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…
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