It’s that time of year again. Love it or loath it, the next month will be filled with advent calendars, wrapping paper and stressing out about getting the right present for your loved ones, without spending a fortune. So, how can technology help you treat friends and family without dreading January’s bank statement?
Last year, nearly 10% of online shopping took place on a smartphone, tablet or iPad, with 25-34 year olds the most likely to buy Christmas gifts through a mobile device or tablet (SDL, December 2012).
The research also found that, unsurprisingly, convenience and price were top of the list when it came down to shopping online last Christmas; online discounts (36.8%), getting the best deal (31.9%) and the convenience of being at home (30.9) were the most important factors to consumers (SDL, December 2012).
Retailers are aware of this and are, therefore, forced to compete. The findings from the research demonstrates the multi-channel approach to shopping in the UK which makes it all the more necessary for retailers to optimise the consumer shopping experience, be it in-store or online.
Many consumers will ‘showroom’ shop. How many times have you gone in-store to try out a new digital camera, flick through a book or try on a pair of jeans before going home and looking for the best deal online?
More than half (55.8%) of adults visited a store to review products they then planned to buy online (SDL, December 2012). However, clever retailers are embracing this activity and are engaging with consumers in-store and encouraging them to continue the relationship with the brand online.
Many retailers offer in-store Wi-Fi to allow consumers to research and browse product prices elsewhere, giving you the tools to make sure you get the best deal. With many retailers finally realising the advantage of mobile optimised websites, it’s even easier to check out the full details of a potential purchase. Some retailers are also beginning to display more reviews in-store and are providing QR codes to take consumers straight to further reviews on their website.
If you see a better deal online while ‘showrooming’, there are even more ways to continue the savings when making the final purchase.
Online forums and websites looking out for the best deals make it easy for you to come in and snap them up! Martin Lewis’ website www.moneysavingexpert.com is constantly updated with the best discount codes and in-store and online deals. You can also sign up for weekly emails or follow on Twitter to ensure you never miss out. Even if you can’t find a deal, cashback websites can sweeten online deals.
Make your purchase through sites such as www.quidco.com and you’ll get money back. Simply search for the retailer you want, click ‘visit website and earn cashback’ and you’ll be forwarded to the website to browse and buy. Your purchase will be automatically tracked and in a few weeks you’ll be paid the amount straight into your bank account. Considering some cashback amounts reach hundreds of pounds, it’s worth getting into the habit of using cashback sites.
As consumers are becoming more technologically savvy, retailers are embracing this by making websites more user-friendly and offering deals and discounts. The little bit of extra research before completing a purchase can be very worthwhile. I’m sure that you’ll be so impressed with the savings, being a tech savvy, money-saving consumer will be your new year’s resolution!