As you’re aware of, Christmas shopping is no longer confined to the local mall or an annual catalog that happens to find its way into your mailbox. We can give thanks to the advancements in technology for this whole virtual world of shopping that is controlled by our fingertips.
The internet has revolutionized the way people shop and, besides, what better way to do your Christmas shopping than from the comfort of your own home.
Gone are the days of having to suit up, battle the harsh winter weather, and holiday traffic jams in the hopes of checking a few names off of your Christmas list.
The store aisles, as we know them, are crowded and hectic.
Besides, who wants to get trampled on and fight over merchandise like a pack of wild animals?
But now, many store aisles are becoming virtual, a shopping cart is something you fill with images of a product and a checkout is something that you click on to confirm your order.
It just doesn’t get any easier than that!
Things have changed a lot in the past few years and I wonder how many of us couldn’t even imagine what life would be like without the convenience of shopping on the internet.
Whether we like it or not, online eCommerce is where it’s at and is the future of shopping.
It’s hard to stop this online shopping tidal wave of a trend.
So, you might as well embrace it and take advantage of all the benefits of doing your Christmas shopping online.
Today, I will share 7 Online Christmas Shopping Tips, which can make the experience a smooth and pleasant one.
Let’s cover them now…
1)) Be Prepared
It’s a good idea to start your shopping with a complete list. This will save you both time and money with having to go back and place a separate order later on.
With most online stores, you pay a flat shipping fee. In some cases, if you spend a certain amount of money on your order, the shipping and handling fee is waived.
Online retailers such as Amazon, provides Free Shipping on certain products if you have Prime.
It’s always best to get everything you want, all at once, to save on shipping. Before you commit to buying from one retailer, shop around and compare prices on both the product and shipping.
2)) The Early Bird Gets The Gift
If you want to get the best selection, begin your holiday shopping early. Internet stores generally carry large quantities of every item, but even they can sell out.
As Christmas draws near, it becomes more difficult to find the exact item that you’re looking for.
The last thing you want to do is be put into a position where you’re forced to select from picked-over items, because you’re not going to feel good about giving those types of gifts to your loved ones.
Gift giving isn’t only about the merchandise you give, it’s also about the positive feelings and memories they create.
There’s nothing like finding the perfect item and seeing the words, ‘Sold Out’ written under the price.
What’s the solution?
That’s right, do your shopping early!
3)) Shop Safe
Before you order anything online, be certain to do your due diligence to prevent fraud and disappointment.
Here’s a short list of things to consider:
- Check product reviews
- Shop on Secured websites (Look for the padlock icon in the browser window)
The easiest way to prevent crooks from stealing your personal information is to shop on the most reputable name brand websites such as Amazon.
By the way, most secured websites let you know how they protect your data.
No matter how much of a rush you’re in to get your Christmas shopping done, slow down enough to notice whether or not the websites you’re making your purchases on are secured and reputable.
You don’t need any unpleasant surprises such as identity theft to ruin your holiday spirit.
4)) Wrap It Up
If you’re like most, there’s not a lot of extra time around the holidays. If you need to save some time on wrapping, most online stores offer a gift wrapping service for a small fee.
At some point during the ordering process, you may be asked if you would like to add gift wrapping or a name tag.
It’s as easy as the click of a button, which is much easier than trying to tie the perfect bow.
If you’ve ever wrapped presents before, you no doubt know how long the process takes.
Why not pay that small fee to have someone else do it for you?
5)) Check Delivery Dates
When placing your order, check to make sure that the item is in stock or will be delivered in time for Christmas.
Many times, especially near the holidays, items will go on a backorder status. It’s not uncommon for an advanced order item to have a delivery date of January, so be sure to check the status of the items in your shopping cart, along with their expected delivery dates.
Not only that, but it’s also a good idea to check on the company’s shipping policy and delivery time for in-stock items.
Remember, The Early Bird Gets The Gift!
6)) Christmas Cards
With all the stuff going on in December it's easy to forget to send out Christmas cards to family and friends.
But if you forget to send traditional Christmas cards in time all is not lost.
In fact, there are some great sites and services online that will send your Christmas cards out for you (saving you precious time).
You can find services that are both free and paid, and services that send both digital and traditional paper Christmas cards.
7)) Gift Cards
Almost everyone has at least one person on their shopping list that seems impossible to buy for.
That person may be incredibly picky; may go out and buy everything they want when they want it; or may be someone you do not know all that well.
If you have to shop for a picky person, or someone who has everything they want, or that individual you don’t know very well, gift cards are the way to go.
Another reason you may want to give a person a gift card is if he or she lives far away and the gift you want to purchase is very bulky, which would make shipping expensive. In that case a gift card for that item would work well.
The major credit card companies, including Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and Visa all sell gift cards. The gift cards are redeemable wherever their credits are accepted.
Other Types of Gift Cards to Consider:
- Gas Gift Cards
- Retail Store Gift Cards
- Restaurant Gift Cards
Some people say giving a gift card is the lazy way to give a gift. I don’t agree. I think a thoughtfully chosen gift card is a wonderful gift.
It shows the recipient that you want them to purchase something special that they actually want.
Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year if you are proactive by planning your shopping early.
If you have the money, there’s no reason to wait until the last minute, when you could simply go online to get your shopping done with a few clicks of your mouse.
Doing so will prevent all of that unnecessary stress and from joining the millions of others that go out and fight over merchandise.
To make your life a little easier, you should at the very least, implement the 7 Online Christmas Shopping Tips that you learned today to make the experience a smooth and enjoyable one.
Happy online shopping!