Consumers loved online shopping from its inception. It yielded huge savings. But that is about to end, according to a recent study.
People always say, “It pays to shop online”. A new analysis shows that the saying is about to become a fact of the past. COVID 19 has made online shopping costlier. Thus the trend that has been there for more than five years; the downward flow of prices is being reversed.
Online Pricing Sees A Reverse Of Its Multi-Year Trend, COVID 19 Makes Shopping Costlier; Study Finds
As per the index of a reputed firm’s digital index, prices of 18 commonly bought groups of items; grocery and electronics, increased up to 2.3% over the year. In the pre-pandemic year, the price fell 5.2% in June 2019 from 2018. For five years, e-commerce led to savings of 3.5% every year.
Electronics always remained the mainstay of online shopping. Their prices fell more than 2% at the same time. But for five years, it offered consumers a savings of more than 9% each year.
The price of apparel increased up to 16% this June when compared to the annual decline of 1.9% for five years. For groceries, the numbers are 0.47% and 0.51% respectively.
As per the data available with the Government, the increase in overall pricing increased at the annual average of 5.4% this June. This, according to them is the highest in 13 years.
This happened because e-commerce is an integral part of overall consumer spending. It is now $1 for every $5 being spent. This is definitely higher than the scenario in the past; $1 for every $6.
In the month of June alone, consumers spent $73.4 on online shopping. This is more than 72% higher than their spending during the pre-pandemic time.
Experts offer differing observations on this trend. For some, the change is a temporary one, the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic. For others, tighter labor and a robust economy may be the influencers. If this is true, the change is here to stay with us for long.
Experts also noticed another change. What consumers bought online during the pandemic were not the ones they bought before it. Some even believe that this shift in interests is an indication of the future trend. Some believe that the change is an insight into the fact; the digital economy is a part of life today. And it is sure to influence online pricing.
Only three categories saw a fall in prices the year over this time, office supplies, computers, and grocery items.
The change is quite visible in the shopping of electronics. Consumers, in the past, we’re used to seeing everything getting affordable and of better quality. The change of pricing in grocery too is visible. It rose greatly and almost filled online baskets.
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Even in this tough time, you may save huge with these small tricks:
- Subscribe to retail newsletters: You will know the best deals available for anything you need.
- Use a gift card instead of your credit card: Gift cards help you eliminate impulsive buying. And you are sure to save hundreds of dollars.
- Keep track of flash sales: There are instances when retailers offer certain items at a lower-than-reasonable price. This, they do, to promote their items. Make good use of such offers.
- Let comparison tools work in your favor: The Internet is filled with tools designed to help comparison shopping. Learn to use them and get the most from them.
Lastly, look for great cash-back offers. This too is another ad campaign. Do your research well and go for the store that gives you the most for your money. The process may be slightly tough. But a bit of effort pays a lot.