As many families across the UK experience the tightening effects of the recession this Christmas season, consumer shopping habits are changing to adapt to leaner times. However, shopping for your loved ones need not be a Spartan endeavour. A smart combination of careful and digital shopping can yield great savings and deals – ensuring that consumers save money without missing out on the season’s hottest trends.
TAGS: Amazon, Groupon, Living Social, LOVEFilm, mobile vouchers, Moonpig, online retailers, Quidco, Retail Digital, www.expedia.co.uk, www.lastminute.com, www.mysupermarket.co.uk
Liane Dietrich, Ecommerce Expert and Managing Director of LinkShare UK, discusses the best digital tips for the 2011 shopping season. Read on and let the savings begin.
1) Group buying subscriptions
Group buying is a hot concept that’s taken over inboxes across the UK in the past year. Group buying companies such Groupon or Living Social offer daily deals delivered to your inbox, consisting of exclusive vouchers for popular activities and services, such as dining out, rock climbing lessons and spa treatments.
2) Location to save
There are a lot of location-based mobile apps in the App Store and Android Market these days, such as O2 Priority Moments and Voucher Cloud. that provide mobile vouchers and alert users to nearby retailers’ deals so that you can get the best deals, wherever you find yourself this season.
3) Mobile vouchers
Cut down on all that Christmas clutter with your mobile. Paper vouchers are increasingly twentieth century. Brands are now rolling out mobile vouchers, which users can opt in to and start receiving emails or texts from a brand or retailer, directly on their mobile phone. The ‘mVouchers’ as they are known, are redeemed in-store by staff at point of sale.
4) Online photo printing
Print your family photos or even custom-make Christmas cards at bargain rates via online photo printing websites, many of which (such as Moonpig) offer competitive pricing and discounts around the festive season. Simply upload a digital photo from your computer, select a desired card or print format, and order. It’s easy and less expensive than going to the printer.
5) High street comparison websites
Save loads of time and money even before leaving the house, simply by knowing the best places to buy. Many retail comparison sites, such as StyleCompare, Everystyle and Fashion Hunt, allow consumers to find the best high street retail deals within their postal code.
6) Cash for gadgets
Earn a bit of extra spending money while clearing your cupboard of old and unwanted gadgets. Gadget trade-in websites such as www.gadgetpanda.co.uk and www.weeebuy.co.uk allow consumers to send in their old or obsolete gadgets, and trade them in for cash or gift cards towards new gadgets. A win-win solution.
7) Go online for in-store savings
Increasingly popular inclusive discount sites such as Quidco give shoppers the opportunity to get voucher codes online, printable vouchers to take into stores and even get cashback in store at thousands of leading retailers.
8) Quick and cost-effective holiday getaways
Looking to escape the cold at Christmas? Why not surprise your loved one(s) with tickets for a last-minute getaway? Online sites such as www.lastminute.com, www.expedia.co.uk, and www.traveljungle.co.uk help find the best last-minute travel deals.
9) Save on your festive cooking
Cooking the season’s first mince pie or brandy buttered Christmas pudding is that much sweeter when you save money on quality ingredients by using online supermarket comparison shopping websites such as www.mysupermarket.co.uk to find the best prices in your postal code.
10) Digital gift cards
Left it to the last minute? Don’t fret, why not purchase online gift cards and have them sent directly to the recipient this Christmas season. Not just the domain of Amazon and LOVEFiLM there are now a wide range of web retailers that offer last minute gifting with their e-cards including Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Ted Baker& The White Company. E-cards are great value, as they save on the costs of a physical gift card and easily allow the recipient to receive and use their gift card amount completely online.
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