Online shopping has become a part and parcel of our everyday lives. We spend hours shopping online or browsing products, at times adding them to our cart and later removing them. According to Statista, in the year 2017 close to 1.66 billion people around the world bought products online taking the global sales to US $2.3 trillion. The growth is projected to reach US $4.48 trillion by 2021. According to 2016 data, specifically in the Asia Pacific region, online shopping accounts for close to 12.1% of overall retail sales, while 1.8% in the Middle East and Africa.
If the data suggests anything, it’s that online shopping is here to stay and for all the right reasons. You can choose and order products from the comfort of your home and get it delivered to your doorstep for free. Comfort and convenience aside, there is another area where you benefit while shopping online – saving on your expenses!
Here are a few tips to get you started on your journey of saving big bucks while shopping online:
- Change Your Browsing Mode To Private – This is a great way to avoid dynamic pricing. If you did not know already, most of the online shopping portals using cookies to track your browsing patterns and buying behavior. Based on this data, they can change the prices, thus showing you a different amount than your friend for the same product or service. This can easily be solved by using a private window or going incognito. Alternatively you can also use one browser to surf and find the other product while completing payment through a different window.
- Clear Browsing History & Delete Cookies – One more way to avoid dynamic pricing is to clear your browsing history and delete cookies. This would provide a more accurate pricing instead of inflated rates.
- Benefits Of Cart Abandonment – No e-retailer wants a pending transaction, hence they will try everything to get you to buy your cart items and empty it. In an effort to do so, they might send you some exclusive vouchers and coupon codes which will save a significant chunk of your expenses. So, the next time you want to buy something, add it to your cart and wait for a few days before purchasing it. Just remember to log in to your account while using this trick.
- Use Coupon & Promo Codes – The best way to save money on online expenses is to use a coupon or promo code while checking out. You can follow coupons and deals websites like GrabOn to stay updated with the latest coupons, offers, deals and discounts as well as ongoing sale events.
- Use More Than One Email ID While Registering – The easiest way to get more discounts and offers is to have more than one email IDs while creating an account for online shopping portals or coupons discovery platform.
- Combine Coupons And Use Them At Checkout – You can combine two or more coupon(s) to save more on your shopping expenses. Just check if the portal allows you to use more than one coupon.
- Make Use Of Cashback – There are a lot of websites which offer cashback on every purchase you make. There are attractive cashback offers available on online shopping that will make you some money back on the expenditure.
- Add Money Saving Browser Extensions – There are tons of browser extensions out there which will help you find just the right offer while you are shopping online. They will also apply the best coupon code automatically while you are on the checkout page.
- Use Price Comparison Websites – As the name suggests, you can use price comparison websites to get the best deal on a product or service that is available on multiple portals. After finding the best price of the said product you can choose on a particular online shopping website to buy it from.
- Cut Down On Shipping Charges – Most online shopping websites have a minimum cart/order amount to be eligible for free shipping. Any purchase below that specified amount will require additional shipping charges. You can avoid this by adding something of nominal value to take the grand total above the minimum cart value.
- Return Items You Aren’t Satisfied With – More often than not if you are not satisfied with a product or service, it is money wasted. Online shopping allows you an interesting incentive here: You can return the product if it did not meet your standards and you will get a refund for your expense.
- Join Loyalty Programs – Various online shopping sites offer something called the Loyalty Program which provides you privileges like cashback offers and exciting deals that you save money. All you need to do is join the loyalty program and insert your loyalty number while shopping.
- Patience Is The Key – Although cliched but this is a very useful tip. If you are patient enough, there will be lots of deals that will come your way. You can subscribe to a coupons website, the online shopping portal or even add a chrome extension that alerts you with the latest and hottest offers and discounts.
- Use Sites Which Allow You To Haggle – There are sites like Greetoe, Garmentory, Viyet, DealDash and Tophatter that let you choose a product and set your own prices according to the displayed lowest average price. They also take into account the shipping charges and help you set the final price, based on which you will get offers from various retailers. So, you see you need not agree to the price mentioned on the online portal and can instead haggle for the right price!
- Parcel Forwarding Services To The Rescue – There are instances in which you might be getting something at a far cheaper rate at a global shopping portal but the shipping charges are way too much. You can opt for a parcel forwarding service and still end up saving more.
- Be At The Right Place At The Right Time – On these online shopping portals prices fluctuate multiple times within the day and you can leverage that. Use a tracker like CamelCamelCamel or BayWatch to monitor prices on shopping portals and buy them when they are at their lowest.
- Say No To Impulse Buys – Impulse buys are the biggest culprit when it comes to online shopping. Try to avoid shopping on an impulse or leave out the items in the card even if you browse and select them.
- Buy Products In Bulk – Purchasing products in bulk not only helps you save money on shipping charges but also reduces the chances of impulse purchase.
- Get Exclusive Offers By Joining Membership Programs – Most online shopping sites provide exclusive offers and discounts for their members. Consider joining one to save money on expenses using special coupon or promo code or avail exciting cashback offer.
- Use The Right Mode Of Payment – There are various offers that run throughout the year and are available only on payment through certain bank credit cards. You can use these to avail hefty discounts or get amazing cashback on your purchase.
- Shop During Sale Events – Most online shopping sites host one or two big shopping events during the year to promote their brand and boost their sales figures. Stay updated about these events and prepare a checklist of expensive product(s) to buy during these sale periods.
- Use Gift Cards Along With Coupons For Extra Savings – Gift Cards can not only be used as a gifting alternative but also in combination with coupons to save that extra amount checking out the products in your cart.
- Go For Store Pickup Rather Than Doorstep Delivery – If you are in a position to opt for a store pickup then always choose that option, because it can save you quite a lot of money if you avoid home delivery (especially if it isn’t free delivery)
- Subscribe To Buzz Notifications – These notifications from coupons and deals websites alerts you about the ongoing and upcoming sales and provides you the latest and hottest coupons available online.
- Opt For Off-Season Sales – It is a common misconception that the prices are at an all time low during the festival season but instead more often than not, these discounts are levied on inflated prices. So, it is wise to stock up and purchase products during the off-season.
- Shop Using Catalogues – Use the online shopping catalogues available to check the latest price of a particular product or service and buy it when it is at its lowest.
- Follow Brands On Social Media – Most of the e-retailers have social media presence in terms of Facebook accounts, Twitter and Instagram handles where they sometimes display exclusive offers and coupons for their followers.
- Sign Up For Newsletters – Emails often provide exclusive and never heard before offers and deals. The best way to avail these would be to sign up for these newsletters.
- Shop On Sites Like OLX – These sites generally offer you used products (in good condition) or refurbished ones at amazing prices thus saving you big bucks.
- Use Affiliate Marketing Channels – Last but definitely not the least, this one is more about making money than saving it. The top online retailers run affiliate programs which help promotion of their products and in turn bring them profits from affiliate channels. You can easily sign up for one and share the link with your friends and family so that every time they shop using your link, you earn some commission. Conversely you could shop using your friend’s affiliate link to avail discounts and save money.
These are some of the tricks that can be employed to save big every time you shop online. Some of these are more trial and error while the others maybe subject to availability. Do try them and let us know if you have any secret tip for saving more while shopping online.
Note: This is a guest post by Author: Rajarshi Choudhari