The countdown to Christmas has begun, and mobile shopping is set to play a key role in festive season spending patterns.
There’s a lot to be said for shopping on your smartphone or tablet. It’s safe, it’s quick and it’s convenient – plus it offers the chance to beat the queues during the festive season.
And it’s a trend which has taken shoppers by storm. The ING International Survey on Mobile Banking (2016) indicates 49% of Australians have bought something using their mobile device in the past 12 months – that’s a 6% increase on the previous year.
Shopping heaven may be just a click away, but it could pay to consider the following tips before you ‘add to cart’:
1. Shop around for the best deal
Try and balance convenience with value for money. Almost one in four (38%) mobile shoppers in Australia said they’re more likely to shop in a particular online store if that store saves their details for one-click ordering. However, it could be more cost-effective to shop around and compare prices rather than locking yourself into one particular retailer.
Those extra few minutes spent entering your details with a new retailer could add up to valuable savings.
2. Check the return policies
When the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on, the pressure of having to buy a gift when you’re ‘on the clock’ may increase your odds of purchasing a gift that’s not quite right.
Check return policies for the online store you’re buying from, just as you would in a bricks and mortar store. That way, if you have second thoughts later, you can get a refund or exchange.
3. Debit versus credit?
Along with decisions around who to buy for, and what to buy, you’re also faced with the decision around how to pay for purchases – credit card or debit card?
While credit cards may offer some flexibility when it comes to seasonal shopping, bear in mind it could mean heading into 2017 weighed down by card debt and costly interest charges.
Consider paying with your debit card to sail through the holiday period debt-free.
4. Don’t get carried away
The ease of browsing on the go when you’re commuting, or waiting for friends in a restaurant, can put products in front of you which you may not really need or want.
Resist temptation by writing a list of people you need to buy for, a few gift ideas, and an approximate budget for each, to help stay focused.
And remember, with the ING DIRECT mobile app you can check the balances of your accounts without logging in.
5. Save some spending money for the sales
We may set out buying gifts for our nearest and dearest, but we’re also partial to splashing out on ourselves too.
The Australian Retailers Association estimates we splurged more than $16bn at the post-Christmas sales in the first 2 weeks of 2016, with $2.3bn spent on Boxing Day alone.
So, while the ease of Christmas shopping via mobile means you’re likely to come across a few gift ideas for yourself too, consider how urgent it is and look at waiting for the discounts to come into play in the New Year.
Many sales even take place in the lead up to Christmas but if not, chances are they’re only a few days away…
The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.