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  • Writer's pictureMedha Pandey

Your Ultimate Guide To Saving Money While Shopping Online

How to save money while shopping online
Save money while shopping online!

In India, around ten crore online shoppers miss out on existing offers. This results in a loss of approximately 20 crore rupees in extra savings per year. [Source: PwC]

Why does this happen? The main reason is that many online shoppers struggle to avail themselves of online shopping offers that help them save money.

Further, a report by the National Retail Federation in India revealed that 50% of online urban shoppers lived in tier 2 or 3 cities in 2021. The percentage is expected to reach nearly 60% by 2030.

The rapid increase in internet penetration, smartphone usage, and digital literacy in these cities has led to more people accessing online shopping platforms. They are drawn to the convenience, variety, and competitive pricing offered online.

So, how do you save money while shopping online?

To save money while shopping online, you must utilize coupon codes, credit card offers, live sales, and deals on online shopping sites and apps like benny. You should also compare prices and features of products across multiple stores and sites to ensure you pay a reasonable amount for the product.

In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive guide for effectively utilizing these strategies to help you secure the best deals while shopping online and consistently save significant money.

So, keep reading to learn and apply these hacks for maximum savings!

how to save money while shopping online

How to save money while shopping online? [11 tips you wish you knew earlier]

Tired of hunting online shopping offers only to land on expired coupon codes and useless offers? Wondering if someone can help you with the right tips to save money while shopping online?

Here are 10 effective tips to follow when shopping online to save maximum money: 

Decide a budget for your shopping

Let’s be honest, we often forget to set a budget for shopping or other such activities ever since we started using UPI and credit cards to pay the bills. Why? There can be many reasons behind this:

When we pay for things offline, we pay in cash. We withdraw a fixed amount and that becomes the “budget” for the shopping. It gives us a quantitative measure of money we are spending on a particular activity with a fixed budget.

On the other hand, when we conduct our transactions using UPI and bank accounts, we lose track of our limit for a particular shopping.

Decide a fixed budget, and try to find products within that, in fact, less than that. If the product is crossing your budget, try to compensate for it with extra savings.

Limit your online shopping expenses to 10-15% of your monthly income, covering items like fashion, electronics, and groceries.

For bigger purchases, you should plan it over some months and then go for it so as not to burden monthly financial planning. It is advised to avoid overspending if you can easily splurge or go for an impulse purchase. This applies especially to booking travel tickets, holidays, buying expensive electronics, luxurious products, etc.  

Utilize coupon codes  

All major stores and brands like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Adidas, and Ajio run coupon and promo codes to help you get instant discounts while shopping online. 

Often, third-party apps also offer coupons for specific brands. 

For example, have you checked your Google Pay rewards? It often offers flat ₹500 OFF on Giva silver jewelry. Save these coupons whenever you get one. 

Also, keep looking for coupons on brand sites, online stores, and apps. 

Don’t want so much of a hassle? Download benny! You can find all the coupons, cashback, credit card offers, and deals in one app. It’s a super-saving app that includes your favorite shopping stores like Amazon, Flipkart, Ajio, Myntra, and Nykaa along with 160+ shopping stores and brands.

Before checking out an item in your cart, always scroll the phone or website and spot the “Apply coupons” option. Enter the coupon code to get an immediate discount on your purchase.  

Leverage cashback rewards

Ever used Amazon Pay cashback? If you use Amazon Pay to make a transaction, amazon pays you a certain amount of cashback money. 

Similarly, third-party platforms also provide you cashback if you shop through their platforms. 

For example, on benny stores, you can shop from 160+ online stores and 11000+ brands including top shopping brands like Amazon, Ajio, Myntra, Nykaa, MMT, Supertails, Boat, Giva, and Flipkart. 

Each time you shop through benny, you get a cashback of up to 40% with no minimum cart value. Plus, the number of times you get cashback is unlimited! You can save on every purchase! The cashback is credited to your bank account once you redeem it using the benny app.

Plus, you also avail of other shopping offers like coupons, credit card offers, deals, live sales, and discounts. 

People are rapidly switching to shopping apps like benny to save money when shopping online.

Check bank offers

All major banks in India, like ICICI, Axis, HDFC, and SBI, run credit card bank offers for online shopping. 

Primarily during sales, the SBI credit card offers a 10% instant discount on Amazon for all shopping

Similarly, HDFC has instant credit card discounts on all Apple product purchases. You can find these bank offers during checkout in the bank offers section. 

These are also visible on product pages under the offers section. 

Co-branded credit cards like Amazon ICICI  give 5% unlimited cashback in statement on all purchases. 

Like all other offers, you can find credit card offers when shopping through shopping sites and apps like benny.

benny has a special feature in its app that allows you and your friends to share their credit card offers. No limits to the number of cards you can share.

So, whichever credit or debit card you have, you should always look for this extra discount/cashback and use that card when buying anything online. 

Win Rewards of Loyalty programs offered by stores themselves

All big brands like Reliance Tata have their loyalty programs - under which you can sign up and easily earn loyalty points every time you purchase something from them. 

For example, if you shop on Westside, you earn some loyalty points you can use next time while shopping for extra savings. 

So we advise you to always sign up for such membership programs, at least on such programs where you shop more frequently.

Shopping apps like benny also have a loyalty program where you are rewarded for all your shopping in the form of “gems”. You can redeem these gems directly in the form of a rupee. 1 gem = ₹1 on benny!

Compare Product Prices across Sites 

Whenever you buy anything online, compare its prices on other websites to see if you are getting a lower price on other websites or apps.

Some other marketplaces or websites sell the same product at a lower price, particularly when buying electronics or fashion. However, comparing prices across so many websites can be hard and time-consuming. 

benny solves this issue with the following features in its app:

  1. Switch button: Let’s say you are looking for a wooden chair. You opened two stores on benny, Amazon, and Flipkart. 

You don’t have to close one store and open another in order to compare the prices and specs of the chair. You can simply use the “Switch” button. It helps you toggle between multiple stores to compare products.

  1. Fashion Finder: You can also use the shop from your screenshots or fashion finder on benny. 

If you want to compare the price and features of a dress across multiple stores, just upload a screenshot of it. Compare the specs, and shop as per your comfort and budget.

Sign-up for best-deals notifications

All major brands and online stores run time-based deals, sending notifications and emails to their signed customers with deals, coupons, and exclusive offers. 

Make an account on that store with your email or phone number, and then you will start receiving these offers in emails and messages. So, you should always sign up on your favorite brands to receive these targeted offers, which can help you save extra cash.

Shop through mobile apps, preferably to get app-only deals

Online stores and brands with apps have app-only deals and offers, so you can keep their apps installed to get these deals, which only apply to purchases made via their apps and not on the website. 

Leave your items in the cart until the prices are slashed down

Hack alert! Maximum shopaholics agree that if you add any item to the cart and leave the items in the cart for some days, in most cases, the brand/store will either- 

  1. send you a price drop alert or a discount coupon/promo to complete the purchase. 

  2. Slash down the MRP of the product.

What’s the logic behind it?

Retailers often employ retargeting and remarketing strategies.

Many online retailers use dynamic pricing algorithms that adjust prices based on various factors such as demand, inventory levels, and user behavior.

If you add an item to your cart and then abandon it, the retailer’s system may detect this behavior and respond by offering incentives to encourage you to complete the purchase.

However, Not all retailers follow the same practices.

Wait for sales to get the best prices and best offers

Almost all major online stores have sales at specific times in a month and year. The prices are considerably lower in this sale period than in other periods. 

Unless it’s very urgent, you can save on your shopping fervor for the sale days! 

Also, these stores run sale exclusive discount/cashback offers during this period. 

You should wait for such sales to plan a big purchase. Banks are also aware of such sales; thus, you will see more credit and debit card offers during sale seasons.

Try the 30-days rule

The above strategy is also in line with the 30-day rule. When you leave non-essential products in the shopping cart for 30 days, you get an idea of whether or not you actually need the product.

This helps you avoid unnecessary purchases and save money.

how to save money while shopping online

What is the best way to shop online? [Quality and Safety ensuring steps]

In this forever-connected world, bad-players always take advantage of your online activity and may deceive you while shopping online. 

Besides, if you miss out on important aspects of online shopping, you may end up with a low-quality purchase.

Here are the best ways to shop online, and the most important tips you must remember:

Always check customer reviews of the online store you are buying from

Many online scanning stores defraud customers of money and fall short of delivering the product/service. 

This is especially true for local online stores, which do not have an authentic website. You’re more likely to land these stores through social media ads. 

Remember to cross-check these websites. Read their Google reviews, and reviews on Quora, Reddit, and Instagram.

Review feedback and inspect images and videos from other buyers

Look for both seller and product reviews, as well as authentic customer feedback. Real-life images and videos can reveal product flaws missed in display photos.

See if COD is available for purchases

More or less all online stores should provide COD, even if it is with a minimum cart value. 

If they aren’t, more often than not, they just want your money without delivering the products. 

When trying out a new online store, opt for COD for your first purchase. If the delivery is smooth and the product meets your expectations, you can gradually transition to online payments for future orders.

Go through the product's replacement/exchange/refund policies

You should always buy from stores with clear refund/return/exchange policies so that you don't lose your money and are compensated accordingly in case of any mishap. 

Know the limit of personal info you share on shopping apps

Always think twice before you share your personal data with any online store website or app.

Are other people sharing the same info? Should you share it? Does the website or app ensure that your data is end-to-end encrypted? 

If these questions are clear, you can trust the site or app.

Don’t enter your card details until you become sure of the shopping site. Also, know your right to apply ‘chargeback’

Whenever you shop online using a credit card, and if the seller turns out to be a fraud and is not ready to refund, you can legally apply for a chargeback via your bank. 

Chargeback is the penalty charged to this fraud store, and the bank compensates you with the same amount upon successful verification.

Compare products across sites and stores for quality and price

Always compare products from various platforms and stores to ensure you're getting the best value. Quality and pricing can vary greatly, so a little comparison can go a long way in making a smart purchase.

This involves researching and comparing product specifications, customer reviews, and prices across various retailers or online platforms.

You can use comparison websites, read user reviews, and consider factors like warranty, customer service, and shipping costs.  

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

Just because something looks attractive or appealing doesn’t guarantee its actual quality or value.

When applied to products, it means we shouldn’t solely rely on visual aesthetics (such as packaging or promotional images) to assess their worth.

Imagine how the product will function in reality—beyond its appearance. Consider its practical features, durability, and whether it meets your specific needs. Look beyond the surface to make a more informed judgment.

Stay away from fraudulent gift card exchanges

Gift card scams often involve criminals posing as legitimate buyers or sellers. They may ask you to share gift card codes or purchase gift cards from you using fake payment methods.

Verify the legitimacy of any exchange platform or individual before participating. Check reviews, ratings, and online presence.

If someone pressures you to act quickly or requests unusual payment methods (like gift cards), be cautious.

Only use reputable platforms for gift card exchanges, and never share card codes via email or phone.

how to save money while shopping online

Is it cheaper to buy in-store or online?

When choosing between in-store and online shopping, consider your priorities. 

For example, certain products can come cheaper offline. However, when you include your travel costs and time into consideration, you may conclude that online shopping would be cheaper and more convenient. 

Online retailers have lower overhead costs (no physical stores), allowing them to offer products at reduced prices.  Categories like electronics and mattresses are usually cheaper online. 

Yet, in-store shopping offers instant gratification and a personal touch. 

Surprisingly, groceries can be similarly priced online and in-store, with occasional in-store bargains. Your decision depends on your needs and the current deals.

Over to you...

When shopping online, first, create a shopping list and budget. Avoid impulsive purchases by focusing on what you need. Compare prices across different websites to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Next, use coupon codes during checkout.

Remember to check your credit card offers—some cards offer cashback or rewards for online purchases. Sign up for newsletters and loyalty programs to receive exclusive discounts. Time your purchases during sales events .

Lastly, be mindful of impulse buying—pause and consider if the item is truly necessary before clicking “Buy Now.”

benny brings all these shopping offers and stores in one app to help you save max when you shop online.

Recommended Reading:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does online shopping save our time?

Online shopping offers several time-saving advantages:

Convenience: You can shop anytime, day or night, without being restricted by store hours.

Comparison Shopping: Easily compare prices from different vendors without physically visiting multiple stores.

Delivery: Convenient home delivery eliminates the need to travel to a store.

Real-time Tracking: You can track your order’s status and estimated delivery time.

Fewer Queues: No waiting in long checkout lines.

How to shop wisely?

Here are some tips for savvy shopping:

Make a List: Plan what you need before shopping to avoid impulse buys.

Set a Budget: Know how much you’re willing to spend.

Compare Prices: Use price comparison tools to find the best deals.

Avoid Emotional Shopping: Don’t shop when tired, hungry, or upset.

Buy Used: Consider second-hand items to save money.

Take Inventory: Assess what you already have before buying more.

Try the 30-Day Rule: Wait 30 days before making non-essential purchases.

Is it good to shop online?

Yes, online shopping has advantages:

Convenience: Shop from home, work, or anywhere.

Price Comparisons: Easily compare prices across different stores.

Infinite Choice: Access a wide variety of products.

No Size Limitation: Buy large or bulky items without worrying about transport.

Private Shopping: Discreetly order the items you want.

Zero Parking Struggles: Avoid crowded parking lots.

How can I shop with less money?

Consider these strategies:

Know Your Spending Triggers: Understand emotional buying patterns.

Create a Budget: Stick to it to avoid overspending.

Set Long-Term Goals: Prioritize saving over impulsive purchases.

Make Lists Before Shopping: Plan your purchases.

Try the 30-Day Rule: Wait before making non-essential purchases.

Why is online shopping cheaper?

Online shopping is often cheaper due to lower overhead costs for online retailers. They don’t need physical stores, which reduces expenses. 

Additionally, the direct-to-consumer model allows them to source products directly, cutting out middlemen. 

Efficient inventory management, cost-effective advertising, and a global reach contribute to lower prices. 

Competition and price transparency drive retailers to offer competitive rates. Keep in mind shipping costs and seller reliability when shopping online.

How to buy safely online?

Follow these safety tips:

  • Use Secure Websites: Look for “https” in the URL and ensure it’s a genuine site.

  • Say no to scams of gift cards and fraudulent offers.

  • Check Reviews and Ratings: Research the seller, online store, site, or app you’re using.

  • Ensure to read terms and conditions of the shopping offers.

  • When making your first purchase from a new online store, opt for Cash on Delivery (COD) as a safer option.

  • Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Transactions: Use a secure network.

  • Keep Personal Information Private: Be cautious about sharing sensitive details.

  • Use Strong Passwords: Protect your accounts.

Which is the best online shopping in India?

There are several popular online shopping platforms in India. Each of them excels in their 

Amazon India: Offers a wide range of products.

Flipkart: Known for electronics, fashion, and home goods.

Myntra: Specializes in fashion and clothing.

First Cry: For kids shopping.

Ajio: Focuses on trendy fashion.

Zepto: For grocery shopping.

Nykaa: Beauty and wellness products.

Giva: Jewelry.

Which one is best for you depends on your personal shopping needs and preferences. 

The good news is you can use all these apps in one app - benny: your all-in-one shopping app! Plus you get to save 2x on every shopping by using cashback, card offers, coupons, and deals! 

To read the pros and cons of the top 10 shopping apps in India, read: Best Online Shopping Apps in India: Top 10 Picks [2024]

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