Online shopping has become an increasingly common way for consumers to shop over the last few years. Shoppers can get goods from anywhere in the world and businesses can expand their consumer base far beyond what was once possible. A total of 1.66 billion people shop online every year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has popularized online shopping even further as non-essential stores lock their doors and people stay at home to slow the spread of the disease. While online shopping makes purchasing goods much easier for everyone quarantining indoors, it also makes it much easier to overspend when everything is virtual.
Yet, it is possible to treat yourself with online shopping sprees while not overtaxing your credit cards. It’s simply a matter of adjusting your online shopping habits and taking the time to get the lowest prices possible. Let’s take a look at how you can find the best deals and discounts when you shop online.
Leave Items in Your Cart
This may just seem like a strategy to never shop online, but it’s actually an effective way to prevent buying items you don’t need and get a discount at the same time. The next time you shop online, try leaving the products you chose in your cart for a day or two. By stepping away from the virtual cart, you’ll give yourself some time to think about whether you really need the items you were about to buy.
This is one of the best online shopping habits to reduce the number of items you buy and the amount you spend. If you’re still thinking about the products over the next couple of days and how much you want them, buy them. If you come back to the cart and forgot about an item or two anymore, remove them from the cart. If you completely forget about the cart you started, the products weren’t worth your money anyways.
Leaving a full cart may also spur the retailer to send you a discount code. Most companies hate unclosed deals and will try to retain your business with a little incentive. While larger retailers, such as Macy’s and Office Max, tend to send coupons or offer price drops the next day more often, smaller businesses will do this as well. About 22.5% of small businesses fail within their first year, making it important for small businesses to do whatever they can to get a bit of revenue. Wherever you’re buying from, be sure that you have an account on the merchant’s website and you’re logged in when you leave your cart. The retailer can then send a discount to your email address and you can see some savings.
Outsmart Dynamic Pricing
Most shoppers have seen dynamic pricing in action, but they don’t always realize what it is. If you’ve looked up prices for a flight, didn’t purchase tickets, and returned to that same search later to find that the prices increased, that is dynamic pricing in action. Companies use dynamic pricing to adjust product prices according to real-time supply and demand. With online data tracking, dynamic pricing has also allowed retailers to change product prices based on your personal browsing history and spending patterns.
Luckily, there are ways to get around dynamic pricing so that you’re not paying more than you need to. First, always use a comparison shopping engine, such as Google Shopping. Google is responsible for about 90% of all searches in the United States, giving the search giant the necessary information to show you whether you’re getting the best price possible. Second, clear your cookies and browsing history on your computer before you shop. This will cause the store to see you as a new customer and forget your previous online shopping habits. If you’re just browsing, you can simply use “incognito mode” so that retailers aren’t able to target you with dynamic pricing when you come back to make a purchase.
Plan Purchases for Seasonal Trends
Plenty of retailers offer major discounts on their own. However, they typically offer these discounts in the name of purging old inventory to make room for new items. These purges are usually at the times of the year when consumers wouldn’t be buying the products. For instance, home goods stores typically slash prices on outdoor furniture in the fall, just as soon as the warm weather turns cold and the demand for outdoor items drops. You may have to wait a few months to use your products when you buy at these off-peak times, but you can see some serious savings.
Online shopping is a modern wonder that allows consumers to order the items they need without leaving the comfort of their homes. It also brings many people joy as they can find items from around the world that speak to them most. Try out these tips the next time you shop online and you’ll be able to revel in the joy and ease of shopping without emptying your wallet.