Online shopping has become the “new normal” in this digital era. In fact, more and more brand owners and entrepreneurs are turning to e-commerce as their primary method of selling, scoring big with shoppers and building their profit.
In turn, you can be a smart customer by hunting for deals, comparing prices, and taking advantage of repeating trends in your favorite online commerce websites.
So, whether you are a savvy deal hunter or you are just looking to get great discounts on your next shopping spree, here are eight clever ways you can save big when shopping online:
1. Time Your Shopping Spree Right
There are plenty of deals you can take advantage of if you plan your shopping ahead, ranging from payday sales to holiday extravaganzas. While it may be tempting to spend your Sunday afternoon browsing online, you must avoid cashing out too quickly. Many stores roll out special deals and discounts on specific days of the week.
Of course, it will still depend on what you’re shopping for.
For instance, if you want to score affordable airline tickets, then Sunday is the perfect day to do so. Airlines Reporting Corporation analyzed more than 130 million domestic and international travelers over a 19-month period and found out that Sunday’s average ticket price is the lowest at $432. This breaks the former record held by Tuesdays, which was at $497.
However, Rather Be Shopping believes that Tuesday is the best day to buy desktop computers or laptops. This is because major PC retailers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell Home tend to send coupons during this day of the week.
Meanwhile, books are more affordable during Saturdays – at least, based on historical data on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. As it turns out, Saturday book sales take advantage of bookworms’ love for spending weekends reading.
Besides seeking out regular targeted promotional offers for specific consumer groups, you can also maximize your savings by timing your purchase during seasonal trends. Retailers tend to put items on special sale to purge their old inventory and make room for new ones.
For example, outdoor furniture as well as grills and lawnmowers tend to be marked down during autumn. Toys and other giftable items are also priced lower just after the holidays.
2. Take Advantage of Shop Now, Pay Later Programs
Studies show that buy now, pay later programs, also referred to as BNPL (buy now, pay later) are preferred by millennials. These hard-to-reach consumers born between 1980 and 2000 are wary of credit cards, but they seem to have formed a preference for this installment-based payment method.
Proof of this is Australia’s online shopping scene. You see, the Australian market has been a testbed for booming trends for international shopping. And according to research, one out of three Australians with adverse feelings towards credit use BNPL programs.
So, how does this millennial-preferred payment method work?
At checkout, choose a buy now, pay later provider as your preferred payment option. Then, select how many installments you want to split your payments into. You can receive the product you bought right away while opting to pay for it in smaller installments for as long as 12 months.
Some BNPL providers charge a small interest on top of the total amount due. Others charge the merchants who use their services and offer zero interest to consumers. In this case, you would only need to pay for the amount of your purchase and nothing more, as long as you pay on time.
3. Maximize Coupons
Coupons offer a way for mall shoppers to save big bucks, but did you know that they also have a counterpart in e-commerce?
Often called promo codes, these digital coupons can be acquired from third-party cashback sites or directly from e-commerce platforms. Simply input the brand name with the words “promo code” on your search engine query.
Once you’ve gathered up your coupons both for the entire platform and specific online shopping merchants, use them together to get bigger savings (if the website or platform allows).
Just remember to apply them in the right order. For example, if you get one coupon code for a 20 percent discount and another valued at $10, use the 20 percent code first. Once 20 percent has been subtracted from your checkout bill, you can get $10 more worth of savings by applying the second code.
4. Cut Back on Shipping Charges with Store Pick-up
Another way to get massive savings on your online shopping is to opt for store pick-up to remove shipping costs.
In some cases, you can also evade queues – not to mention, avoid temptations – as many stores have a dedicated desk for online pick-up near the entrance. If you’re lucky, you can even have the item delivered straight to your car.
5. Subscribe to Email Alerts for Special Promos
Signing up for price alerts also helps you know when the price of an item you’re planning to buy is reduced.
Most e-commerce websites send these out to people who sign up on their page. However, you can also take advantage of third-party websites that track product prices in online shopping websites and notify you of any movement.
Plus, many retailers would offer an additional discount as a “thank you” when you opt-in for their newsletters.
If you’re bothered by ads and marketing letters clogging your email, there’s no need to fret. You can easily work around this by creating a separate email account dedicated to your online shopping convenience.
6. Follow Your Favorite Brands on Social Media
Facebook and Instagram are no longer just good for sharing memories and connecting with people – they are also useful tools to get big savings on online shopping.
Many brands offer flash sales exclusive to their followers on these social media platforms, so be sure to hit “like” or “follow” on their pages. Aside from getting pictures and styling advice, you might also get a chance to score branded apparel for much lower prices from Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff during their social media flash sales, for example.
7. Add to Cart
It is also recommended that you add items to your online shopping cart without checking them out on the same day. This not only prevents you from buying out of impulse, but also leads to bigger savings.
Many e-commerce businesses offer special discounts for items left on a cart to make sure that they close the deal. If stores notice that you haven’t checked out what you’ve put in your cart, chances are they would offer a better price or send coupons your way the next day.
Just remember to have an account on the merchant’s website and log in before leaving the site, so they have a way to reach out to you for their special offer.
8. Join Reward Programs
Some mobile apps also offer special bonuses you can redeem after performing certain actions. You can earn points by browsing through product catalogs, completing online surveys, or watching videos.
Once you gather up enough points (or whatever clever name the platform used for it), you can exchange these with special discount coupons, gift cards, and even free items.
Save Big Online
Online shopping has become the “new normal” because of the sheer convenience it provides. Adapt and get big savings on your shopping by applying one or more of the tips listed in this article.