Halloween displays have already been out for weeks, which means one thing: it’s high time to start planning your holiday shopping.
Even though trick-or-treaters won’t be ringing bells for a few more days yet, online retailers are busy preparing to roll out holiday deals for shoppers who want to get a head start on their shopping lists. Consumers who want to avoid long lines and sold-out items would be wise to take advantage of early shopping online – especially with retailers competing for customers with offers like free shipping, discount codes, and limited-time-only promotions.
A survey released by the National Retail Federation said that about 52 percent of people surveyed plan to shop online this holiday season, with 22 percent of those starting their shopping before Halloween. Shop.org’s eHoliday survey found that about 60 percent of online retailers had started their online holiday marketing prior to Halloween. Last year, only 52 percent of online retailers had begun holiday promotions in October.
Savvy Shoppers Won’t Pay Shipping
Shop.org’s survey also found that nearly 90 percent of online retailers will offer free shipping in some form. Thirty percent will offer free shipping on all purchases with no conditions, while the rest will require minimum purchases or have other guidelines for free shipping offers.
With free shipping, it’s easy for consumers to save time, gas money, and time waiting at the register, so smart shoppers will scratch all the names off their lists using their laptops.
Cash Back Online
When shoppers use a cash back credit card for their online holiday shopping, they can save even more. Credit-Land.com editor-in-chief Michael Germanovsky says that people should try to combine deals to squeeze the most savings out of the season.
“By using a credit card that offers a certain percentage of cash back on purchases, whether it’s one percent or five percent, customers can save even more when they combine that with the free shipping and online discount codes that abound this year,” says Germanovsky. He adds that getting a zero-percent on purchases credit card can make sense for holiday shopping, “provided the customer is careful. Creating your own zero-interest financing for big purchases this holiday season can be a great way to make the season affordable, but customers need to make sure they have a plan to pay off their debt before the zero-interest period ends.”
Half of Americans Already Holiday Shopping by Halloween
Though Shop.org’s survey said that only half of us are holiday shopping by Halloween, almost all the rest will begin in early November. That means before Thanksgiving, 93 percent of consumers will already be stocking up on holiday goodies.
Shopping online, sticking to a budget, and using credit cards to increase savings are just three ways to make holiday shopping easier, more enjoyable, and more affordable this year.