According to the US Department of Commerce, US consumers spent more than $517 billion online in 2018, and are expected to spend even more this year. There are several reasons why eCommerce, or online shopping, has become so popular – it offers ease and convenience and a multitude of buying options. Before starting your online shopping journey, read these tips to make the most of your experience.
Avoid The Crowds
One of the biggest benefits of online shopping is avoiding the hassle of dealing with crowds, especially during a busy shopping season. Online shoppers bypass waiting in ridiculously long lines, don’t have to worry about getting jostled in a crowded mall and avoid feeling uncomfortable in shopping areas that may be too hot or cold or that employ high-pressure sales people.
Enjoy The Convenience
Online shopping is popular because it’s so easy. There is no transportation to arrange, no long walks to the parking lot with heavy bags and shoppers can browse and purchase at any time of day – even in their pajamas. There are a number of free online tools and websites that allow shoppers to compare products and prices to find the exact right item for the very best price.
Find The Best Deal
Online shopping tools are now more sophisticated than ever. Shoppers can compare the products they want from a variety of stores to find the best deal. No more store-hopping required! Online marketplaces such as Overstock and Amazon comprise a large portion of online buying sales because they offer a huge product selection. Aggregators allow shoppers to refine product selection by brand, color, size and style and then compare results from different retailers.
Get Cash Back
Much like in-store rebates used to be a popular way to save money, rebate websites are popping up across the Internet and reward customers who shop after visiting their website. Rebate sites such as Rakuten (formerly Ebates), offer shoppers a percentage back on purchases from a variety of stores simply by clicking on the rebate website first. The cash back offers change daily based on the day and retailer, but that one extra click can put money back in the shopper’s pocket!
Score Free Shipping
Now more than ever, stores that are looking to compete with other retailers offer free shipping on purchases. Some online stores offer free shipping for orders above a minimum threshold, such as $50. Meanwhile, other eRetailers offer free shipping with a specific coupon or with an annual membership (e.g. Amazon Prime). When shopping online, always be sure to factor in the shipping cost. In some cases, it may be best to pay a little bit more but get free shipping, or vice versa.
Look For Coupons
Most retail stores have an online presence now, and nearly all offer coupons at some point in the year to online shoppers. Before making any purchases online, check the store’s website for coupons. Often a special offer is available just for joining the store’s mailing list. Check coupon aggregator sites (e.g. RetailMeNot, CouponCabin, and Honey) too – they provide a list of current coupons for a variety of eCommerce sites.
Use The Google Shopping Tool
Google’s popular shopping tool provides the opportunity to compare a specific product across multiple online stores to websites so you can find the right size, color, and price.
First, do a search for an item that you’re looking for, then click “Shopping”:
Then, start comparing retailers, prices and discounts:
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