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As of 2016, there were 3.5 billion internet users all around the world. We rely on internet connectivity for practically everything, from personal communication to professional connections. And of course, we buy a whole lot of stuff online. E-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks to the convenience and the adrenaline rush that online shopping provides.
hat may not be good news for America’s malls, but it’s certainly helping the fashion industry: by 2022, worldwide revenue for fashion and apparel is expected to reach $712.9 billion. Still, you probably don’t want to spend more than necessary when you log on to make a purchase. Fortunately, there are a lot of little ways to save.
Use Some Apps
You’re probably using your phone to shop anyway, so why not download an app and make it even easier to get a discount? Wikibuy searches the internet before you purchase to see if you can find the same item for less at a different website, while RetailMeNot compiles active coupon codes available for brands. The Paribus app will actually scan your email for receipts and will automatically submit a claim for a refund if there’s a price drop or the item is delivered late. Just make sure to check whether your savings will be automatically applied at checkout or whether you’ll need to copy and paste a coupon code in before submitting your order.
Download a Browser Extension
If you’d rather shop on a desktop, there are still plenty of ways to get it for less. Honey is a browser extension you can download that will automatically activate when you’re on an e-commerce site. It scours the internet for available discounts and will apply all of them before you check out to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Even if there are none available, you can still get cash back on your purchase. If you have access to a coupon that Honey hasn’t yet have in its database, you can submit it to help other shoppers save a few bucks. CamelCamelCamel, a price monitoring site, also has its own browser extension that allows you to view price histories of items on Amazon. Using the extension and the main site, you can sign up to be notified when there’s a sale or find out how likely it’ll be that a current price will be further discounted.
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Appeal to Consumer Monitoring Tools
Sometimes, you can end up saving quite a bit just by knowing how e-commerce brands monitor their web visitors. If you poke around a website a bit, you might encounter a pop-up window that offers a discount when you sign up for the brand’s mailing list. If it’s your first time shopping on a website (or you use a new email address), you may be able to get anywhere from 10% to 20% off your purchase. If you’re a frequent visitor who’s exhausted all your resources in that department, opening an incognito window and navigating to the same website might trigger the same action and allow you to get an automatic discount without cluttering your inbox. Sometimes, products might actually be sold for a lower amount if location tracking plays a role in the site’s pricing. Another idea is to put items in your cart and then abandon them. Some websites try to prevent abandon carts by emailing you with a discount code to entice you back.
Check Social Media Channels
Most brands rely on social media to get the word out about sales and other promotions. If you’re a fan of a particular brand, make sure to follow them on social media. You might be the first to know about holiday sales or special discounts. Keep in mind that a simple like or a follow could earn you a discount as a thank you. Brands are also known for hosting giveaways and contests, which could be yet another chance to score a gift card or an in-demand item for less. Alternatively, you may want to find other savvy deal-finders on social media to take advantage of promotions as soon as they’re published.
Set Price Drop Alerts
If you’ve got your heart set on a specific item but the price is simply too high at present, don’t despair. You can easily set up a price drop alert for the product. Services like Shoptagr, Keepa, Moolah, PriceJump, If This Then That, and others will automatically notify you when the item receives a price reduction. If you’re the kind of person who never buys anything full-price, you’ll definitely want to make use of these tools. Just be aware that items may sell out before the store applies a discount, so you might want to use a service that offers restock notifications, too!
Of course, it’s important to note that if you’re not in a position to spend money, savvy shopping still won’t do you any favors. Over-reliance on these tools can also allow you to justify impulse purchases you don’t really need. Before you check out, take a moment to evaluate your decision and ensure you’d want the item even if it weren’t available at a discount. If you don’t, close the window and abandon the cart for good. But if it’s already on your wish list and you’re able to get it for a lot less, seize the opportunity and make it yours.