Beat busy stores and long lines by enjoying a new holiday shopping experience equipped with digital devices.
We have the best of intentions as holiday season approaches. Shop early. Shop strategically. Combat crowds. Be victorious, and complete shopping list by goal of December. Yet, our best of intentions seem to fall short as we’re inundated with — life. Become a holiday shopping warrior, and overcome the stress of holiday crowds, traffic, and disgruntled customers by shopping online armed with your digital devices.
Imagine sitting fireside with a mug of hot cocoa and Christmas carols playing in the background. Wrapped up in a red and white plaid blanket, you’re playing the role of Santa Claus and checking off your holiday list one online purchase after another. Your digital devices serve as storefronts and cashiers, but sans long lines and personal space invasions while shopping merchandise.
New Holiday Shopping Experience
Red Door Interactive reports that for 2013, holiday spending is projected to increase by more than 15 percent, and one quarter of it will be from online sales. Although shopping crowds are a traditional part of the holidays, you can eliminate that stress by transforming your holiday shopping experience. This year, get into the holiday spirit by sipping on a peppermint mocha at a coffee shop while browsing on your tablet or cozy up with your loved one at home with a Christmas movie on while you both shop online using your notebooks. It’ll be a new holiday shopping experience, yet without the burden of overcrowded stores and long lines.
In addition to visiting your retailer’s websites directly, visit your favorite brand’s social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, to find visual gift-giving inspiration. Once you find gifts perfect for close friends and family, make a schedule for visiting that physical store at off-peak times and head directly to that item while on a mission — get in and out.
Online shoppers, about 65 percent according to Internet Retailer, will “window shop” online to find items and then purchase those items at the physical store, a term Accenture pegged as “webrooming.” You’ll still have the holiday shopping experience by heading out to the mall to make purchases, but can make it a destination-driven trip with purpose. While webrooming, you may fight crowds in the trenches, but it’ll be quick battle and not a war.
Retailers will meet the needs of online holiday shopping through mobile commerce, which is estimated to increase by 68 percent. Forget hauling the stroller into your car and trying to shop as a family circus. Clutch your smartphone and browse deals as dinner cooks or while sitting on the couch after the kids are in bed. As you prep for the holidays, the following three apps can help maximize and manage the relaxed (non-crowded) holiday shopping digital experience.
- ReturnGuru (Free, Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone): Photographs, stores and tracks receipts and sends alerts pending expiration
- RedLaser (Free, Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone): Scans merchandise, compares retailer prices and serves as a payment device
- Santa’s Bag (Free, Apple iOS): Organizes holiday lists including the person, their gift, total price, and grand total to spend. The app monitors your holiday spending budget and counts down until Christmas