Shopping is an important part of daily life, whether it’s to buy food, clothes, personal care, home appliances, or leisure items. For many, it takes up a big chunk of the monthly budget as well as of their available time and energy. With the considerable amount of money, time, and energy being expended on this activity, people are constantly in search of the best ways to save up on these scarce resources every time they shop.
The importance of saving money cannot be understated. It provides financial protection in the event of life’s uncertainties, helps pay for large purchases, gives a greater sense of financial freedom and comfort in retirement, and provides high-yielding investment opportunities.
In shopping, saving money means finding ways to pay less and paying for the best price of the items you intend to buy. Undeniably, most consumers are thinking about money when shopping, trying to save where they can. Paying less even a dollar if taken together from all the purchases, can accumulate over time and can form part of the savings in the long run.
A good way to save money on your purchases is to shop around, check out the competition and compare prices from various stores. By doing this, there might be a chance you will find something “on sale” or at a cheaper price at one store. Therefore, it is not advisable to purchase an item in the first place you see it because it is very likely that you can score it at a cheaper price somewhere else. Another popular option to save money when shopping is the use of coupons offering monetary or percentage discounts on certain products or at certain stores as a part of sales promotions. If you have some spare time and energy to look for discount coupons from newspaper, magazines or online and try the money-saving tips mentioned above, the savings you will achieve is worth the extra time and effort.
Saving Time and Energy
Shopping around and collecting coupons can be time-consuming and certainly not for everyone. For some people, it is not about saving money all the time. Choosing an item with a higher price but saves them time and energy is sometimes a right decision. For them, spending several hours researching to save a few dollars is not worth the extra time and energy. The amount of money saved devalues their time which could be translated to more work, opportunities and time with family or hobbies.
In the past, people generally valued money over time. They were willing to spend hours searching for a good deal or doing tasks on their own, just to save a few dollars. They are more than happy to devote a weekend doing house renovations or repairing engine cars so as not to pay a professional. But those days are gone as people are more time-sensitive today, increasingly valuing time and effort over money. As time is considered the most important commodity, they will gladly hire the services of a professional if it means they will get to spend a weekend spending time with family or enjoying a hobby
These changing priorities likewise led to a shift in critical factors affecting purchasing decision. Five years ago, the price and quality of the product were the most critical factors in determining spending choices but today, the idea of convenience greatly appeals to consumers. This is mainly because of time scarcity and increasingly busy lifestyles of people between commuting, work, school, family, and business. Convenience comes with a price and many consumers are willing to pay more for the luxury of a convenient customer experience, all to save time and effort.
The emphasis on convenience as an innovative determinant of purchasing decision is correspondingly changing how people shop, favoring online shopping over the traditional retail store. As a backbone of e-commerce, convenience is the main reason online shopping has boomed over the last few years. With time-saving, convenient and stress-free mechanism of online selling, customers are able to get all the stuff they need to be delivered straight to their doorstep avoiding long queues and saving gas, parking cost, time, and energy.
With this shift in customer expectations, shopping at convenience stores has also become popular despite the goods sold therein are quite expensive. This is mainly because of the convenience it offers, making people’s shopping experience quick, easy and hassle-free.
Their proximity to home or office, round-the-clock service and variety of basic household products offered are appealing to on-the-go and time-poor shoppers. Consumers can quickly stop in to grab everything from a bottled beverage to ready-to-eat meals and pick up some groceries like milk, sugar, eggs, bread, or over-the-counter medicines if they suddenly run out, thereby saving time and energy of driving to a nearest grocery store or shopping mall.
Purchasing Decision Varies with Demographic
In order to make a right purchasing decision, what then to prioritize – saving money, time or effort? There’s no absolute answer to this for it is a case to case basis depending on the availability of resources on your side, what resources mostly matter to you, and the opportunity cost or trade-offs you are able to stand.
Students are not yet capable of earning and their budget is relatively limited; hence, saving money might be their top priority when shopping. Since time and energy are on their side, they are more price-conscious and great bargain hunters. They are keen on taking advantage of great deals to spend less on the things they want to buy. The money-saving tips of shopping around, comparing prices, and collecting coupons & discount cards are mostly employed by this group.
In shopping for a vacation, students in general, prefer a do-it-yourself trip because the rates are much cheaper compared to shopping from travel agencies. With enough time, energy, and digital savviness, they can stand chasing the best deals and putting together the nitty- gritty of travel planning.
For parents, who are the busiest consumers and wishing for extra hours in a day to complete the chores lined up in a day, the right purchasing decision might be on saving time. Time for them is of essence, the main reason they are willing to pay for the cost of convenience.
Hence, online shopping is important to them for it enables them to accomplish routine purchases like groceries, personal care items and pet supplies while doing other household chores.
With so much housework to do on a daily basis, parents need an extra pair of hands to make life much easier. Hence, shopping for multitasking and smart household appliances has become on top of their list. Multitasking products, which are designed to perform two or more tasks at once with a minimum amount of effort, allow parents to reduce the time spent over tedious chores to free up some of their time for something more productive. Smart household appliances like oven, robot vacuum cleaners and refrigerator bring new levels of convenience, control, and efficiency. For parents, the added level of convenience resulting to saved time and energy offered by these smart appliances are worth the steep price.
For retirees who might not have enough energy to shop, saving energy could be the top consideration in making purchasing decision. This is manifested in their shopping habits of enjoying simple layouts, simple packaging & labels, quality products, in-store dining options, and shopping in stores near their homes.
For many, retirement is the ideal life stage to focus on activities such as travel and hobbies as these increase their life satisfaction, the reason their shopping preferences are more on experiences and services over goods. In shopping for a vacation, retirees opt to hire experienced travel agents who can help them plan almost every aspect of a memorable and stress-free travel experience even for a higher price. While they have adequate time to plan a do-it-yourself trip, they lack the energy to explore and put together a vast amount of travel information for a smooth vacation.