Secrets to saving big when shopping online

More and more Australians are shopping from home, opting for the convenience of having their goods delivered to their doorstep with the click of a button.

“Australians have embraced online shopping with great enthusiasm over the past few years,” says Finder’s Kate Browne.

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“In fact, the average Australian spends over four hours a week shopping and that doesn’t include groceries.”

New data from Australia Post shows that more than 80% of Australians shopped online last year, spending more than $62 billion, and one in five of us have given up shopping in stores altogether.

While it’s true that we often pay for convenience, there are also secret savings you can unlock.

Fewer Australians are shopping in-store at retailers. Credit: AAP

Retailers offer everything from store-wide super sales to member-exclusive discounts that can significantly reduce the price of your online shopping cart.

Sales events like Afterpay Day, Prime Day, Black Friday, and Click Frenzy give customers a chance to grab a bargain.

But there are other ways to save.

Registration codes and newsletters

The savings can start the moment you click on a site.

“Often, if you sign up for a newsletter with that retailer, you’ll get an instant discount to your email address,” says Browne.

Members can also get exclusive previews of upcoming products and sales.

Simple tips to save money when shopping online.
Simple tips to save money when shopping online. Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

Coupon sites

There are a number of coupon sites that offer online-only specials.

There are also extensions like Honey that automatically apply discount codes to most online shopping carts.

Discounts on social networks

Some retailers advertise flash sales and special discounts exclusively on social media, so be sure to follow your favorite retailers.

Small savings on each store can really add up.
Small savings on each store can really add up. Credit: millenn/Getty Images

Compare the prices

Comparing prices between stores remains a key part of saving.

“Something as simple as Google searching for your favorite brand and product is really smart,” says retail marketing and consumer behavior expert Professor Gary Mortimer.

“Find a great product online, Google those details, and see how quickly those lower prices show up for a variety of different retailers.”

Shipping and Subscriptions

Be sure to consider shipping costs and see if any of the retailers offer free or flat rate shipping.

Also consider whether a subscription would benefit discounted shipping.

Online retailers like Amazon offer subscription delivery.  (file image)
Online retailers like Amazon offer subscription delivery. (file image) Credit: Paul Sakuma/PA

“A lot of big retailers offer a subscription model — Amazon does that with Prime,” says Browne.

“This is where you pay per month and get free shipping on items.

“You really want to do the math on this to see if it’s worth it – if you don’t buy a lot of stuff regularly it might not add up.”

Wishlists and cart abandonment

Once you know the items you want, try pausing your checkout.

Wishlisting products or abandoning your cart can trigger additional incentives from a retailer.

“The old strategy of abandoning carts – it certainly works,” says Mortimer.

Leaving your cart for a day or two may result in a discount.
Leaving your cart for a day or two may result in a discount. Credit: tevarak/Getty Images

“You just need to make sure the retailer has your email address when you put these items in your wishlist or cart and just let them sit there for 24 or 48 hours and just see that the e- mail appears offering these 20 or 30 percent.

But make sure you’re buying the item because you really need or want it – and not just because you’re getting a good deal.

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