Which Saves More: Shopping Online or Shopping in the Store?

iStock_000021550386XSmallAre you more likely to overspend or save a bunch when you shop online? Is physically being in the store more or less likely to make you spend? There are a number of factors that can affect your shopping habits in both of these situations. Let us take a look at how the shopping method you choose could affect your bottom line.

Adding on to Your Order

Marketers love add ons. These are the products or services that you buy in addition to the item or items that you actually set out to purchase, raising the amount that you spend in the store.

Online, this could be a minimum purchase amount in order to get free shipping, a discount when you purchase more than one of the same item, add on a similar item, or the add on a convenience item.

When shopping at a physical store, an add on might be anything from a candy bar or magazine that is conveniently located at the check out and easily placed on the conveyor belt, to a bulk package of sun screen on an end cap complete with a big sale sign hanging above it. It could also be a warranty or protection program that a sales person convinces you is necessary.

Either way, add ons are usually things that you didn’t intend to buy, and that can cost money. Be more strategic, such as saving up your wants until you have enough to meet minimum free shipping requirements or shopping with a list.

Already Believing It Is Yours

Marketing professionals know that once you believe that something is yours, you will purchase it. Imagining it in your life can be very powerful for your brain, and stores do everything they can to help you feel that you already own the product.

Online, you may be served up different images of the product depending on who you are where you are from, so you can better relate to it. You will also be encouraged to add an item to your cart (perhaps the store doesn’t show you the price or the options until you do) with the explanation that you can always delete it later. You probably won’t delete it later, since once it is in your virtual cart, you have already laid claim to it.

In the physical store, all it really takes to claim an item is to touch it. Studies have shown that the longer you hold an item in the store, the more likely you are to purchase it. It has become yours in your mind. This is why many stores set things up to encourage touch. Take the Apple store for example. Everything in the store is displayed in a way to get you to try it out, to touch it. The monitors, for example are angled out to get you to adjust them, and the tablets and phones are laid flat, forcing you to pick them up, if you want to see what is on the screen.

To spend less, keep your hands to yourself and don’t place items in your online cart unless you intended to purchase them in the first place.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com