday season due to health concerns, according to a study by Accenture.
Some people still prefer to shop in-store (offline shopping) and physically browse goods/products. However, people now rely more on online shopping than in-store shopping (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic). This could be to avoid the frustration of going from one store to the other or simply shopping from the comfort of our own homes.
Whether you prefer browsing the internet or visiting the shops, it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of both forms of shopping. Let’s take a look at some of our top tips so that you can BOSS your shopping with MABS:
Research your options. If you are looking at items to purchase, check where you can buy these items and how much they cost. Check online and in stores for the best price. Sign up to newsletters for websites where you can get the gifts; you may get a discount for signing up or notified when the gifts you need are on special offer.
When purchasing online, always remember to check delivery times for items and the return or exchange policy! Some retailers will extend the period of returns so that you can purchase with confidence, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.
Shop smartly by keeping to your list, and don’t be tempted by sales or special offers on other items. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become popular days (both in the month before Christmas) for online sales.
A word of warning here. Marketing teams are very good at making a deal look too good to be true. Be mindful of this and before you buy, ask yourself 3 things:
- If I buy this item, will it mean to take something off my list and make a saving?
- Am I buying this outside the EU? If so, will I have to pay extra customs or VAT?
- Do I really need it?
It’s also important to know that you have certain rights and entitlements when you purchase items online. However, these rights will only apply to purchases made within Ireland and the EU.
Let’s not avoid the ‘ELF-phant’ in the room; many people may find it challenging to stick to their budget when shopping for Christmas. Even certain decorations or displays in stores can catch our eye and tempt us to buy an extra item or two.
You may want to limit your holiday shopping trips, the best way to do this? If possible, make a map of the stores you plan to visit. Make a list of what you plan to purchase at each store and what order you plan to stop at each location. This will save you some time (and sanity) to spend a few minutes strategizing before you head out.
Top Tip: avoid putting purchases on stores cards – they may cost you more in the long run.
It’s important to remember that the shops only close for one or two days over Christmas. So there is no need for one big shop. Buy small amounts of non-perishable items each week to add to the Christmas treats.