Ways to Plan your Online Shopping During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is coming, sneaking up on us while we are stuck at work, or in those quiet moments when you realize that you haven’t even started your holiday shopping. Most of us will turn to online shopping options this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you can wait!  Supply chain disruptions and cyber-attacks are slowing down shipping and delaying deliveries across the nation. Let’s take a few moments to consider ways to plan out your online shopping, to ensure that you are prepared for the holiday season.  

Plan ahead

First, take stock of your holiday plans. If you are traveling, consider what you’ll need to pack and bring with you. If you are staying home, what household necessities will you need to stay comfortable over the holiday season? Are you prepared for potential shortages, and will you need to stock up now on your favorite food brands? Taking the time to plan ahead will release stress later on and make you feel more prepared for anything that comes.

Do your research on major purchases

There are always a few major purchases during the holiday season, due to gift giving and basic seasonal home upkeep. If you are planning on a new appliance or a large gift this season, start pricing it out now to make sure you aren’t price gouged at the last minute. Some stores will even let you put your item on lay-away, or will let you pay for your purchase over a few months, making it even easier to get your large purchases out of the way early.

Make a list 

Sit down in a quiet place, because it’s time to plan. Make a list of all the gifts you plan to get for those in your life. Then take account of any large meals you will be responsible for, and list out the menu options. Now, be prepared to make adjustments based on availability – but not so many adjustments as would be necessary if you waited for the last minute.

Value quality over quantity

Instead of picking up a mountain of cheaply made gifts this season, focus on selecting one high-quality gift per loved one. Mittens, laser pointers and earmuffs are inexpensive, but typically break before too long. If finances are an issue, consider making your gifts this year, and devote some time to getting just the right materials. Enlisting the help of your family or friends for this step could be the start of a little pre-holiday party, so break out the cheese plate and start crafting a heartfelt gift!

Map out your shopping beforehand 

You’ve been planning and listing, so now it’s time to decide where you will find each item. Many of us will be turning to the internet for most of our shopping, but there will be a few items we will want to buy fresh or from a local store. Map out your shopping to ensure you get everything you need on your first visit, and aren’t surprised by any predictable shortages.

Make sure to check shipping and delivery times

Online shopping is easy, but if you forget to check the shipping or delivery times, you could end up with holiday gifts arriving after the holidays, and after all your family has gone home. Look for online businesses with a local shipping warehouse, to ensure all your orders are delivered on-time, and with a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

When shopping online, check the different payment options 

Part of the joy of online shopping is the many different options at the click of a button, but not all online shops are created equal. Before completing your order, check for different payment options, and go with the company who is most following digital payment trends of the day. Many eCommerce stores are offering interesting payment methods where you can parse out your payments over time, or use an E-wallet for faster payment.

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Considering buying experiences–not just stuff

The one thing everyone is craving after two years of social distancing, is the chance to get away from the house and see the world. Consider buying those you love experiences this holiday season, over stuff and things. Get your favourite aunt a night away in a fun and unique Airbnb or a bed and breakfast, or make a charity donation or name a star after your least favourite cousin!

Planning the holiday season is difficult, but planning your shopping doesn’t need to be. Start getting organized now to ensure that your holiday shopping doesn’t sneak up and surprise you at an inopportune moment, and impress your family with your tuned-in shopping and gift giving skills.

Article by Uma Campbell

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