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Deal-Hunting 101: Tricks and Tips to Score Deeper Shopping Discounts Online

Here’s how to save even more when you’re shopping online.

ByABC News
August 4, 2015, 8:53 AM
A person is shown shopping on the internet in this undated file photo.
A person is shown shopping on the internet in this undated file photo.
Getty Images

— -- Deal hunting in the online age can involve coupons, flash deals and promo codes. Savvy shoppers can save big, but it can be an evolving cat-and-mouse game, with shopper and seller strategies changing often.

One new way to potentially score promo codes is called “shopping cart abandonment."

Here’s how it works: You find something you want at a retailer’s website. Sign into the website (you must have an account for this to work). Put the items you want into the shopping cart and then leave without buying the items.

A Business Insider expert explained why this shopping technique is effective.

“The economy is good right now," said Ashley Lutz, Editor at Business Insider. "Consumers have a lot of options, so retailers have maybe scaled back because people are willing to spend a little more.”

“To address this problem, retailers are going to consumers who have an account, who are logged in on the account, who abandon items, and when people go to a new website, and it’s clear that they may not be coming back, then the retailer sort of prompts them by sending them a discount code, saying, ‘Hey, you missed out on these products, why don’t we give you 20-percent off,'" Lutz explained.

“GMA”’s Becky Worley tried this method at seven different retail websites last week. Within 24 hours, she had three reminders about her abandoned carts and two discount offers – one for $20 off and another for 20 percent off.

Not all online retailers will do this, but some reportedly do it more than others.

A study by Listrak, an email marketing company, found that the longer shoppers wait for the retailer to make contact about an abandoned cart, the better. Most companies that send emails about abandoned carts don’t offer a discount code until the third reminder.
Other Ways to Find Deals:
1. Chat boxes on websites give you direct access to customer service representatives. Ask them if there’s a coupon, promo or discount code.
2. It’s all about sale days and events. With retailers in constant competing with one another, when one launches a sale, its competitors follow. That’s why it’s still worth it to pay attention to newsletters from retailers where you shop frequently.
3. Use newer social media websites. Retailers who are looking to expand their brands in different demographics may offer coupons on Instagram rather than on Facebook. It could pay to follow your favorite retailers on all social media platforms.