The holiday shopping season is here, we can feel it in the air. Holiday shopping lists, shopping events, shopping expos, shopping memes are all over the place, reminding us it’s that time of year again when we must shop till we drop.
What’s more? The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday spending in the US will amount to between $727 billion to $730 billion this year, up from $719 billion last year.
Similarly, other reports suggest that holiday retail spending will top $1.1 trillion, even as retailers deploy last minute ninja marketing techniques to woo shoppers over.
So, how can shoppers maximize every cent spent during this period? In this article, we highlight eight (8) simple ways shoppers can prepare for the long-awaited holiday shopping.
1. Make a Shopping List
A shopping list helps you stay on track and track your expenses. Planning out your holiday shopping list in advance will help you avoid impulse buying or buyer’s remorse that may accompany unplanned expenses.
Shopping List apps make making shopping lists fun and easy to do. Featuring product or item photos, these apps also help shoppers visualize their progress. Get one for your Android or iPhone devices.
2. Create a Matching Budget
Making a shopping list is great, but not enough. You need to create and follow a holiday shopping budget in line with your holiday shopping list. This helps you keep your spending in perspective, and avoid overspending.
There are so many budgeting apps that can help you plan and keep track of your spending this holiday season. You should check them out. And don’t forget to also make a list of coupons or discount codes for extra savings when you shop.
3. Download and Install Ecommerce Store Apps
Another way to cut costs and save more this holiday season is by installing your favorite e-commerce store apps. Most holiday deals, discounts, and offers are exclusive to shoppers who shop using the app.
By installing their e-commerce apps you can get direct messaging and push notifications each time deals are about to take place. This way you can also get local deals specifically targeted at a particular geographic location.
4. Watch Price Changes
Most e-commerce stores apply discounts across board. You may miss these if you’re only focused on the big sales announcements. To take advantage of smaller price changes, note the prices of items in your holiday shopping list before holiday season begins, then compare them with holiday prices.
You could save money doing this and can afford to add more items to your shopping list, and still stay within your initial budget. A better way to do this is to opt for price drop alerts that notify you each time the prices of items drop.
5. Watch Social Media
Nearly every serious retailer is on social media, in fact, on multiple social networks. Over 80 million SMBs own a Facebook Page, 60.6% of internet users are on Facebook, and 86% of US marketers use Facebook for advertising.
Social media will play a huge role this holiday season and help to drive sales, so keep an eye on all your social media handles and see what your favorite retailers are up to as the holiday season begins.
6. Get Fast Internet for Flash Sales
Fastest fingers first. Anyone? Flash sales flash by every now and then throughout the holiday season. To be able to take advantage of flash sales you need lightning-fast internet, otherwise, other faster shoppers will beat you to it.
Test your internet connectivity and speed before sales begin. Also, test your checkout speed on different devices to see which works best for you. With holiday flash sales, there’s a need for speed.
7. Check for Free Shipping
Retailers like Asos offer free worldwide shipping all year long. Most other retailers charge a shipping fee. However, during holiday sales, many more stores offer shoppers free shipping or discounted shipping.
This is another way to save money this season. By watching out for free shipping offers, or consolidating your orders you could cut shipping costs, which can be transferred elsewhere.
8. Read Delivery Timeline
If you’re like most shoppers you want your holiday orders delivered on time, in time enough for the holidays or other special occasions. Of what use is a Christmas gift delivered on New Year’s Day?
To ensure you do not encounter late deliveries, make sure to read retailer delivery timelines. Also, always cross-check your shipping address if you use different shipping and billing addresses, or if you ship to multiple addresses, so as not to order to the wrong ZIP code.
These are the eight (8) simple ways shoppers can maximize every cent spent this holiday season.
- Make a shopping list
- Create a budget (don’t forget the coupons and discount codes you’ll be needing)
- Download and install your favorite e-commerce store apps
- Watch price changes (and compare prices across different retailers)
- Watch social media
- Get lightning fast internet for flash sales
- Check for free shipping or other freebies
- Read retailer delivery timelines every time
How do you plan to save or buy more this season?
Amos Onwukwe is a Business and Ecommerce Copywriter, who loves to learn, write and make music, and has been featured in several leading blogs