I recently did a radio interview with a station based out of Arkansas and we were discussing the differences between doing your Christmas shopping at the local mall versus shopping online. I made the point that many consumers still like to go the mall to get some of that Holiday vibe and the sense of giving that is such a large part of the Christmas spirit. The DJ that was interviewing me then pointed out that you lose a lot of that warm and fuzzy feeling when you have to fight the crowded parking lot and the rush of finding gifts when you only have a limited amount of time to spend at the mall.
Donít Fight Those Crowds
In this case, the DJ was a big proponent of online shopping and online coupons, hence this is the reason I was on his show, but he brings up some good points. People are starting to use online shopping as a strong alternative to fighting the crowds at local stores and malls. This is evident by the fact that online shopping in 2006 has really gone through the roof and is up 23% over 2005 numbers as consumers are starting to catch on to the convenience and great deals that can be found online.
Information At Your Fingertips
As I pointed out in the interview, the main benefits of doing your Christmas shopping online are two-fold. First, the amount of information and research at your disposal on the Internet is quite impressive. This includes buying guides, user reviews of products, and price comparisons at different online stores. All of these are not going to be readily available to you when you walk into a brick and mortar store to do some shopping. Secondly, many online retailers offer coupon codes that can get you things like free shipping, or 10%, 15% , or sometimes 20% off your purchase. These coupon codes are typically only for online usage. Free shipping coupons in particular are very popular around the Holidays, as many consumers are afraid to shop online thinking the shipping charges will outweigh any benefits.
Keep Your Sanity
So this Holiday shopping season I would urge you to try shopping online and to keep a running total of the savings you received when using online coupons. For me personally, the time wasted in busy parking lots and long lines in stores also has a value, but it is hard to put a dollar figure on time wasted. Nonetheless, I found the holiday season to be much more enjoyable and peaceful when I avoided busy malls and shopped exclusively online. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and your family!