Ways Consumers Use Resources Before Buying

16th May 2017

The Internet has dramatically altered how consumers shop for everything from a new pair of shoes to much more significant items, such as a car or a house. From websites to mobile apps, technology is now available at our fingertips that enables us to make faster and better buying decisions than ever before. These are just a few of the primary ways consumers use websites and apps to improve their shopping experience when buying a wide range of items.

Comparison Shopping for Quality Products
Long before you start looking at prices for products, you typically will try to find at least a few products that meet your specific needs. For example, you may be looking for an item that is a specific color, size or shape. Perhaps you need it to have specific features. The Internet and mobile apps make it simple for consumers to search through products at multiple stores without having to leave their home. They can also shop from their office, while sitting in a waiting room and in many other locations. Product details are readily available at your fingertips, and you no longer have to spend hours driving from store to store to browse through their inventory.

Learning About Sales and Promotions
Many people regularly look online for sales and promotions on specific items. This is most common around the holiday season, which is the busiest shopping time throughout the year. For example, consumers may preview Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads online to plan out their online purchases or to determine which stores they will visit on Black Friday to find the best deals. This is an extreme example of how consumers use online flyers and ads to make decisions, but this process is repeated throughout the year. Many consumers have signed up to receive emails or newsletters that announce sales at their favorite stores. 

Reading Consumer Reviews
Years ago, consumers had to rely on word of mouth or the rare magazine or newspaper review about products or services to make a somewhat informed buying decision. Largely, however, their buying decisions were based on how desirable the features were or how appealing the marketing was. Today, however, consumers can easily read online reviews about products from people who have already used the products. They can learn how well features performed, if the product was durable and more. These reviews have made it necessary for companies to improve their products and to deliver quality merchandise to the public. 

Using Coupon Codes
Saving money is a top goal for many consumers, and savvy consumers maximize the benefit of the Internet to achieve this goal. Coupon codes are available through many sources online. Consumers and retailers often share these codes in different ways. You may obtain them through the retailer directly, through a coupon code website, through social media contacts and more. Because these codes can save consumers a tremendous amount of money, some consumers will not make a purchase online without first searching for a coupon code out of habit. 

Determining Which Store to Shop At
In past years, it was common for consumers to spend hours driving around town to different stores to find the right products to buy. Whether you were shopping for a car, a prom dress, a new bat for spring practice or something else, you needed to see and compare multiple products. You also needed to find a store that had a great return policy and that actually had the product that you want in stock. Today, consumers can do all of this online. You can even verify that products are in stock at stores before you shop, or a website may direct you to a different store in the chain that has one of the products in stock. 

While there were some aspects of old-fashioned shopping trips that were fun, they also were tedious, tiring and often unproductive. You can now use the Internet to get a great deal on the product you really want at the best price, and you can save time in the process. If you are not using the Internet in each of these ways before you shop, you may be having a less desirable shopping experience than is possible otherwise. 

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