Gotcha! If you’re reading, you are secretly a cheapskate at heart. But it’s ok, we won’t tell anyone.
Today we will share with you some e-commerce TRADE SECRETS to getting additional discounts when shopping online. E-commerce stores are not going to like us for doing this, so if we stop publishing articles for you to read on our blog in the next 2 days, it probably means something really bad has happened to us.
But in all seriousness, we also hope that e-commerce stores can learn and implement some of the really cool trade secrets below to help grow their business (if you are an ecommerce store owner, we would be happy to share some of the tools that you can use to implement any of the following secrets).
1. Cart Abandonment to get Additional Discounts
Play hard to get. Sign-in to the site that you want to buy from. Add items to your shopping cart. Click on check-out. Then after 10 minutes, close the browser. Why? Just because you can.
Give it 24 hours and you may get an email with a discount code to encourage you to check out. High performing e-commerce stores are obsessed about users abandoning their shopping carts just before they enter their credit card details. So they sometimes offer between 5 – 15% just to encourage you to check out if you abandoned your shopping cart.
Here’s an example from Zalora:
2. Don’t use a Mac
Use Android. Some e-commerce stores will charge you more for using a Mac as you are perceived to be a high spender. This technique is known as price discrimination and it’s really sneaky as higher prices are shown depending on the device that you are using. This technique is usually employed by more sophisticated e-commerce sites such as global hotel and flight booking sites.
This was also previously reported by The Washington Post here.
Doing this requires a certain level of sophistication, and we’ve not actually seen this in many local e-commerce sites.
3. Refer A Friend
Most self-respecting e-commerce stores will offer you a reward for referring friends to them. This works really well as the mechanics is very simple to understand.
The rewards usually comes in the form of a cash voucher off your next purchase. Some will impose a minimum spend on the cash voucher (e.g. RM20 cash voucher, subject to a minimum spend of RM100).
If you are trying to create multiple emails to take advantage of this, you might need to be wary as some systems will trace your sign-up to the IP address. They may ban your account if they find out you are abusing the system. BUT it’s always worth a try!
Here’s an example of Neon Runner‘s referral system:
If you are signing up, remember to use the referral code NEONU58H to get RM20 instantly
Disclaimer: We also get RM20 when you sign up woo hoo!
4. Shop using Apps
When e-commerce sites are actively promoting you to download their app, they usually offer an attractive carrot to entice you. It ranges from a free voucher to a discount code or a free gift.
How to know if they are actively pushing for you to download their app? Pull out your mobile. Go to your browser. Start browsing your favourite store. If you see a pop-up on the screen asking you to download the app ‘for a better browsing experience’, that usually means they are promoting downloads. Then look out for freebies!
We should let you know though that we are currently unable to get you Cashback on purchases that are made via apps. So you will need to do the math yourself to see if it’s more rewarding to shop via the store’s app or via MilkADeal Cashback.We’re working hard with partners to enable cashback on mobile apps for you though.
Here’s how Lazada does it (along with the carrots – there are a lot of carrots):
5. Credit Card Days
Choose certain days to shop. Local Malaysian banks have recently tied up with major e-commerce stores like Lazada. Using Lazada as an example, exclusive deals are offered to certain banks on selected days:
- MasterCard Monday – Additional 10% off
- UOB Tuesday – Additional 12% off
- Maybank Wednesday – Additional 11-13% off
- HSBC Thursday & Friday – Additional 10% off
- CIMB Saturday & Sunday – Additional 10 – 15% off
Sometimes these additional discounts is that they only apply for selected products. The upside however is that is that they offer it for a wide variety of products. For more information, you can also check out our Lazada Malaysia page.
6. Major Nationwide / Global Sale Initiative
To save some serious money, only shop during these dates:
MYCYBERSALE (Malaysia only)
The dates vary annually but it’s usually around September/October 2015. It’s the online equivalent of the offline Malaysia Mega Sale.
11.11 Singles’ Day
In China, this is a multi-BILLION dollar shopping day (US$9.3 billion in 2014 just from Alibaba sites). 11 November used to be a day to celebrate singlehood but somehow it has been hijacked to worship online shopping. As this is an Asian-centric sale, it is a good day to shop on sites like Taobao, AliExpress, Lazada etc.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Black Friday = Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the US (fourth Thursday of November). Traditionally, this marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. American online retailers and marketplaces like ASOS and Amazon usually do really good deals during this period. However, you can expect some good deals in Malaysia too as culturally we are a blend of East and West.
7. Get Cashback
Ok shameless plug here but we are confident that we are able to help you save consistently on your online purchases. Just start your shopping trip via MilkADeal.com!
We get paid by e-commerce stores like Agoda, Booking.com, Lazada, Expedia, AirAsiaGo etc. every time you shop via our website. Instead of keeping it all to ourselves, we share it with you as Cashback! So the bigger the community of Cashbackers, the more Cashback we will be able to negotiate from our partner stores.
Cashback portals have been around in developed parts of the world such as the US, UK and Europe for about a decade or so now. So we are trying to build the community in Malaysia now.
8. Get something for your Birthday
E-commerce stores will always want you to shop with them at least once a year. What’s the best date to do that? Studies have shown that shoppers tend to spend more when they are happy. Unless something bad happens, people tend to be quite happy during their birthday.
Here’s how one of our partners, ChristyNg does her Birthday campaign:
So if the stores ask you to fill in your birthday, maybe you should just fill it in (you can put in a fake date as well, they wouldn’t know)
BONUS: Subscribe to Stores’ Newsletters
E-commerce stores usually use email to reach out to their existing customers. Therefore, if you sign-up to their newsletters, you will be the first to know of any special promo codes that they are promoting. The downside to this approach is that you will constantly get spammed by them with promotional updates (but we know gmail has a smart way to filter that out now).
An alternative is for you to sign-up with us as we collate and aggregate all the promo codes/discounts and blast them out in a single newsletter for you. That way, you just have to sign up to 1 newsletter service. It’s completely free too.