Be watchful of online Shopping Behavior

Do you purchase things very frequently online? Do you buy unnecessary item as there is a discount offer for item in online market-place?

Today we can purchase most items via online market place. Online shopping have their own benefits that is not available on purchase via shops. Women can purchase items like napkins, inner wear online with freedom and hesitation. Your choices are not limited by the brands displayed by shopkeeper. You can read reviews on items to be purchased and make sure about item quality, prior to placing order. Once the item gets packed and arrives at your home, you can pay for the same, added with convenience and avoiding traffic jam. I agree with these benefits of online shopping.

Sharing my experience with Thanksgiving day Sale in first year of my stay in USA. I stood on queue to enter shop with a friend at 4 am, assuming best branded items were available at discount. No, I was wrong. Unknown brand items and items not sold, outdated items were on offer.

Interacting with people made me realize that the sale is an opportunity for companies to push items not sold in year at discount. People get lured by discount and make purchases without clarity whether items are really needed, add to their credit card bill, which gets paid till next year sale. I did not visit next year.

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Ask yourself questions: Have you made use of things bought by you in last 6 months? Do you remembers items bought by you across last 6 months? What did you forget? Are there any unopened package lying around? Have you noticed office colleagues spend time on online shopping and running to front gate to pick up delivery and coordinating with delivery boy for logistics. Have you observed, a set of unopen e-eCommerce packets at friend or colleague desk? Your colleague or friend is not solely responsible for their state. May be they are addicted to online shopping.

One may get surprised to hear the word “addiction” used here. You may have heard the word addiction used with excessive cigarette smoking, alcohol or  drug consumption. Yes online shopping can become addiction. Let us understand more.

On browsing and viewing a particular item or particular book on eCommerce site,  the same item gets displayed as ads in web pages of the non-commerce website like your email or social networking sites. A weak person to shopping may end up purchasing the item. For convenience, people have permitted  self tracking from different aspects. This means advertisers to know about your behavior patterns and the possible ways that you can be attracted to make a purchase. The advertisers may also know industry you work, and lure displaying items bought by your peers or folks in your social networks. When items you like/ are displayed, there is more probability for you to  buy item.

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Track the amount of time spend on the online shopping sites. May be you think that time is saved by purchasing online. Measure time spend before coming to decision whether online shopping saves time or consumes more time. Check whether you have already got the habit of impulsive buying?

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The human mind is wired to focus on one thing at a time. So a big minus on the price tag can easily divert your attention from everything else. All you can focus on is getting the deal cheaper than everyone else, and it’s easy to overlook value. That is exactly the bait the eCommerce companies have laid for you.

Keep asking ” Do I purchase for the sake of buying or I have a need for item and buy the same.” Advent of payment banks and digital wallets can lead people to spend more money. If you fear being addicted to online shopping.

1.Go to eCommerce site and look at “My orders” section. Folks using multiple social networking accounts to login and make purchase needs to create a consolidated view from all accounts where you have made purchase. You also start to see categories where more items are purchased.

2.Calculate consolidated expenses on your debit cards and credit cards. Compare the same with year back or period when you were not doing much of online purchases. Have you started to spend more money on shopping? Create a saving goal to be achieve in the next 6 months and that would help you to restrict your impulsive buying.

3. Observe your behavior when your online purchased item is not delivered on time. Do you waste time coordinating and get frustrated and post harsh comments on twitter? These frustrated moments indicate your attitude towards online shopping and are times to self observe to understand your behavior towards online shopping. When we crib about other’s inefficiency, first observe yourself for becoming addicted.

For people realizing their addiction to online shopping, 3 things to start with.
• Uninstall shopping related mobile application.
• Push all the promotional emails from eCommerce websites in to your spam folder.
• Unsubscribe for promotional emails from online commerce sites. (Do not expect commerce sites to make this process seamless).

To complete, while there is none to help you learn to save, there are lot of IT start-ups helping you to spend money and get loans in easy and convenience of your home. We are in era similar to era where credit cards were introduced. Like people suffered by overspending on credit cards, people will suffer from online shopping addiction.

Much more happens to influence your attitude towards online shopping, leading to addictions. Is there Indian re-habitation center to help online shopping addicts?

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