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The Cost of Clicks

How to Stop Overspending Online

The internet has revolutionized how consumers shop and spend money. With the ease of not having to leave your bed and next-day delivery, shopping on our phones or laptops has become the norm. In fact, more than 75% of Americans are shopping online at least once a month.1

There is a massive amount of data available to marketers between search engine advertising, social media targeting, and display ads, which allows them to target users with highly personalized content and emails. Marketing teams look to make shopping online a breeze by creating simplistic user experiences that convert to sales. While this is good for their business, it can cause consumers to spend more than they should on the internet.

How can you avoid overspending online? The financial experts from Elements are here with three tactics that retailers use and proven methods to avoid unnecessary spending:

Reached by Retargeting

It’s likely that you’ve recently visited an online shopping website and then received digital ads for products that you’ve viewed. In most cases, only about 2% of users make a purchase on their first visit to an online retailer, so companies use retargeting techniques to reach the other 98%.2

This retargeting technique can have an impact on your wallet. In fact, you are 43% more likely to buy a product once you’ve received retargeting ads for it. It’s tough to say no to something that might be out of your budget or price range when it is constantly showing up on your feeds.

Expert Tips to Avoid Overspending
  • Shop in private browsing mode. Use the private browsing mode on your phone or computer to protect yourself from retargeting and the temptation it creates to make impulse purchases.
  • Take 48 hours before making purchases. Spend two days thinking about any large or unbudgeted purchase, especially something that you may have been just browsing, and you’re now receiving advertisements for it.

Overloaded with Emails

How many times a day does your phone or computer alert you of a new email? The average office worker receives more than 100 emails per day, from business communications to retail promotions.3

Email can be a handy way to communicate with coworkers and friends, but marketers have learned how to strategically flood your inbox with messages that entice you to spend your hard-earned cash.

Expert Tips to Avoid Overspending
  • Unsubscribe from email lists. Are you tempted by a certain brand or product? It’s best to simply unsubscribe from their email list to avoid seeing frequent deals or special promotions. Remember, it’s not a bargain if you can’t afford it.
  • Use a focused or sorted inbox. While some people don’t want to miss out on emails from their favorite brands, sorting your inbox can help you avoid seeing emails that might trigger impulse spending. If you’re thinking about purchasing something from a brand, head over to the folder with these promotional emails and see the deals on your own time.

Tempted by Simplicity

We’re so much more likely to do something when it’s easy – it’s just human nature. With nonstop access to shopping at our fingertips and single-click purchasing power, it’s easier than ever to make purchases.

Expert Tips to Avoid Overspending
  • Delete shopping apps from your phone. The ease of visiting these apps with a quick tap is tempting to nearly everyone. By deleting the apps, you’ll still be able to visit retailers in your browser, but it will take a few extra steps to make a purchase.
  • Remove saved credit card information. If you’re online shopping while lying on the couch, it’s much less tempting to make a purchase when you have to get up and find your credit card. Additionally, removing this information protects you from security breaches at retailers in the future.

Have questions? Our credit union is here for you. Contact Elements Financial for support in all aspects of your financial life. 





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