In the decade between 2010 and 2020, ecommerce expanded to an essential part of worldwide retail. In 2010 there was an estimated $572 billion in global online sales. By 2020 that number had spiked to $4.2 trillion and as 2022 closed, estimates were that the ecommerce market was valued at $5.7 trillion. Much of the increase was due to the lockdowns and social distancing directives of the pandemic when many people were doing everything possible to stay out of retail stores. But there was also an increased understanding of the opportunities that ecommerce presented as well as more access to more companies that were selling online and delivering door-to-door.
Aside from the benefits for people practicing social distancing, buying online is simply the easiest way to make purchases. Retail stores are still doing well because people like to shop – they enjoy the same kind of relaxing, fun-filled online casino slots real money atmosphere of seeing the items, touching them, trying them on and strolling around the shop environment. But if you’re looking for convenience, shopping online is your best bet.
In addition to the convenience, many people shop online because they believe that that’s where you’ll find the best bargains. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it isn’t. But one thing is for sure – you can’t assume that just because you’re buying something online, you’re getting the best deal. If you don’t take the same kind of care as you do when you shop at a retail store you could pay more – sometimes much more – than you need to.
Some of the best tricks for smart, money-saving online shopping include:
Years ago, our parents would go to the supermarket with a fistful of coupons that they got from the local newspapers and circulars. They would gear their purchases to match the coupons. If there was no ketchup coupon that week, the shopping cart wouldn’t include ketchup. You can do the same thing with your online purchases. Search for items with coupon codes and buy those first. If there’s an item that you want, wait until a coupon code can be found for it before you order.
There are coupon apps where you can coupons. You can also keep an eye on websites like Coupons.com and RetailMeNot which offer a wide range of information about which coupons you can find where. It only takes a few minutes of effort go get savings that can amount to 10% - 25% of your order!
Shipping costs can add significant costs on to your order. You don’t have to compromise on a good price by accepting a big addition for shipping. You’ll just lose everything that you just saved! Again, a little bit of time invested in research can be a big money-saver. Look at FreeShipping.org to find free shipping offers and codes and identify the stores where you can use these codes. In addition, you can look at a store’s shipping policy before you place your order – many stores offer free shipping as part of the purchase price so you can bypass the extra shipping codes step altogether.
Some online retailers use a little trick called dynamic pricing which is what the site does when its price changes based on current market demands. The algorithms that the site uses to set its price considers competitor pricing and supply and demand. Dynamic pricing also takes into account the area in which you live, based on your zip code (are you living in a more affluent area?) and your past browsing history – if you’re returning to the site, it’s likely that you’re back to make a purchase so the price that you are about to pay goes up. It also checks whether you’re using a laptop or a mobile device.
To avoid such dynamic pricing increases, use an “incognito window” on your browser when you are preparing to make your purchase. It’s a bit inconvenient because you have to resign in – the incognito window doesn’t “remember” your passwords for log-in purposes so you can’t log-in using the automatic log-in. But the seconds that you waste with the log-in will be well-rewarded as you make it more difficult for the site to identify whether you’ve been browsing there before, what kind of device you are using and where you live. You’re more likely to see the site’s rock-bottom price and enjoy some cost-control.
Before you search for an item on an ecommerce site like Amazon, identify the best coupons available for the website on which you’re shopping using an app like Honey. You stall Honey onto your web browser and then go into the ecommerce site. Once there, tell Honey what you’re looking for and Honey will search the site for the best coupons.
There are other sites like Slickdeals, MoneySavingMom, Offers.com and DealNews that search the Internet to help you find the best deals for each items. It’s work but saving money has always involved a bit of effort.
Gift cards are usually a nice gift but some people receive these cards and never use them. Today, you can sell gift cards via sites like Raise and CardCash so not only do you benefit from the cash that your Gift Card delivers but someone else benefits by being able to purchase a gift card at a discounted cost for a site where they will use it.
So, for instance, if you know that you’re going to be doing some shopping at Kohls, buy a discounted gift card to Kohls and save a significant percentage of the purchase price of the items that you intend to buy.
In some land-based stores like Target and Walmart, the stores will match their prices to any lower price that you find on an ecommerce store. For instance, if you see a Barbie doll at Target that’s $10 and that same Barbie doll is $8 online, Target will match the online price. Show them the price when you get to the counter and you pay the same amount as you would have paid if you had ordered it online.
As you shop online, you are encouraged to add items that you want to your cart. Then, when you’re ready to check out, you pull out the items from your cart that you want to purchase. Try leaving some items in your cart. Often, the ecommerce site will see that you have items sitting in your cart and will send you extra coupon codes for those items to encourage you to complete the purchase. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called "workin' the system."
Of course, while you're online shopping, be sure to stop in at SlotoCash for a relaxing spin or two....and then go back to the business of shopping.