Showing posts with label Holiday Shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday Shopping. Show all posts

Thursday, December 25, 2014

How Technology Changed Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping has been a marker for consumer sentiment and spending for a long time. Black Friday and the week before Christmas is a span of time that many retailers use to gauge their potential profits for the year. As technology advances the patterns of purchasing are changing as the people stretch their purchasing behavior beyond its traditional boundaries turning brick-n-mortar companies into something more like pick-up locations.

Longer Purchasing Times:

Online shopping allows for a longer purchasing time in search of deals and sales. In the past, consumers would rush down to their local malls and stores in search of product deals. With the advent of the Internet consumers can now make make of their purchases online. They do not need to spend the time and energy fighting other customers. Store foot traffic no longer represents sales.

Searching and Then Buying:

The Internet is used by many consumers as a way of searching out products, finding the best deals, determining locations and then going to the store to purchase. In many ways the Internet has allowed consumers to comparison shop quickly and search through store locations to find the best place to purchase. This means that prices will become more competitive with each other and smaller impulse purchases are less likely.

Consumer Reviews:

Big ticket items take a lot of time and energy to purchase. Buying the right product and scouring stores can waste a lot of time. Some businesses sell the same product more than others. Consumers take a risk when purchasing products. Reading consumer reviews lower this risk and help them make better decisions. Educated consumers are more difficult to take advantage of.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday and the Holiday Shopping Season-The Philosopher and the Capitalist

Black Friday is the day that a mass of Christmas shoppers line the store fronts in search of hard fought treasures. This year Black Friday is being stretched from Thursday evening till the end of business on Saturday. Crowds are not so heavy, consumers not so excited, and sales over the entire season will be a better determinant of retail success. Whether you are standing in line or buying over the net consider what Black Friday means to you.

Changes in days are not the only differences you will notice this year. The crowds are a little thinner and there have been a few more protests over excessive consumerism. People simply are not buying everything they can this year and are instead focusing on those big ticket items that save them money; assuming that buying these items are necessary. Many others are skipping the crazy shopping madness and instead searching for their products online.

The problem with Black Friday is not the deals or even the interest. The problem lies in how people rely on buying as many products as possible to show their interest in others. Lots of products and expensive gifts are not the only activity on the menu. Consider the time you spend with others and the memories. Instead of crashing through the door maybe you should take your family out, get lunch, and go shopping together.

The anti-consumer culture crowd came out this year to teach us the value of Thanksgiving. I applaud them for their efforts and the philosopher in me thinks in many ways they are right. I refused to stand in line or worry about whether or not I get a specific expensive item on my "Santa List". Instead, I decided to make shopping this year stretched out over a few months.

Black Friday does act as a marker for holiday season sales. The theory is that if Black Friday goes well then the rest of the year will also go well. Throughout much of the year retailers don't make much money and most of their income is allocated to paying bills and overhead. Black Friday and the holiday season is a time when many turn their red line into a black line for the year.

The capitalist in me hopes the retailers do well and positive consumer sentiment of late fosters higher sales. Retailers are an important part of the economy. They take manufactured products, built from raw materials, and sent to locations by drivers, that are put up on shelves by store workers. This equates to employment, employment, employment. Even Scrooge could understand the connection between employment and bread on Tiny Tim's plate.

Whether your a philosopher or a capitalist, or a little of both, you can appreciate the value of holiday shopping and the meaning of the holidays to a great many people. Perhaps if we focus on what is important to us, and the people we love, we can still enjoy buying products and keeping the spirit of the Holiday Season alive.  Next year shop throughout the year, look for deals, save up your money, and enjoy more of the holiday season doing what you want. Good luck and happy hunting.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Popular Black Friday Web Sites

It is tradition that the first day after Thanksgiving people crowd the mall and their favorite outlets to get the best deals they can. If you were not successful in waiting in line to get the prices you want then there are alternatives. As a last chance effort or as your main method of saving money you can always try out some of the popular shopping sites. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tips for Saving Time and Money During the Holiday Shopping Blitz

Holidays are a great time to shop and enjoy local events. All of the latest brands, newest technology, and deals seem to converge during the holidays. Despite the great joy of holiday shopping there also comes with it considerable stress. With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas season jumping forward we have only a few precious weeks to get our affairs in order. You may want to consider a few tips before getting started. 

-Make a List and Check it Twice: Think through the things you want to buy. Having a list will help ensure you are not distracted by all the extra stuff. The list should contain the most expensive items you desire to purchase. You likely don’t want to list little Johnny’s socks. 

-Create a Budget: It is best to look at how much you are willing to spend before the holiday season. Separate this budget into the big ticket item pool and the loose leaf pool for the small items you will inevitably buy but don’t have any specific plans for. 

-Search Online for the Best Deals: Sometimes you can find the best deals and purchase your items online without ever needing to go to the store. If the prices are better than what you can find in the store without any hassle go ahead and buy them. 

 -Know the Stores and the Products: When purchasing expensive products it is beneficial to search online and find the stores that carry these products and the price they charge. You may be shocked to see that the prices vary widely. 

-Create Your Schedule and Plans: One you know the stores and the items they contain it can be beneficial to pick days you are going to each store. Schedule plenty of time for browsing, sitting around for coffee, eating lunch and enjoying your time. This is a stress savor. Spread your shopping over the few weeks. 

-Wrap your Gifts When You Buy Them: After bringing home the gifts it is beneficial to wrap those up quickly so sneaky little eyes don’t have a chance to browse. People will keep walking by the tree every time something is added. You might find a little joy when family members try and guess what is new. It also provides a pleasant atmosphere for visitors.

-Save Money throughout the Year: If you don’t want to max out your credit cards it is beneficial to create an account and put your money away throughout the year. Interest bearing accounts will give you a little extra money but don’t expect much. Shopping is less stressful when the money is already available.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Three Searchable Black Friday Sites

If you’re planning to avoid the long lines and enjoy holiday shopping while not having to skip out on the family you may want to enjoy some Black Friday Sites. Nothing is more annoying than freezing in a line all evening in order to be a“door buster” who screams, clobbers, and pull products out of each other’s hands.  Why go through the mess when you can search online?

Each of these sites is chosen because they allow for a searchable function.  Because I am seeking a T3I Cannon Rebel 18.1 Megapixel professional camera for under $350, I decided to wait until Black Friday to make my purchase.  Instead of banging down the door I better spend the holidays with family and let my fingers do all of the work.  It not only saves time but also saves the masses of crowds.

Black Friday started somewhere in Philadelphia and expanded to other areas as a time when holiday shopping starts.  Before this time, it was associated with Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the 1864 stock market crash. Some believe it is a time when large retailers with huge overhead start to turn a profit for the year. This profit is one reason why the Holiday season, including Black Friday, becomes a major benchmark for retailers. A few percentage points can make a huge difference.