In the age of algorithms, online shopping is constantly evolving. When advertisers are flooding our timelines with what they think we want to see, is it possible to stay on a budget?
It’s only natural to give in to temptation when we’re online because we see what others have and want “the look” for ourselves. But what websites like Facebook have begun to do is track what we like. They have an algorithm that will routinely show you what you’ve proven to like in order to keep you interested. They then use this data to show you similar brands on your timeline that have paid advertisements with them. Have you noticed a cute dress from your favorite website randomly pop up while you’re scrolling for dog videos? That’s because advertisers are paying to be there, and it has nothing to do with chance.
Here are some tips online shoppers can use to stay savvy in the new age of advertisements:
Don’t believe everything you see
When random advertisements pop up on your social media feed that offer a discount for something you like, don’t click on them. The more you tap, the more data they collect and the more likely you are to see them in the future. Every time you post your age, likes and dislikes or interest in something, it’s recorded. They will use this information in the future to get you shopping. The problem is when you do click on the links, you might see discounts, but usually it’s just to generate your interest so that you’ll buy the other items that aren’t discounted. The really cute items that you truly love may be regularly priced, and that’s when you know you fell for the bait.
Beware of “checking in”
Checking in on Facebook and Instagram is a fantastic way for marketers to see what you like and where you like to get them. It’s also a great way for them to find you and suggest other places to check out. Have you noticed after you check in somewhere that you’re flooded with advertisements from that specific place? If you’re tired of the ads and want real discounts, be careful where you check in.
Always compare prices
There are millions of websites to online shop from, but how do you know if you’re getting the best deal? This is where comparing prices becomes essential. The $70 skirt you just found may be Levi’s, but have you checked Poshmark? Amazon? or thredUP? These apps and websites may sell items second hand, but they always have reviews and 100% money back guarantees. This way you can make sure you’re getting the best deal for a great price.
Find that discount code
There is almost ALWAYS a discount code for a website you’re using. There are some websites that list all of the codes for you, but if you type “discount code for __” into your browser, you’ll easily be able to find one. Websites want to give discount codes for shoppers to keep them coming back, and sometimes you have to sign up to get them. But because it’s the age of the internet, other users have received these codes and are happy to share them online. We all know how that extra 15% off can go a long way!
Actually read the reviews
I never buy anything anymore unless I read the reviews. This is for pricing, size, material, and your sanity. Shipping clothes back that don’t quite fit is a pain and retailers know that. This is why you need to make sure you’re a savvy shopper who knows exactly what you’re getting before it’s too late.
Pictured above is a Kate Spade bag that I snagged from thredUP! Amazing website, great deals, and I’m in no way getting paid to promote them.