Benefits Of Online Discount Apps
Have you been wondering whether discount apps or websites are worth it? Find out how you could be leaving hundreds of dollars on the table each year.
Before the pandemic hit, and even more so afterward, shopping moved into the virtual world. This shift to online shopping changed the way consumers buy things, including comparison shopping. Gone are the days of walking from store to store, or spending hours on the phone, getting quotes, or comparing labels. Now consumers can comparison shop with the click of a mouse. Enter the age of discount apps. These websites and apps offer you the chance to comparison shop, clip virtual coupons, and more. If you have been sitting on the fence wondering whether discounts apps are worth it or not, read on. You may be surprised.
What is a discount website?
Discount websites and apps offer consumers a way to secure their favorite items for a lower price. In some ways it is still like the old days of going from one store to the next to find a good bargain, but that is where the comparison ends. These apps often search the ENTIRE internet for the best deal, coupon codes, or other discounts you may qualify for. Often there is zero fee to visit the discount website, and you only must register. Other apps cost a nominal fee and are downloaded from your phone’s app store. Still other apps are designed for your desktop (like Capital One Shopping).
How do discount websites work?
So, if you are like many, the next question to pop into your mind is: what is in it for them? Obviously, these discount sites and apps would not be doing it without a monetary return. However, they do not make money on the items you purchase, but rather on the ads they sell on their apps or site. Often, they make money as affiliates to other programs as well.
Can you really save money with discount apps or sites?
You can save quite a bit of money if you are savvy about which apps or sites you use, and how you combine them with other perks you may already have. For example, if you have a cash back credit card, and then you receive a discount using an app you have, then you have effectively increased your savings on that item or service. Many discount sites allow you to stack coupons or credits so you can really save. A recent consumer reporting agency stated that 25 million Americans utilized some type of coupon app, and 92% of online shoppers looked for discounts, special offers, and coupon codes before making a purchase. Those not choosing to use discounts via a website or discount app spent, on average, 24% more. Yes, you save money with discount apps and websites.
Best Discount Websites and Apps
There are as many discount apps and websites as there are lightning bugs in the summer, so how can you narrow them down? The following sites and apps were ranked highly by reputable consumer research companies such as Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau.
This is a coupon app that offers discounts from a group of retailers whom they have made an agreement with. What is special about ibotta is that they include grocery stores, as well as Target and Walmart. They offer a bonus for downloading and signing up. Plus, they integrate with your loyalty rewards programs with various companies so your purchase still counts toward your rewards. Keep in mind that this company sometimes requires you to take a picture of a receipt and upload it to get your rewards added. Your cash back from this app is only sent to you after you have accumulated $20.
This app is primarily for your computer’s desktop. Developed by the creators of PayPal, this extension app downloads to your desktop and is installed as an exe file. Once it is downloaded and installed, each time you shop it automatically searches for the best deal on the item you are interested in. It instantly applies any coupons or codes to your checkout cart. Since it was developed by PayPal its network of participating merchants is huge at 30,000. It also offers its own rewards program called Honey Gold and you are incentivized to invite your friends to try it. This extension is also available as an app for your phone, but works best on your desktop.
Capital One is a browser extension, much like Honey, but also works well on your phone. This app automatically compares shops for you, and then lets you know if you have the best price available online. You earn rewards on purchases you make which you can redeem for products or gift cards. Capital One is a large company and their product offers discounts at more than 30,000 retail outlets. If a better deal is found, the app gives you the link to the website where the better deal is. It is a very sophisticated piece of technology and one you might want to include in your shopping arsenal. Capital One Shopping is free to use. You only must register.
Rounding out the list of must-have shopping apps is DOSH. What makes this app unique is that it also includes discounts for traveling, such as hotels and restaurants. This is in addition to the other types of merchants other apps usually offer. If you like set-it-and-forget-it tech…this is the one. You can use DOSH for purchases you make online AND instore with a QR or barcode. One thing that many users find uncomfortable is that DOSH requires you to connect a credit or debit card to the app. However, they do offer multi-factor authentication as well as high level encryption to ensure protection of your private information.