Using a computer or smartphone to shop online used to be a frightening concept. The whole idea of shopping without the ability to touch the item, and to use a debit card or credit card to pay for the merchandise was foreign to us. The evolution of technology has changed this.
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According to industry leader E-Commerce, 96% of Americans are online shoppers. Yesterday’s cyber-generation are today’s shoppers. This generation thought nothing of buying music and video games online (with instant downloadable gratification.) They cut their teeth on E-commerce. As adults, the cyber-generation uses their computers to buy everything from furniture to groceries. They are educated about e-commerce safety and the methods of payment. They feel comfortable using their credit cards or PayPal accounts.
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Virtually all stores encourage shoppers to purchase online products. This saves the department stores money. They do not have to forecast merchandise in a particular area, ship it, stage it, and hire people to sell it inside a brick and mortar facility. This is most evident during the holiday season.
Black Friday is a major annual event in business. For years it was known that Black Friday was the way to get a huge discount. However, according to cnbc.com, Cyber Monday is a contender for holiday shopping dollars. Big ticket items are often priced to sell online.
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How To Get The Best Cyber Deals
There are many ways to get great deals while shopping online. The best deals are not always listed on the companies website. Below, we will give you some great hacks and tips to help you save money by shopping online.
New Customer Discounts
Do you remember the first time you shopped at a big name merchant online? Chances are, you got a big discount or coupon, or you got perks like no shipping charges to help them land your business. Have you ever wondered how they knew that out of the tens of thousands of people using their website to shop, they knew you were a new customer?
This is a very simple thing for computers. They have software that grabs your IP address. If you have shopped from that IP address before, the software will prevent the special deals from showing up. An easy way to get around this is to use a different server for your shopping. For example, if you use Google Chrome on your computer, set up Firefox for shopping. Be sure to clear your cookies and history on Firefox after you use it.
Look For Online Coupons
If you find something online that you want to buy, be sure you do a Google search first. Let’s say you are in the market for music equipment at Guitar Center. You would type “Deal News offers coupons for Guitar Center” in your search field. Marketing programs often post coupons or deals on sites other than their own to drive up computer traffic and sales.
Twitter and Facebook
Be sure you check the company’s Twitter and Facebook sites. Like the marketing strategy above, they will often reward you with discounts and coupons for stopping by their social media sites.
Zip Codes Matter
Merchants have marketing software that tells them a lot about you as a shopper. Their computer software tells them if you live in an affluent zip code. If you do, the company assumes you can afford to pay full price and they do not offer a deal. They also judge your ability to pay top dollar by your IP address (again zip code) and the type of operating system you use. For example, some companies charge Mac users more because Mac is an expensive system. They will browse your cookies to see what you look up online and target your order with their products that fall into those categories. If you live in a very expensive area or use top of the line computers at home, place your order from your phone or office.
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Use Their App
Often merchants will offer you better deals, discounts, and shipping if you use their app. Why? People like things that make their life easier. When you download a merchants app, their site is at your fingertips, literally. If you are in a hurry (and who isn’t) you are more likely to use an app already on your phone without consideration of other stores. To get you to continue using their app instead of their website, they often offer much better deals.
As you can see, merchants have grown in leaps and bounds due to technology. Consumers who take advantage of their growth are rewarded with the best deals. It is easy to find a deal if you put a little extra effort into it. You don’t have to fight the crowds to get a sale price. Just look online.