5 tips for finding the best prices while shopping online

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 2:08 PM EDT
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Online shopping has become ingrained into daily life, especially with the increased ease of making purchases with a single click.

To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, Giving Assistant collected five recommendations that can help shoppers save money before making online purchases. These tips were curated with in-depth research using sources from across the internet.

Nearly 215 million Americans—roughly 77% of the U.S. population—shop online as of June 2022, and eMarkerter forecasts that number to exceed 230 million by 2026. Retail e-commerce sales in the United States hit $250 billion during the first quarter of 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimations. That’s up 2.4% from the fourth quarter of 2021. E-commerce sales not only make up 14.3% of the total U.S. retail market, consumer spending on e-commerce in the U.S. is expected to hit $1 trillion in 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic also caused a spike in online shopping, as people stayed at home and out of stores. Stay-at-home orders and general anxiety around in-person shopping drove massive growth in e-commerce that outpaced projections within the industry. Given the amount shoppers tend to spend online, it’s equally important to find the best deals. Keep reading to discover five good tips for saving money while shopping online.


Shop around on different websites

As simple as it sounds, comparing the prices of products can save shoppers quite a chunk of change. By comparing the same product on different websites, it will most likely be found cheaper in certain online stores. To begin comparing prices, manufacturers’ sites may suggest retailers and visiting individual store websites where an item is sold works.


Use incognito mode

Cookies and browsing history can impact dynamic pricing. This is likely one of the most overlooked factors affecting product pricing for online shoppers.

Geographic segmentation is a marketing tactic in which prices are affected based on a buyer’s location. Globally, pricing is not the same. This affects the prices of several online products, even airline tickets. Using incognito mode or a virtual private network means websites won’t have access to cookies or a shopper’s browsing history, securing online transactions in addition to saving a shopper money.


Sign up for coupons with different email addresses

Using coupons is a no-brainer in terms of saving. Signing up for coupons with different Gmail addresses, however, is a commonly overlooked tactic.

To make matters easier, consider including the “+” “.” hack to use the same email multiple times when retrieving coupons. For example, if your email is onlineshopper@gmail.com, you could easily put onlineshopper+mailinglists@gmail.com. This gives you more control over your inbox and makes it more convenient to filter recipients. Don’t have a Gmail account? Check with your provider for a similar function.


Wait for sales by subscribing to mailing lists

Visit any number of retailers’ sites to browse or shop and no doubt you’ll be asked to provide your email address to get instant savings. Provide the address, check your inbox, and apply those savings to your first purchase.

Subsequent emails from those companies will alert you to everyday and special occasion deals and sales. Online shoppers are privy to the latest and greatest products via these promotional emails.


Join loyalty rewards programs

Eighty-six percent of online shoppers in the United States were members of at least one loyalty rewards program in the third quarter of 2021, according to The Forrester Wave: Loyalty Service Providers. A loyalty rewards program keeps customers coming back to businesses to earn their rewards. It’s a win-win.

Rewards that can be easily managed and are offered for more than just making purchases—birthday or anniversary rewards, for example—are meaningful. Some of the highly rated programs have been from retailers such as Nike, Starbucks, Lowe’s, and Ulta Beauty, to name a few.

This story originally appeared on Giving Assistant and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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