New online research by leading email marketing platform provider, dotmailer, shows consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to seeking a discount online. From abandoning a basket, to entering in fake details to receive a better deal, it seems consumers are learning how to game the online shopping system.

With online shopping worth a staggering £133 billion in the UK, it’s no surprise that people are becoming more sophisticated in how they approach their purchases. In fact, over three quarters (80 per cent) of respondents online agree they are willing to conduct extensive research to secure the best possible deal, so retailers need to be aware of the tricks involved in order to stay ahead.

Key findings

39 per cent of online shoppers deliberately sign up to mailing lists so they can get a better deal
30 per cent of online shoppers wait specifically for online sales days such as Cyber Monday to get a better deal
Six per cent set up different customer accounts using alternative email addresses on the same website to get multiple deals
However, despite this sophistication among shoppers, over half (52 per cent) felt that brand emails rarely target their situation – showing that nearly half the UK online population are poorly engaged by the brands they buy from.

This is key, because not only is online sophistication on the rise, but customers are deploying a range of cunning tactics to try and outsmart businesses to secure better deals on purchases. Indeed, 13 per cent of online shoppers abandon their carts so they can get a better deal, and over one in seven (17 per cent) abandon their carts at different websites to compare deals.

At the same time, many of the tried and tested methods may no longer be as effective as previously thought, with less than a third (32 per cent) regularly clicking on email offers sent by brands and almost a tenth (8 per cent) admitting to creating an account to get a discount, but cancelling it soon after a purchase.

The value of email marketing is indisputable – with a Return of Investment of £30 for every £1 spent, it is a no brainer for every business. However, with 81 per cent of consumers feeling that the bulk of emails sent by brands are spam, it is clear brands have a challenge to create relevant content. Consumers are screaming out for it – 61 per cent of consumers are keen to receive emails… as long as they are relevant to them.

Skip Fidura, client services director at dotmailer, comments, ‘The call to action for brands is clear – as consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, businesses must respond in kind. Email remains a highly effective tool, however ensuring emails are relevant and personalised will ensure consumers don’t disregard brands.

‘People will always try and game the system, and it is up to businesses to face the challenge by providing incentives and communications that will keep the customer engaged. The prevalence of email throughout our lives shows how crucial it is as a channel, but brands need to understand how to make the most of it to glean the best results.’

Further reading on online discount

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