Online shopping has grown in popularity over the last few years, a trend that has been accelerated by the recent lockdown.
While we might be doing our public duty to “help the economy!” chances are it is not helping your bank balance.
So, if you need some help to step away from the basket, these tips will help even the most fervent of online shopaholics and help you cut down on your online shopping habit…
Halt the impulse buying!
In theory, impulse buying is usually associated with arising in store. Of course, the best example of this is undeniably Penney’s when you go in for one or two items. By the time you eventually escape, it is with the contents of the entire home section, half the beauty section and yet another pair of fluffy socks!
However, impulse buying is still a feature of online shopping, we just refer to it as something slightly different.
You are probably familiar with the term “retail therapy”. Many of us employ this as a response to cheer ourselves up by filling our baskets with exciting purchases. It might be a temporary fix, but it might also be to blame for your depleting bank balance. To limit the damage incurred by this habit, you can still browse your favourite online shop but leave it until at least the following day to commit to purchasing anything.
Make the favourite feature your new favourite thing!
Most online shopping sites have some variation of the favourite feature. A heart or other similar button that will save items to a Wishlist. If you are looking to limit your purchases, then this feature is your new best friend. Moving items to your basket is just a couple of clicks away from money leaving your account. To save yourself the temptation, add the extra step of transferring products to your favourites list first. This also offers you the opportunity to cull your list before the final basket so that when you do click confirm order the cost is reduced.
If you are looking to save money but still treat yourself then compare prices from multiple retailers. This is super easy to achieve online, simply open two (or more!) tabs side by side to compare price, quality, reviews and more. Do not be afraid to order from a couple of websites but beware of the multiple delivery charges you will likely incur and weigh up the option that offers the greatest net value for money.
Love it or leave it!
“I can just send it back” is the online shopping equivalent of being in the changing room and heavily debating a purchase. If you do not love it instantly, do not buy it! Buying something that you are not 100 percent convinced by is the first step to a purchase that will inevitably get hung in the wardrobe and forgotten about for seasons on end. The only time you should order something you have doubts over is if those doubts are regarding the sizing or fit.
Beware of marketing traps
Remember that it is other people’s paid professions to generate creative campaigns and marketing ploys that will encourage you to part with your hard earned cash. Online shopping sites are often emblazoned with urging phrases such as “Act now or lose out” and “Order before midnight”. The purpose of these and similar slogans is to entice us into making quick purchases and not overthink the financial consequences until after the order is confirmed.
Online retailers have so-called “exclusive” offers more often than not and regularly extend their apparently limited deals so keep this in mind when attempting to resist those spur-of-the-moment purchases.
Unsubscribe from advertising emails
One of the most common and effective methods of encouraging online shopping is the use of marketing emails. They often come with a percentage discount off your next order, hence the volume of guaranteed sign-ups (who’s going to say no to an offer!). After that first discounted purchase the emails continue to bombard your inbox with enticing offers.
The best thing you can do for your online shopaholic habit is to scroll straight to the bottom of the email and hit unsubscribe. It might have been a good deal that persuaded you to sign up initially but any purchase or trip to the website redirected from an email negates any money saved in the first place.
Are you trying to cut down on your online shopping habit?