It’s the most wonderful time of the year! There’s a hustle and a bustle in the streets. There are festive lights around the trees and in the windows. Excited shoppers move throughout the streets in search of gifts for friends and family members.
But the traffic doesn’t stop with the streets and shopping centers. In fact, in the weeks approaching Christmas online retail shopping nearly triples. Shoppers crowd on their favorite online retail platforms just as they rush into brick-and-mortar shops. Indeed the online migration is still in progress as consumer bases change over time.
As online traffic grows, new options for getting the most out of an online shopping trip arise. Retailers find ways to attract consumers and shopping platforms look for ways to make the shopping experience better for shoppers. Browsers offer new tools for finding savings, and platforms compete in a more perfect information space.
What does this mean for you, the shopper? It means that there are many new benefits and opportunities for saving–something you’re probably happy to hear in this economy.
In this post, we’ll go over the basics of online shopping, like where to search, and optimizing your browser, and how to compare prices. As we said, online shopping comes with a ton of new opportunities for variety and savings. We just have to know where to look and how to get them.
Optimizing Your Browser with Extensions
Ok, the first thing you should do is get the right tools for your browser. This will save a lot of time and do most of the work for you when it comes to finding the right product at the best price. Using the brick-and-mortar experience as an analogy, we’ll go through the steps you can take, and the tools you can use, to optimize your experience.
Usually, when you head downtown for holiday shopping, you’ll head into several different retailers in search of the thing you’re looking for. Online, the search process occurs in your Google search bar. Although there are alternatives that offer more privacy and require less information about users, Google is unparalleled in terms of optimized search results. Google will show you the most relevant items to your search. For example, if you type in “winter mitts” you will immediately see a huge selection of mittens for sale.
Other options will render similar variety. For example, Amazon–the world’s largest retailer–carries nearly any item you could imagine. Amazon search is also highly tuned to show shoppers exactly what they’re looking for. Furthermore, since Amazon is both a retailer and a platform for retailers, prices are highly competitive.
The nice thing is you don’t have to use one or the other. Just open a new tab, make the same search, and see what you can find. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s hard to beat online shopping for speed and efficiency.
Regarding optimization, there’s no need to do anything on your end. The browser automatically tracks your behavior and optimizes it accordingly. This is especially true for Google Chrome.
Shopping online makes it easy to get the best price for the item you’re set on buying. A shopping trip to the mall or city center might mean buying your article in one store only to find it cheaper a few doors down. Online shopping has the potential to eliminate this possibility.
Amazon immediately presents options from multiple retailers in search results. Google Shopping does the same. Still, if you’re set on a particular item, an extra option is a browser extension.
Extensions are like apps. You can find them by searching in your browser’s app store. When you add an extension to your browser, your browser will have new functions. For example, one extension allows you to permanently highlight phrases on web pages and another allows you to record your browser.
Shopping extensions add some amazing features to the online shopping experience. Honey is an extension that sweeps the web for available coupons and automatically adds them at checkout. PriceBlink automatically shows price comparisons at the top of your browser. Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is an extension that gives you cashback for all your online purchases regardless of the vendor.
There are countless other eCommerce extensions with more specific functions. You can take a look at your browser’s AppStore to find the ones you like best.
The main downside of online shopping is the shipping factor. For one, shipping costs extra. For another, it means you have to wait to get your item.
The first thing to say about shipping is that you should always carefully read the shipping policy of the vendor you’re ordering from. Shipping can be quick and cheap, but there are also instances of expensive shipping that nearly doubles the cost.
One way to avoid shipping is to look for vendors with a free shipping policy. Some vendors have much better shipping options than others. Some have high thresholds for free shipping while others are able to provide fast shipping at low costs.
Amazon, for example, has mastered the art of shipping with incredibly fast options at impossibly cheap rates. The business structure incentivizes couriers to deliver items rather than let them sit on shelves.
United Canada’s free shipping over 50$ policy coupled with its high-end shipping partnerships and tracking options means that ordering with us is one way to eliminate the shipping hassles of online shopping.
The final, and perhaps most important element of online shopping is trust. When shopping in person, you don’t have to worry about what the item will look like or whether it will fit properly. You know that the item you’re buying is what you see in front of you. Online, you have a limited ability to test and try your item pre-purchase.
The best way to tackle this issue, and go on to reap all the amazing benefits of online shopping, is through customer reviews. Shopping in person lets you verify quality and size visually, and online you have to use the experience of previous buyers. With United Canada Inc, reviews are conveniently positioned alongside each item so you can see exactly what other shoppers have said about each item and things like shipping and customer service.
eCommerce providers know that online shopping has pros and cons, so they actively seek to solve consumer issues. For shipping, they try to make it fast and cost-effective. For quality control, the problem of trust is overcome with custom reviews and convenient return policies.
Online shopping can be a very attractive alternative to in-person shopping. You can do it from the comfort of your home, you can see all buying options easily and in one place, you can access any item regardless of geography, and you can make sure you get the best price with coupon extensions like Honey.
Still, there are some downsides; like shipping and quality control. The important thing is that you leverage all available tools to minimize these downsides. So, optimize your browser to get the best price, and take a look at all the shipping options to receive your item fast.Don’t forget to read all the available reviews to make sure what you see is what you will get!