Think back to your last shopping experience and list the traps you encountered. Compare with this standard list of common shopping mistakes shoppers tend to make:
a) Forgetting your shopping list or shopping list at home
b) Not sure what items you are missing
c) Seduced by the sight of all the “New Arrivals” and other exhibitions in the store
d) I got the idea to save smart with “Huge sales” and other similar inscriptions.
e) Missing one of the “necessary items”
f) Impulsive shopping disorder.
g) Your children running around the store persuaded you to buy a bunch of unnecessary things. Of course you couldn’t refuse him!
h) You lost count of your shopping budget, overdid it!
i) Comparative Shopping Syndrome: Other shoppers tell you what else you might need.
j) Not very well informed sellers! The web could be better than this
k) Long queues and queues at the box office. Time-out!!!
l) Clogged parking lots in the mall. And this is additional effort, gases and swollen bills.
Honestly, if you’ve made at least 3-4 of these 12 most common shopping mistakes, it’s time to turn to the Internet for salvation. Don’t you agree that working overtime robs you of much-needed cash? Or shock you with blown up credit card bills at the end of each month. More often than not, shopping trips end in a nightmare of not-so-planned and disorganized indulgence. On the other hand, “online shopping” is one where you still have a controlled shopping environment and as such are comparatively less likely to spend money and regret later. However, the accompanying disadvantages are no less important for buyers. For example: insecure online payments, problems with home delivery, mishandling of shipments by shippers, late delivery, loss of shipment, visible differences in the item displayed online and in the shipment received, and much more.
How about balancing offline shopping with a bit of online planning? This means you can still avoid a lot of the friction, worry, and shopping pitfalls by bundling multiple web elements (or let’s say tools) into your shopping activity. Make your shopping more planned, organized, manageable and fun. Here’s how you could do it:
1) Prepare a list of items you need to buy. I knew you always did this! But this time I want you to do it online. Go online, open a spreadsheet or word document, and quickly list your items. Print and take them with you. Carefully follow the requirements you have listed.
2) Shop online with smart gadgets and shopping carts. This means you can directly log into your favorite stores such as HomeGrocers.com or TraderJoe or any other store you like for groceries and other related purchases. And just create your shopping lists online. Print them out and take them with you wherever you go.
3) Try Shopping 2.0! In case you don’t have a store preference and want to shop offline or online, use web apps and shopping tools such as Shopping List on Infodoro.com or Froogle on Google.com. These web based shopping lists can be created, managed, stored and even accessed online. This is the biggest benefit if you forgot your shopping lists at home. You can log in and access it anytime and even through your mobile phone.
4) Making a shopping list doesn’t always mean you just write down everything you need. In any case, this is something that your brain can easily store, process and recall. What else can slip away are things like quantities, brands, and stores you need to get the item from. Use shopping tools like Shopping Lists and Froogle to create an organized shopping list with products, product descriptions, stores, quantities, categories, and other details you want to capture.
5) Shopping smart is not always faster and more organized shopping, but also saving as many dollars as possible. You understood correctly! I went to coupons, you can always redeem them for items at the stores you shop at. After all, why pay more when you know you can save with coupons. Just make sure you look for coupons from your previous purchases and newspapers, and carry them with you when you go shopping. There will still be many who forget to take them with them or do not use them at all, standing at the counters and paying. The solution is to keep all your coupons in your shopping cart, no matter when you receive them. Make it a ritual and keep doing it always. That way, the next time you go shopping, you won’t have to at least forget them at home. And to remind you of coupons when paying your bills, simply list coupons or add coupons to your online shopping list. This means list “Coupons” next to the products for which they are available. And keep an eye on your “Shopping List” when you pay your bills. This way, you are sure to use your coupons and save a few dollars. Web apps like Infodoro’s “ShoppingList” and even online stores have a section for coupons in their online shopping list tool and shopping carts.
6) Prioritize your items as “Most Needed” to have a short list of immediately needed items. Again, the web apps and several desktop shopping apps help you filter your shopping lists by the “most needed” items, like coupons. Use these web apps and you will notice a change in your overall shopping behavior beyond your buying and spending patterns.
7) Create customized shopping lists sorted by category and store. To make your shopping more manageable, you can always consider staying focused. You can share your shopping list and share some of your shopping tasks with your family members, children or spouse. Web applications allow you to sort shopping lists and categorize items by store and category in ascending or descending order. Using the Internet, you can forward half of your shopping list to your spouse so she can pick up items from a store near her place of work, and you can take care of the other half at the shops on the way home. This way you save time and don’t have to deal with parking issues in all the stores you go to. You can also sort your listings into item categories and decide what you’re good at and what your kids or partner can take care of. Suppose you can be quick and more decisive in buying groceries, while someone else in your family might be more successful in buying groceries, and so on. Dividing your list into categories and sharing some of your shopping tasks with others will also save you a lot of time, gas, effort, and dealing with not-so-supportive store staff.