Online shopping is a common pastime of today’s consumers as they quarantine themselves in their homes. Amazon, OzSale, Alibaba, EziBuy, and BuyInvite are just some of the many popular online shopping websites that shoppers frequent today to avail of anything they desire and need amid the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. These digital retail establishments offer various items that satisfy the needs of the people and make them feel better despite the impacts of the global health threat. Among the merchandise people can check out from the shopping portals are scented candles, karaoke machine, women’s accessories, jigsaw puzzles, ping-pong table, and so much more. The e-commerce establishments have got a whole world of products for consumers of diverse age ranges.
Digital Shopping Transactions as Consumers’ Outlet amid COVID-19
Josette Freeman serves as the national program coordinator of SMART Recovery Australia. Her program affiliation is a free initiative that assists members of the public with troubled and addictive behaviours. Freeman explained the people’s high propensity to engage in online shopping nowadays. She affirmed that the COVID-19 dilemma had worsened the consumers’ conditions, especially those struggling from anxiety. Furthermore, she remarked that a majority of these members of society require some structure in their lives to survive. Nonetheless, Freeman pointed out that this type of order had vanished in the people’s lives at this point amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Also, she mentioned that, for plenty of people, realising that the future is uncertain for them makes them feel unsettled. With these scenarios involving the widespread rise in negative emotions, Freeman said that the consumers had required an easily accessible outlet to deal with their anxiety. Hence, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a surge in online spending. By shopping online, consumers get to feel better, Freeman cited. Online shopping may offer self-soothing relief and short-term pleasure. Plus, it serves as an activity that gives a person a temporary, feel-good distraction, the SMART Recovery Australia official added.
Effects of COVID-19 to the National Economy and the Consumers
Kylie Holford described the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic to the economy of Australia. She relayed that it might take an extensive period to achieve economic recovery. Plus, the deputy chairperson of the Financial Counsellors Association of New South Wales remarked that, in the next six months, it is likely that the people would not be returning to how situations were before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. Holford said that these citizens might grapple from underemployment, too. Thus, she advised that consumers need to be especially cautious when spending their money because Australia is currently facing economic precariousness. Furthermore, Holford cited that people have to be mindful as they safeguard themselves and look forward to surpassing the immediate healthcare threat.
4 Feasible Digital Shopping Tips Help the Economy & Consumer Budget
Holford and Freeman advocated for being an intelligent consumer amid the coronavirus crisis. Hence, they gave some insights for online shoppers. These tips facilitate spending in a manner that benefits both the consumers’ budget and the national economy.
1. Watch out for and prevent “compulsive buying disorder.”
Consumers can get the urge to go online shopping when they begin feeling the discomforts of anxiety, especially during the highly stressful coronavirus crisis. Unpleasant thoughts will typically rush towards their minds as they experience pressure-filled days, or if they are struggling with financial problems that the COVID-19 dilemma has brought. When people cannot control their undesirable emotions, they can suffer from compulsive buying disorder. This mental health problem involves a person engaging in excessive shopping as a coping mechanism. Patients with compulsive buying disorder fail to realise the repercussions of their damaging actions to themselves, especially to their financial situations.
2. Create and follow a spending plan.
The coronavirus crisis has led people to feel stuck at home. Shopping online can be among the enjoyable activities for them. However, consumers need to stay mindful when buying enticing items from various shopping portals. They need to have an awareness of their actual budget. Furthermore, online shoppers should understand the disparity of their wants and needs. They should know the surplus cash they have if any, and what they can afford to spend, too. In this way, they can control their spending and not suffer from being broke later on.
3. Patronise locally made merchandise.
Splurging one’s hard-earned money on online shopping can be both positive and meaningful for consumers if they support products made in Australia. Moreover, shoppers can help the economy if they avail of merchandise that local companies produced. Spending with kindness and social consciousness supports Australian firms and products, which in turn benefit more people in society amid the coronavirus crisis.
4. Be careful with loans and “buy now, pay later” offers.
Some banks allow consumers to relish their online shopping activities despite the coronavirus crisis. They offer zero interest in their clients’ shopping transactions. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has left plenty of consumers dealing with employment insecurity. Also, many of them have lost their means of livelihood. Thus, it is crucial for these online shoppers to avoid loan schemes and “Buy Now, Pay Later” deals. They should pay attention to fees, charges, contracts, and interest. After all, the offers of the lenders, which usually appear convenient and consumer-friendly, typically feature charges if their clients do not pay back their loans in due time.
Online shopping can be both gratifying and fun. It is because consumers get a wide array of products they can enjoy in their homes with their families while on quarantine. Nevertheless, shopping online also entails long-term repercussions. Consumers who are facing unemployment, cut in their working hours, or slashed incomes are, indeed, vulnerable. They may find themselves in trouble when already paying for the items they bought online.
Hence, digital shopping can be enjoyable if people exercise self-control. Moreover, they can prevent the financial troubles that mindless online shopping results if they find alternative methods to spend their time along with their loved ones. These activities which they can perform with their families at the comforts of their home are walking in the yard, watching their favourite program online or on TV, and simply talking and bonding with one another. These examples of activities are manageable and doable, and consumers can perform them until the coronavirus restrictions get lifted. Besides, they protect the people against the adverse financial consequences that uncontrolled online shopping involves.