The Holiday Savings Guide for the Early Bird Shopper

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Holiday shopping looks a little bit different this year. While there are certain aspects that will not change, like making a list and setting a budget, early-bird shoppers are shopping amid inflation. They need every dollar to work in their favor. 

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Those getting head starts with their holiday shopping plans have come to the right place. Early-bird shoppers: Follow these tips to ensure smart spending this year.

Watch Out for Coupons

Many shoppers will be using coupons this year to pay for holiday purchases and will be turning to apps, print holiday catalogs and in-store discounts for shopping purposes.

The use of coupons drives purchases, especially at peak prices, and shoppers will be keeping an eye out for them. Rob Weisberg, GM of incentives and intelligence at Inmar Intelligence, said survey data from Inmar shows nearly one-third of shoppers increased their coupon usage last year, with 54% doing so due to financial pressures. 

Make Your Money Work for You

“Shoppers across all categories are changing purchase decisions based on incentives provided by coupons and implications of inflation,” Weisberg said.

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The Early Bird Does Get Good Deals

Early-bird shoppers planning to get their holiday shopping done ahead of schedule are bound to save the most money this season, said Tiara Rea-Palmer, director of partnerships at CouponFollow.

Typically, there are several holiday shopping days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that offer good sales. Shoppers may be uncertain as to whether to shop on one day over the other. In the current inflation climate, it may be difficult to shop on both days. Rea-Palmer said stores usually have the best savings on Cyber Monday, but this year retailers are pushing sales as early as possible. Buying now may save shoppers more later. 

Make Your Money Work for You

No matter where you plan to shop, there is a solid chance the retailer will have a Black Friday sale. “These sales have started earlier in recent years and are almost always a full month of deals,” Rea-Palmer said.

Shop In Store and Online

In a GOBankingRates survey of 1,025 Americans, 38% said they do the majority of their holiday shopping in person. About 54% of respondents said the majority of their holiday shopping is done online. 

Should there be any overlap between online and in-person shopping? Weisberg said yes.

People should explore online and in-store shopping to maximize deals. According to Inmar data, Weisberg said, 42% of shoppers will shop in store and online equally for the holidays. Brands and retailers aren’t the only ones who should avoid losing sight of the value of in-store shopping. Consumers who don’t plan to shop in store may adjust their plans for these deals.

Make Your Money Work for You

Don’t Overlook Smaller Sales Holidays

We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about Veterans Day on Nov. 11? Rea-Palmer said many big-box stores will offer special deals and discounts on and around Veterans Day. Check in with your favorite retailer to see which types of discounts they’re offering on that day.

Don’t Be Afraid To Share Your Data

According to Inmar survey data, Weisberg said, 78% approve sharing their location data while 77% approve brands and retailers using their purchase data.

There’s a reason these approval percentages are so high. Sharing location data, Weisberg said, translates to convenience in online shopping, pickup and delivery. Purchase data allows shoppers to receive more personalized offers, discounts, rebates or coupons from brands and retailers. 

While it’s every shopper’s choice as to whether they share their data, Weisberg said you can use your data to receive more convenient, personalized incentives. 

Stick to a List

If there’s one thing every early-bird shopper is going to do, it’s make a list when it comes to gift giving for every person in their life and keeping budgets on track.

“Sticking to a list and making sure you first purchase gifts for those most important will ensure you’re not waiting until the last minute to buy those gifts which are most necessary,” Rea-Palmer said.

Waiting until the last minute to shop, which is usually incredibly stressful and may result in out-of-stock merchandise, doesn’t fly with early-bird shoppers. 

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