The most wonderful time of the year is around the corner, and we are ready to get you prepared. The holidays bring about festive feelings of generosity and community with family and friends, but sometimes, getting in the holiday mood can create stress with gift-giving and efficient shopping. The 2021 holiday season is anticipated to be the most unpredictable holiday shopping season in years. Given post-pandemic supply shortages and that people are still recalibrating their financial well being from the pandemic, consumers are generally exploring a different take on what consumption means. Common Trust Federal Credit Union shares in your holiday excitement with ideas, insights, and tips to reset your mindset and enter the season equipped to reduce holiday brain fog. We hope we can help you proactively celebrate the season and become a holiday shopping expert.

Deck the Digital Halls

Every year, eCommerce continues to grow as consumers find that online retailers have done a lot of the heavy lifting with gift ideas and catering to budgets. Even more so, eCommerce has surged as online sources have improved for a seamless digital experience with fewer clicks and better shopping platforms. With email marketing blasts and promotions, consumers can access abundantly varietal merchandise with tremendous ease and feel good about the specials offered. One study suggests that 64% of shoppers will be more emotionally invested in their purchases than before because of the stakes set by the pandemic. 

Budget & Review Your Recipient List

Common Trust recommends first setting your holiday budget from the outset, so there are no surprises as you forge ahead on your shopping journey. Even if you plan to use credit cards, which 40% of Americans do for their holiday gifting, tackling your recipient lists with a pre-determined budget means you won’t go overboard with spending. 

Considering who you want to give to this season will help set that budget per person to protect your wallet. Create your gift receiver list and check it twice. 

Charitable & DIY Gifting for Budgeting

There are thousands of unique ideas online for artisan foods, treats, or crafty gifts that feel personal while budget-friendly. Consider online food provisions or handmade goods that feel more meaningful. Additionally, charities have made it possible to donate online in someone’s honor to a cause they value. Not only is this more personal, but any donation amount is greatly appreciated so you do not have to spend too much to make an impact. Magazine or online news subscriptions for those with particular hobbies and interests are a cost-effective and personal idea, as well as gift cards to specific retailers you know your loved one enjoys. There are now even online retailers that send unique home plants to nurture to endure past the holidays.

Price Shopping & Avoiding the Rush 

‘Tis the season for deals. With the abundance of online retailers, price comparison shopping can be an entirely daunting task itself, but online shopping still makes it easier to chase the best deal. Once your gift is in mind, allow time to price shop across at least three other retailers to ensure you are grabbing the best deal to stay within your budget. Shopping online vs. in-person also means you can subscribe to receive news and offers in advance to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. It has been reported that up to 50% of shoppers have started their holiday shopping even before Black Friday.

Play the Online Shopping Cart Game

Shopping cart abandonment is typical of online shopping behavior and occurs when website visitors place multiple items in their cart but do not complete the purchasing process. eCommerce retailers track this behavior and “watch” what you are viewing and do not purchase to email you a coupon to receive an additional discount on goods you may have planned to buy. This is a great way to get an extra discount as they want to move goods on their site.

Protect Your Identity & Your Porch

You’ve read the countless holiday horror stories of identity theft and then physical theft once your packages arrive. Holiday shopping scams are unfortunately prevalent now, as fraudsters know the holiday rush. So as you scour the internet for your gifts, beware of odd-looking websites that lack the verification methods to secure your identity, and double-check their credentials via reviews. Thieves are scouting neighborhoods looking for packages on porches, too, so once you have made your purchase, ensure you receive the shipment tracking information to follow its way to your porch to be sure you collect your goods. 

A Fun & Safe Holiday!

There are good times to be had this season! Your holiday joy and safety are Common Trust’s highest wishes for all of our members. We are here to assist you with your holiday budgeting and any other needs during this time to take advantage of year-end promotions.  

Reach out to a Common Trust team member anytime and let us know how we can help at the start of this season’s celebration.