Economy

Shopping online and saving money: a guide for UK consumers

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Everyone wants to save money when buying products online and UK shoppers are blessed with a number of tools, tactics and services that can shave large sums off retail prices and make even the tightest budgets go further. Here are a few ways you can grab a bargain during a digital shop.

Coupons and vouchers

Free vouchers and coupons are the main sources of discounts in the UK and they cover a vast range of categories including food and drink, health and beauty, smartphones, laptops, finance and insurance. Retailers often run voucher codes for a limited time, for example, during a sale entering “EXTRA 20” at the checkout will reduce the cost of a £100 product to £80.

You need to keep an eye out for these codes as they expire after a specific date which is why membership services such as KDeals can make the process of saving money so much easier. When online shopping, there is always a chance that an outlet will have a discount on offer across certain product categories so always conduct a quick search to find out. You can even save on purchases such as train tickets or airport parking.

Check cashback

In addition to coupons, cashback services are another cornerstone of the UK money-saving shopping experience. Cashback sites pay you a small cash reward when you click through to a webpage from their site. You can even install extensions in your web browsers that will deliver pop-up alerts when visiting websites so you don’t forget to check for offers.

Don’t always check out

Retailers always keep track of buyer behaviour called “cart abandonment” which is when you visit a website and load up a few products into a basket but then decide against checking out.

Some retailers will follow up on this by sending you an email encouraging you to come back and complete a purchase and they may sweeten the deal with a few tempting offers or voucher codes. Always keep an eye out in the spam or promotion sections of your email accounts to see if you can find a bargain.

Use live chat

Live chat can be useful as a tool for digital bartering, so resist the urge to shut a chatbot down immediately when it pops up in the corner after navigating to a web page. These bots can lead to conversations with online customer support staff members, who are usually eager to do everything they can to push you along the sales path.

While it may take persistence and a bit of work and charm, it is possible to get discounts on products by engaging with these online helpers.

Avoid suspect websites and products

Saving money online is not just about getting the best deals. Knowing when not to buy a product is also important, especially if you have ventured to a suspect website via an email or Google search. Online shop scams now cost UK consumers £58 million every year with Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting service, clocking up almost 43,000 incidents in 2017.

To stay safe online, always check the web address in your browser and look for the clickable padlock sign to the left of the website’s name in the URL bar. This denotes that it is safe and secure. Never enter sensitive data on any pages where this padlock sign is not visible as these are non-HTTP pages which do not have a layer of encryption to keep you safe when entering card details.

Price match

The UK retail sector is well-known for its price matching service where retailers offer to beat the price of a product if you can find it cheaper at another outlet. Big-name brands including John Lewis with its “never knowingly undersold” mantra, Currys PC World and Halfords all offer price matching so customers always get the best deal at any one time.

Price comparison

Online shoppers can also call on a growing number of price comparison sites to save money online. These intuitive hubs provide a complete overview of the current prices for a particular product so you can find the lowest price without having to visit each website individually. These sites are not just limited to consumer goods either. You can compare car insurance or gas and electricity prices, for example, if you have recently moved to the UK and need the best value essentials.

Premium membership service

Keeping on top of all these money-saving schemes can be time-consuming so why not sign up to a service that will do everything for you, enabling you to sit back and purchase products for up to half the price.

Deals can save you money, both on the high street and online, by serving up bespoke discounts tailored exactly to your individual preferences. They will also send you deal alerts every week and provide money-off coupons while conducting regular scans for new deals. You benefit by getting first access to discounts for thousands of goods without the hassle of having to do it personally.

KDeals

The fast registration process at KDeals will get you up and running with just a few clicks and you will have the option of upgrading to a monthly subscription service which will give you direct access to the customised discounts mentioned earlier. You will also receive daily notifications for deals and an exclusive facility for switching utility providers to save even more money.

You can tap into the power of KDeals Premium today and enjoy enhanced features and larger discounts by setting up a Direct Debit (DD) for payment either on a monthly or annual basis. The paid service costs just £9.99 a month. You can also upgrade from the free service at any time. Across various kdeals.co.uk reviews, experts have spoken highly of KDeals’ focus on customer service, its consistently low prices and frequently cycled and well-maintained deals, so there is no better platform for making your budget go further.

Best of the rest

A few tips for saving even more online include stacking discount codes strategically at checkout so you can take advantage of multiple offers during a single transaction, signing up to newsletters to get promotions and sales from companies straight to your email inbox and following brands on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram to access social-only deals and offers. There are always new ways to save and the better you are at deploying these tactics, the greater the value you will get from your income each month.

(Photos: Pixabay)

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