We’ve all been guilty of wanting to nab a bargain every now and again, which is why a recent survey showing that two thirds of British shoppers actively search for discount codes before checking out online comes as no fresh surprise.
Shopping has become all the easier with instant access to stores around the world at your fingertips but within that discounts that may once have remained an exclusive secret become common knowledge for all to share. An example of my own showed that when shopping for a fast fashion brand online, all I needed was to Google the brand name followed by ‘Discount Code’ to be presented with dozens of sites existed simply to provide the most recent discount codes.
Should the discount codes of Google not satisfy, a quick social media search will yield fruitful results. Social Sharers when searching happily shared current codes with friends or queried the brand themselves which questions on which code to apply and to where.
The results of this survery raise the discussion of how e-commerce retailers will fare in a constant discount culture. Discounts have come to be an expectation rather than an occasional favour to encourage sales. All it takes is for an industry leader to launch sale and it’s smaller competitors will be quick to follow suit, sparking a domino effect pressuring brands to join in or lose out. The rise of online shopping is empowering consumers to become serial bargain-hunters with many now stopping at nothing to secure a discount.
In a study by online marketplace Flubit.com, two thirds of people (60%) admitted to regularly searching for discount codes before buying items online. Meanwhile, an estimated two million people have written a letter of complaint before actually receiving goods to secure a freebee or discount on a future purchase.
Whether morally correct or not, many consumers are well aware that kicking up a fuss of even the most menial of queries will be hastily shut down with ‘Goodwill Credit’ or a discretionary voucher, again impacting the mindset of the typical online shopper who is savvy to tricks of the trade.
Online shopping has given consumers far more choice and Brits are spending an increasing amount of time browsing for goods on the internet. Flubit research has found that the average person spends around two and a half hours a week shopping online, with one in three (34%) regularly doing so during work hours.
Other common techniques for finding a bargain include signing up to newsletters to receive one-off discounts and searching for money-saving tips on forums, with one in three people (34%) saying they had done both. A further 8% say that they have emailed the company they are buying goods from to secure a better deal.
“At Flubit, our business relies on this growing demand for a bargain, which is why we go direct to retailers to ensure we beat Amazon’s price.” Flubit spokesperson Tia Saunders said: “Today’s consumers are extremely savvy when it comes to securing the best prices for products and are unlikely to make a purchase without due diligence. The rise of online shopping has given customers better choice, placing more power in their hands, while social media has rightly given them a louder voice.”
The same survey also revealed if discounts codes cannot be sourced the next popular method of shoppers is to cross reference eBay and other outlets to compare prices. With Google’s shopping function offering easy access to price comparison of site which optimise it, other sites not set up on the feature miss out on getting a sale if their price is most competitive.
The results may hardly be shocking but do draw awareness to the changing attitudes of shoppers, presenting challenges for brands to overcome. It is clear in the digital age the seeming key to success is to keep up with technology and compete with prices as necessary.