Holiday Shopping Tips: Save While You Shop, and Earn as you Sell
As the ‘shopping season’ begins many of us consumers fall victim to a few deceptive or misleading advertising tactics. As a small business owner, I often write articles and blog posts from the business owner/manager’s point of view. I will take a slightly different approach during this article by providing tips for consumers looking to shop, as well as tips for us business owners/managers looking to sell.
Yahoo Tech Columnist Dan Tynan provided some insightful tips on his November 24, 2014 article titled “Black Friday Shopping Tips: 8 High-Tech Ways to Save Money on Gifts.” Here’s a few of my favorites, along with suggestions for both consumers and businesses
Make a List; check it twice
“The best way to keep your finances and sanity intact while buying a lot of gifts at once is to (make a list) to keep track of who you’re shopping for, what you’re thinking of getting them, and how much you want to spend.”
As a consumer, we need to ensure we are only buying what is necessary or what we set out to purchase. Marketing and advertising will be out in full effect, failing to stick to an organized list can allow for overspending and/or neglecting the purchase of items we initially set out to get. Hashtag #ImpulseBuying
As a business owner, offer complementary products and/or services along with the discounted sale. Understanding that a savvy consumer will have a list, offering a complementary product they may have neglected or forgotten about can lead in additional sales. Providing bundled packages can reiterate to your consumers that your business is looking to provide value for their purchase by not nickel and diming them for every product and accessory. For example, at WoodyThings.com we offer not only a set of personalized coasters (these are inspired by Floppy Disks), but a unique keepsake box to (1) store the coasters when not in use, and (2) serve as an additional storage box to hold keepsake items. By incorporating such a package, you can not only save your consumers money, but promote more sales for your organization.
Compare prices first
Before heading out to battle (sometimes literally as well as figuratively) conduct some strategic planning and compare prices at different merchants carrying the item you seek. Luckily, there’s help. Take advantage of the wide array of applications and websites such as ShopAdvisor.com, PriceWatch.com, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber.com. These sites help consumers make price comparisons without ever leaving the couch, smartphone or tablet J
As consumers, comparing prices enable us to identify the best deals, decide on a shopping path (what store to visit, which store to skip), and make the shopping experience a pleasurable one.
As a business owner, comparing prices allows us the opportunity to understand what our competition is charging, so that you may offer similar deals or compete on a different level. For example, if a competitor is offering a product for a few dollars less, you may opt to offer a price matching policy.
Timing is everything
Another article published on November 24, 2014 by Gitte Laasby of the Journal Sentinel titled “14 Black Friday shopping tips: How to get the best deal” writes that:
“Many (Retailers) offer exclusive previews of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and/or special rebates for consumers on their email lists.”
As a consumer, sign up for your favorite retailer’s email alerts and check their Twitter or Facebook accounts for up to the minute deals. Studies show that mobile commerce (shopping from your mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet) has increased over the past few years.
As a business owner, stay engaged on social media and pass information along to your followers. They will be listening! More on timing….
Now that you’ve made a list, checked it twice; compared prices, selected the best time to buy, you can take advantage of price match options to save time and money (and a headache or two). A few retailers, including Walmart, will match competitors’ prices on specific products.
Related Content: Pricing your product or service
As a consumer, take advantage of in store vs. online price matching to save.
As a business owner, comparing prices (see the tip listed above) will allow you to understand your positioning, and whether you want to offer price matching, or not. Sometimes it may be more beneficial to offer price-matching, while other times you may elect to offer complimentary product at a discount… sort of like a bundled deal.
Avoid Fake coupons
Use care when clicking on any suspicious-looking coupons from social media sites. Hover your cursor over the link and read the link description to ensure it comes from a valid and trusted website. Phishing schemes can be disguised as coupons from non-reputable websites. Avoiding fake coupons will save you more than time, money and aggravation.
Avoid Phony e-mails
Check the sender’s e-mail address and ensure you recognize the sender, or signed up to receive notifications from said address. Otherwise, do not respond to or click on the embedded links. As we consumers and business owners engage in (hopefully) increased sales, there are entities out ‘there’ trying to separate you from your money. As such, engaging in active situational awareness and sharing content like this article with family and friends can help us stay safe during this shopping season.
Do you have any advice, tips or tricks to share? Let me know! I’d love to hear about it.