Somehow, we blinked, and now the holiday rush is here! What’s a busy working mom to do? You might have your eye on a few holiday shopping deals for your kiddos, or you might be totally clueless (hello, fellow preteen moms!)
Should you shop online? Visit stores in person? Take advantage of store pick up? There are no wrong answers, and your choice could depend on budget, personality, or scheduling. Every shopping option has its own list of pros and cons. Let’s explore!
The popularity of online shopping exploded several years ago, but in recent times it gives brick and mortar stores a run for their money. When it comes to the where of online shopping, the possibilities are endless. You have the obvious major sites, but you’re also able to shop from smaller local stores. These are great options for supporting local business while still getting your needs met.
Pros: Major time saver! Online shopping lets you choose items right off your child’s wish list, saving you time in line, time driving and parking, and time searching in stores.
Cons: If you want the best deal, you’ll still need to shop around. Who has the best prices for the items on your list? Is anyone offering free shipping or a coupon code? Will they deliver right to your doorstep in a reasonable amount of time?
In Chicago alone there are dozens of independent toy, game, and book shops. These stores often offer many shopping options including online, in store, and complimentary pick up.
In Store Shopping
Many savvy moms would rather spend a little time shopping in person than risk the possibility of late shipping for their kiddo’s gifts. Maybe you simply enjoy shopping in person, or maybe it puts you into the holiday spirit.
Pros: You know exactly what you’re getting and when. Have you ever ordered from one of those obscure websites and what came in the mail looked nothing like the online pictures? Shopping in store eliminates that nightmare! And we all know the saying—a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. No waiting on pins and needles for packages that may or may not arrive in time!
Cons: You might be limited to buying what’s on the store shelves, and there could be less options for using coupons and special codes.
If in store shopping is right for you, you will almost certainly find yourself at a few of the big box stores, and that’s OK! Don’t forget, though, you can support local businesses, too.
Some stores even go out of their way to help their customers feel safe, cared for, and appreciated. Stores like Emmerson Toys, Gifts, & Hobbies in Chicago allow their customers to set up a private shopping window. This allows guests to save a bit of time, keep clear of germs, and get a truly personalized experience.
Store Pick Up
Here’s a little secret of mine—I am a store-pick-up-aholic! When I can get away with it, I always choose this option. This includes my groceries, pharmaceuticals, and yes, even holiday shopping!
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of shopping. The crowds, the waiting, the maneuvering around other customers—it just isn’t the way I roll.
However, I also don’t love placing orders and waiting what feels like weeks for my items to arrive. That’s where store pick up comes in.
Pros: You can order from the store websites then can pick up your purchases when it’s convenient.
Cons: You’re limited to what the store has available, and it’s a little more challenging to use coupons or to shop sales. (However, it can also save you a bit of money because you’re not impulse buying!)
While a few years ago it was only the larger chain stores who offered store pick up, today almost every store offers some variation of this service. Building Blocks Toy Store in Chicago is one store which offers store pick up and will even help you pick out the perfect gift over the phone if you call ahead. They’ll have your package waiting for you when you arrive.
So, which type of shopper are you? Once you’ve figured it out it’s time to decide where to do your shopping. This can be just as big of a challenge!
Did you know the KidFriendlyVenue app can help? This time saving tool can help you find the stores other busy working moms recommend, and once you’ve used it, shopped, and found your favorite stores you can go back into the app and rate them too!
No matter which type of shopping you end up doing for the holidays this year, your kids are sure to be excited when they wake up on Christmas morning. Don’t forget to slow down, savor the moments, and enjoy the season with them! Happy shopping!