After nearly a year of lockdown, people are turning to online shopping to buy a whole range of everyday items – everything from groceries and toiletries, to clothes and garden products.
For many, online shopping is now not only about convenience, but safety. So, with more and more people buying online as a necessity, we wanted to explore the different ways you can get the best deals when shopping online.
1. Use a coupon code
A coupon code is a series of characters used by online retailers to offer discounts on certain products.
Before you buy something, quickly search the web for any available coupon codes. In only a few minutes you could find an offer that saves you money on your purchase. All you have to do to receive your discount is enter the coupon code into the relevant box before you buy!
If you can’t find a code for the store you’re buying from, find out if that product is sold anywhere else. For example, ASOS, Amazon and John Lewis sell hundreds of brands other than their own, so you might be able to find a discount code through them instead.
2. Use an app or plugin like Honey
If you don’t fancy searching the web for discount or promo codes then you could download an app or internet plugin to help you do this.
Honey is an app that searches through the best coupons available online for you. Add the plugin to your internet browser and it’ll automatically apply any discount code it finds to your cart at checkout. This is one of the easiest ways to get the best deals when shopping online.
3. Use a cashback app like Emma
When you buy something through a cashback app, you get a percentage of the value of your purchase paid back to you. For example, if you buy something for £100 through a cashback site that is offering 10% cashback, you’ll pay £100, but will receive £10 back at a later date.
Cashback apps are therefore a great way to make sure you’re getting the best deal when online shopping. Emma is just one of the best cashback apps currently available. Download the Emma app now and head to their cashback section to view the full list of brands on offer.
4. Take advantage of price matching
Price matching is a strategy used by many online retailers to match the prices of products from competing retailers. It’s good for the retailer as it means people might choose to buy from them instead of a competitor, and it’s good for the customer because it means you can get the best deals from the brands you love the most.
Spend some time comparing prices online to find the cheapest retailer and then approach a company with a price match policy. In the UK, John Lewis is perhaps the most well known retailer to offer price matching, but AO, Curry’s and eBay also price match.
Buying from big companies like this using their price match policy not only means you get the most competitive price, but you might also get extra benefits such as longer warranties, free shipping, or longer return rights.
5. Sign up to newsletters
Before you buy anything, quickly look to see if the retailer you’re buying from has a newsletter.
A lot of online retailers offer discounts to anyone signing up to their newsletter for the first time, so you could get a nice discount for only a few minutes’ work. Once you’ve used the discount code, you can choose to unsubscribe, although you might miss out on any future deals and discounts if you do this.
6. Add to basket, and then leave
If you’re in no rush to buy something, another tactic that can help you get the best deals when online shopping is to add an item to your cart and then leave.
You’ll find that a lot of retailers will then send you an email offering a discount to tempt you into completing the purchase. If you’re patient enough, this could be a great way to cut the costs of your online shopping.
7. Follow brands on social media
It can pay to follow your favourite brands on social media. A lot of brands will announce any special sales, discounts, free shipping codes and even competitions and giveaways on their social media profiles.
If you know you regularly shop with a brand, follow them on social media and take advantage of any promotions and deals they promote.
8. Use loyalty cards
Companies selling similar products are always looking for ways to keep your custom. Loyalty cards and reward schemes are just one way they entice you to continue spending money.
The type of rewards and offers on loyalty cards can differ depending on the company. You might get points every time you spend, you might get cashback, or you might even be offered freebies.
Whatever the reward, getting a loyalty card can save you money in the long run, and is such a simple way of making sure you’re getting a great deal.
9. Haggle online using the chat feature
Another tip that can help you get the best deals when online shopping is to use the online chat box to haggle on prices.
You can use this online feature to ask if there are any special sales or promo codes that they can share with you. If you’re lucky they might even let you use coupon codes that have recently expired.
10. See if you can get special discounts
A lot of retailers will target specific customer groups with discounts. For example, students, people working in the health service, armed forces personnel, and new parents.
Students in full-time education can get discounts anywhere from 10% to 55% off through their student cards. Sites like Unidays and Student Beans also offer discounts across a wide variety of big brands.
If you’re a doctor, nurse, dentist or anyone working in a hospital you can get discounts for your online purchases. Armed forces personnel can also get discounts online using a Defence Privilege card.
New parents can also join schemes like the Boots Parenting club, where you get access to discounts and offers, free magazines and extra Boots points.
These ten tips will help you get the best price on all your online shopping, and will mean you’ll never overpay for anything again.
Want to keep track of all your online shopping? The Emma app can help. This money management app connects all your bank accounts, and then automatically tracks your spending. Each transaction is grouped into different categories, like shopping, or personal care so you can easily keep tabs on how much you’re spending each month!