How to find the best department store for every budget
The big question for anyone planning to shop at a department store is whether they should consider themselves a thrifty shopper.
We all know the feeling: I spend more than I need, but I don’t want to spend more because it would feel unfair.
But a recent survey from J. Walter Thompson Group found that while most of us have budget constraints, some of us are just a bit more mindful.
Here are some tips for shoppers who want to live on the low-budget.
Pay attention to where you shop.
In a new survey, the research company J.W. Anderson surveyed 1,500 shoppers about their shopping habits and found that almost half of us shop for clothes at department stores.
A whopping 43 percent of respondents said they shop at department-store stores for “fun, inexpensive, or fun-to-wear items.”
It’s not surprising that most shoppers are more willing to shell out for clothes that are cheaper than the stores that they usually shop at.
A survey from Gartner found that 70 percent of shoppers say they have purchased clothing at department and department-shop outlets.
Get to know the stores and shoppers in your area.
A J. W. Anderson survey from 2013 found that 52 percent of American shoppers said that they shop in stores where the staff is friendly and professional, compared to just 19 percent who said the same of stores where they typically shop.
Get a feel for the stores’ atmosphere.
A recent J. Walrus survey found that shoppers are just as likely to say that a store is friendly as to say it has a friendly atmosphere.
In general, shoppers are less likely to complain about their experience shopping at a store than they are to say they are uncomfortable.
But you might not need to be comfortable to shop in a department or department- store outlet.
Walrus found that 65 percent of customers said they were satisfied with the service and quality of the store they were in, compared with 38 percent who were not satisfied.
Pay extra for convenience.
When you shop in department stores, it’s easy to feel like you’re going to pay more for a purchase, especially if you shop online.
However, there are several factors that can help you save on shopping costs.
A 2015 survey from Experian found that people who shop online for groceries are more likely to pay a premium for convenience (48 percent of consumers say they shop for convenience over shopping in-store), and people who go online to shop for apparel are more satisfied with their experience than people who do it in-person (42 percent).
Another study from the consulting firm McKinsey found that convenience can save a customer as much as 20 percent on an average purchase.
And convenience can also help you make a purchase that you might otherwise regret.
JWalrus surveyed 2,000 shoppers about how they shop online and found they are more inclined to save on a purchase if they shop with a credit card.
And while a credit score can’t tell you what you should buy, it can help tell you how much you should spend on your next purchase.
A credit score also can help narrow the choices of items that you can choose from and can help guide you when it comes to how much to spend on certain items.
Shop for more than one type of clothing.
The more items you shop, the more likely you are to buy different kinds of clothing, a new study from McKinsey finds.
For example, people who said they shopped for clothing online were more likely than people to buy clothes in stores and department stores for casual and sporty clothing (21 percent versus 13 percent), while people who shopped in stores were more than twice as likely as people who did it online (38 percent versus 21 percent).
And for those who bought more than a certain amount of clothing online, the amount of that purchase increased the more clothing they bought (24 percent versus 20 percent).
The study also found that more than 50 percent of online shoppers said they would buy a different clothing item at a discount if it were offered at a similar price.
Shop the latest trends.
If you shop at the latest department store or department store outlet, you’ll likely be able to find more items that fit your budget.
For instance, a recent study from Experien found that online shoppers were more willing than store-level shoppers to buy items that were made in the U.S.A. or abroad (24 versus 16 percent) and more likely (24 to 17 percent) to buy styles that are “modern” or “trendy.”
Also, online shoppers are likely to be willing to spend up to $150 more on clothing at a new outlet than they would at a current department store (33 percent versus 29 percent).
But if you’re just looking to save money, JWalros findings show that a new department store might be worth it if you want a trendy fit, a timeless look,