Yes, there are always going to be those people that get some kind of weird thrill out waiting in long lines, navigating through crowds of cranky people and endlessly searching in mall parking lots for any kind of parking spot. Kudos to these brave souls, but I am not one of these type of people. Because of my general disdain for these types of shopping experiences, I have embraced online shopping with a passion. I know my UPS driver on a first name basis. My idea of hands-on shopping is the mild euphoria I get from opening up brown corrugated boxes. It’s a beautiful thing.
Most people are with me these days when it comes to the virtues of shopping online, even if they aren’t willing to admit it. When asked if any of their holiday shopping will be done online while at work, most people say “no” even if the reality is that the opposite is true. Let’s face it, there is very little not to love about online shopping. Cyber Monday, the biggest day of online shopping ever is happening today-- so in its honor, I am here to extol the virtues of being a savvy cyber shopper. Even if you aren’t a shop-o-phobic like me, there are many reasons why taking care of your holiday shopping list online is a piece of cake!
Deals: Today and throughout the entire holiday shopping season, retailers are going to try to lure you into their cyber stores with fantastic deals and deep discounts on merchandise. Free shipping is pretty standard fare at this time of the year as well, so not only can you save on gas money by not going to the store (not to mention a few headaches) but also your merchandise will be sent right to your front door. Sounds good right? It is.
The Internet Never Closes: Yes, it’s likely that most stores are extending their hours to accommodate Christmas shopper’s crazy schedules. That said, do you really want to go anywhere at midnight? Any time of the day or night it’s easy to hit an online store, make a quick purchase and be back to life within minutes.
Searching Made Easy: Shopping sites offer a feature that is almost like having your own personal shopper. Do you know what you want, but in a store you have no idea where to find it? (Just try to find a sales clerk in circumstances like this!) By entering a keyword into the search box on a website, the search feature will search out and bring you up a page full of merchandise that meets your keyword criteria within seconds. Now that’s what I call customer service!
Impulse Buys: You know all those items you don’t need that are piled up right near the checkout stands? You can easily avoid these with shopping online. Impulse buying can be kept to a minimum without all the extra temptations so you end up only buying what you intended to purchase. Simply put, this is cash in your pocket!
Returns: Online retailers are well prepared for returns as they do realize that is part of doing business in cyberspace. Online returns are easier than schlepping merchandise back to a store and waiting in a long line (again) just to return something. If you are worried abut returning something purchased online, don’t be--it usually goes seamlessly, without a hitch!
Hopefully you will put Cyber Monday (and the days that follow!) to good use and get your Christmas shopping done quickly and easily. Most seasoned online shoppers feel that they spend much less overall when they shop online; additionally they enjoy the shopping experience far more, and experience far fewer hassles. Want to really set the perfect mood for your holiday shopping adventure? Settle in to your most comfy chair, whip up some hot chocolate and turn on some holiday music! Those Christmas gifts are just a few mouse clicks away!