The approaching holiday season, which is amazingly just around the corner, reminds everyone that American consumers are alive and well. With Halloween already past, families and individuals across the nation are already kicking their holiday gift buying budgets into gear and inspecting their local retail shops and favorite online stores for the gifts they will pleasingly give to loved ones this holiday season.
Online Shopping is On The Rise
The quickly approaching holiday season also serves to remind all that online shopping is becoming increasingly used and useful through the consumer market, especially when it comes to holiday shopping lists and presents. It is predicted that this year more than any other year previous, online shopping sites and online purchase will have been used more frequently than they have ever been in the past for the purpose of holiday gift shopping and gift buy.
And not only is it predicted that online shopping as a whole will become much more prevalent this year than in previous years, but also that mobile online shopping, or shopping online from mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets, will be at an all-time high this holiday season. This trend of increasing online and mobile sales is due largely, it is supposed, to the convenience and ease for the consumer in finding and purchasing merchandise online while at home or on the go with a mobile device.
With a few simple points and clicks the modern shopper can purchase anything from toiletries to TVs from online retailers and often at seemingly discounted prices. Seemingly discounted prices, however, are far different from actual discounted prices.
Shopping Online is Not Always Cheaper
There are many who have falsely subscribed to the theory that online shopping is cheaper than purchasing the same goods from local retailers. While the sheer broadness of the internet can allow for an online shopper to find discounted prices on some items, many people may be shocked to discover that they save relatively little while shopping online for most items that they will be purchasing for their holiday gifts this year.
Beware of Dynamic Pricing
Major deals can be found online; that is not disputed, but most online distributors practice what is called dynamic pricing which can cause prices for the same item to fluctuate greatly even in one day. The result of dynamic pricing is that while some online shoppers are lucky enough to find the products at discounted prices, even marked down to over fifty percent of the standard cost, the vast majority of individuals will purchase an item at relatively little to no cut in cost due to the practice of dynamic pricing.
This marketing strategy of dynamic pricing is in place to entice the shopper to impulsively buy what they see as a good deal. But it can also be used by the same shopper to get an even better deal if they have patients and know a few tricks on how to save money while shopping online.
One of the first tips to saving money while shopping online is for a consumer to use a price-tracking application which applications are available for most mobile devises. These applications will inform you as to when a price on a certain item drops below a specific price or when general sales are being issued by your favorite company or on your general interest items.
There’s an App For That
Such applications can be used to great effect to inform you when to buy specific items at the best possible price. These price tracking applications can save a consumer from falling victim to the higher costs of dynamic pricing while allowing them to reap the benefits of the same online retailer practice.
Another tricky way to save money while shopping online is to clear the cookies on your internet history before shopping. This may seem a little odd but because the internet stores the history of what sites you visit, and because online merchant sites will often offer deals to first time visitors or customers, clearing the cookies and history will enable you to receive again those new-comer promotions.
Most important is to remember to price shop. Comparing prices from site to site is easy and is perhaps the one tip that will save you the most money when shopping online.
One should be careful, however, to take into account shipping costs while comparing prices. Shipping costs can often exceed five or ten dollars, which upswing in price may make the seemingly less expensive product more than another identical product that is priced a bit higher but sold with free shipping.
Lastly, an online shopper should do their holiday shopping early. By starting now to find and secure online items as gifts, a consumer will be able to avoid the marked up prices of products once the holiday season gets closer.