Money and time are two of the hottest commodities, the world over. Everyone always needs more of these, so everyone is naturally still trying to invent new ways to conserve these. Potentially simultaneously holding the spots for the most significant time saver and time waster is the internet. As online shopping grows, more businesses are getting smart through the use of world-class web hosts, implementing SEO strategies to get your attention, or getting creative with digital marketing to better draw your attention as a consumer. What this means for you is that it’s easy to get distracted and potentially waste time and money while shopping online. But if you can use the internet effectively without getting bogged down in all there is to discover, it can be a hero and save you both time and money.
- No corralling the kids, pets, or other family members. Save yourself the time and stress you would typically spend at a physical store when shopping online. Your computer, tablet, or even phone is often capable of allowing you to quickly purchase something without having to keep track of wherever everyone has gone or if you’ve missed something in your distraction.
- Speedy shipping. In some cases, finding the thing you need, such as an ingredient for dinner, for example, would be easier and quicker to do in person. However, if it isn’t a simple thing to find, you can count on online shipping to save time that you can dedicate to more online shopping. Online shopping takes have of the work out of the equation for consumers by providing online shipping speeds that you can choose from, and deliver the product right to their doorsteps.
- Instantaneous payment. With many retailers, purchases are shown immediately on a card, and since you won’t be paying cash for anything online, everything is tracked and much easier to organize, cutting down time spent or trying to find that one specific thing that you bought a few months back.
- No physical product hunting. Odds are, you’re searching for something specific that you need for yourself or a gift. Stores are going to be hit or miss, whether they claim to be a one-stop shop or not. Online shopping, however, allows you to utilize an all in one method, and you can save so much time by using multiple tabs to shop. If you’re looking for new hiking gear, for instance, rather than go to the stores of well-known (and pricey) retailers, look to online outdoor gear retailers like Montem to get a score of better deals and savings along with a wider selection of items to choose from.
- Price comparisons. Many retailers are taking advantage of a skyrocketing market in online sales. Use this to your advantage, and shop for the product you want with a simple Google search. Everywhere that it’s sold at will pop up, and you can compare the prices from each retailer so that you get the best one. Another great source for price comparisons is the market of online product reviews. These reviews will have done the comparisons and price searches for you. For instance, Review.org has mattress reviews that provide unbiased ratings and assessments of numerous mattresses. These review comparison sites not only show you price comparisons but will also guide you to the key features to look for with a given product.
- Cash back apps. Numerous apps like ibotta, checkout51 and others will give you cash back on specific items that you purchase. They’re using your product history as data to track how consumers are spending their money. It’s usually as simple as snapping a picture of your receipt and letting that be scanned.
- Outwit the dynamic pricing trap. If you’ve ever gone on to browse for an airline ticket and found one that was quite inexpensive, then gone back the next day to purchase and find that price has skyrocketed, you’ve discovered the dynamic pricing trap. Save money when shopping online by clearing out your browsing history, cookies and caches to outwit it by limiting the information you’re providing about your product interests.
- Don’t close out your cart. We know this directly contradicts what we said previously about limiting your data. However, retailers exist to sell you things and will try to reel you back in with coupons. A cart that is full but is not purchased is not a sale. Larger chain retailers will often send additional discounts your way to entice you for a second look and hopefully a buy. Think eBay, Macy’s or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
- Coupon hunting. No, we don’t mean scavenge the daily paper for coupons to clip. This is an excellent thing to do if you have the time, but many coupons have gone digital, which makes it far easier to source them. Just as with cashback apps, many sites are coupon hubs. Save money when you’re shopping online with just another open tab and quick coupon search. Retailmenot is a popular one.
- Rack up the email addresses. Be warned that this can be a lot to keep track of, and we don’t suggest a ton of them. But, for the stores that like to send a specialty one-use code to customers, think of how well three 50% off coupons on one full priced item would serve you over just one. This can also apply to overcoming the new customer limitation. You might be a frequent customer, but for a fantastic deal offered to new customers only, a new email address registers you as a new customer.
Of course, at the end of the day, there are some things that it is impossible to get online, such as a dental bridge implant procedure. But you can use the internet to learn more about a topic and to get estimates of the costs, even if the specific service won’t be online. Above all else, shopping online is about being smart and informed and using all the resources available to you to save you time and money.
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