Recall your last Shopping experience and list out the shopping traps, you got caught up with. Compare against this standard list of common shopping mistakes, shoppers tend to commit:
a) Forgetting your grocery list or shopping list, back home
b) Not sure, which are the items, you’re running short on
c) Enticed at the sight of all ‘New Arrivals’ and other displays at the store
d) Tickled by the idea of saving smart with “Huge Sales” and other such captions
e) Missed on one of the ‘Most Needed Items’
f) The “Impulsive shopping disorder”
g) Your kids running all over the store persuaded you, into purchasing a stack of unwanted stuff. Of course, you couldn’t say no to him!
h) You lost track of your shopping budget, going overboard!
i) Comparative shopping syndrome: Other shoppers give you pointers on what else you could need
j) Not so well Informed Store Assistants! Web could have been better than this
k) Long queues & waiting lines at the check counters. Time Out!!!
l) Jam-Packed parking lots, at the mall. And that extra effort, gas and the swelling bills.
Honestly, if you had committed even 3-4 out of these 12 most common shopping mistakes, it’s time you should look up to web for rescue. Don’t you agree overtime, your over indulgence robs you off the much needed cash at hand? Or else, shocks you with blown up credit card bills, at the end of every month. More often than not, the shopping trips culminate into a nightmare, with not so planned and unorganized indulgence at the shoppers end. ‘Online shopping’ on other hand is one where you still have a controlled shopping environment and as such, comparatively lesser chances of splurging & regretting, later on. Nevertheless, the disadvantages that accompany are as crucial to the shoppers. For instance: insecure online payments, home delivery concerns, mishandling of the stuff by shippers, late delivery, loss of shipment, visible differences in the item displayed online and in the shipment, received and much more.
Well, how about balancing your offline shopping with a little online planning? That means you can still evade a lot of differences, anxiety and shopping mistakes by combining a few web elements (or say tools) into your shopping activity. Make your shopping more planned, organized, more manageable and more fun. This is how you could do it:
1) Prepare a list of items you need to shop for. I knew you always did! But this time, I want you to do it over the web. Go online, open up a spreadsheet or a word document and quickly list out your items. Print and take them along. Follow closely, with the requirements you have listed out.
2) Shop online with smart gadgets and carts. This means, you can directly log on to your favorite stores like HomeGrocers.com or TraderJoe or any other store, you like for grocery and other related shopping. And simply, create your online shopping lists. Print them and carry it over wherever you go.
3) Try Shopping 2.0! In case, you don’t have a preference for stores and wish to shop at a combination of stores offline or online, use web applications and shopping tools like ‘Shopping List’ at Infodoro.com or Froogle at Google.com. These web based shopping lists could be created, managed, stored and even accessed online. This is the biggest advantage, if you had been forgetting your shopping lists back home. You can login and access it anytime and even over your cell phone.
4) Creating a shopping list not always means, only jotting down all items you need. This is anyways what your brain can easily store, process and recall. What could still slip off would be stuff like quantities, brands and the stores, from where you need to get an item. Utilize shopping tools like Shopping Lists and Froogle, to create an organized shopping list with items, item descriptions, stores, quantities, categories and more details you wish to capture.
5) Shopping Smart is not always about faster and organized shopping but also saving all the dollars you can. You got it right! I was coming to coupons, you could always redeem for items at the stores you shop at. After all, why end up paying more when you know you could save with coupons. Just make sure you are on the look out for coupons from your previous purchases and that in the newspapers and do carry them along when you go shopping. There would still be many, who will forget to carry them or completely miss on making use of it, while standing at the counters and making payments. The solution is to store all your coupons in a Shopping bag, no matter whenever you get your hands on one. Make it a ritual and keep doing it always. This way, next time you go shopping, you won’t have to at least forget them back home. And to remind you of the coupons when paying off the bills, simply list coupons or add coupons to your online shopping list. That means, indicate ‘Coupons’ next to items you have it available for. And do keep an eye on your ‘Shopping list’ when paying off the bills. This way, you’ll definitely utilize your Coupons and save a few dollars. Web applications like ‘ShoppingList’ at Infodoro and even online shopping stores, have a section for coupons on their online shopping list tool and shopping carts.
6) Prioritize your Items as ‘Most needed’ to have a quick list of the immediately needed items. Again, web and a few desktop shopping applications help you filter your shopping lists by ‘Most needed’ items like for Coupons. Use these web applications and you’ll realize the shift in your overall shopping behavior besides purchasing & spending patterns.
7) Make Specialized Shopping lists sorted by Category and Stores. To make you shopping chore more manageable, you can always consider staying focused. You can split your list of items and share some of your shopping tasks with your family members, children or spouse. Web applications allow for sorting of your shopping lists and segregating of items by stores and categories in ascending or descending orders. Using web, you can forward one half of your shopping list to your spouse to let her pick up stuff from a store next to her work place and you can take care of the other half with stores, on your way back home. This way, you save time and don’t have to struggle with parking problems, at all stores you stop by. You can also sort your lists by item categories and decide what are you good at & what could be taken care of by your children or partner. Suppose, you can be quick and more decisive at grocery shopping whereas someone else in your family can do well at merchandise shopping et cetra. Splitting your list by categories and sharing some of your shopping tasks with others, would also save you a lot of time, gas, efforts and struggle with the not so supportive store staff.