Online shopping is now one of the nation’s most popular web-based activities, according to new figures.
With more than eight out of 10 adults using the internet every day, three quarters (77 per cent) of Brits bought goods or services via the web 2016 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
So, with the help of Which?, here’s five ways you can use the internet to save money:
Use price comparison websites
Price comparison websites make it simple to quickly compare financial products from a huge range of providers. They’re a useful tool for finding a great deal on services such as car insurance, home insurance, credit cards, personal loans, travel insurance and energy tariffs.
The Which? comparison website, Which? Money Compare (moneycompare.which.co.uk), lets you search hundreds of deals from providers large and small in the credit card, mortgage and savings markets to choose a great deal based on quality of service, as well as cost and benefits. You can also use our independent switching service, Which? Switch, to compare gas and electricity prices.
Hunt for online-only bargains
Many retailers and restaurants offer online-only discount vouchers on websites such as vouchercodes.co.uk, hotukdeals.com or myvouchercodes.co.uk.
It’s worth checking group-buying websites such as groupon.co.uk and wowcher.co.uk for deals as well. Also, sign up to your favourite retailers’ email newsletters and follow their social media accounts, as many offer exclusive deals through these platforms.
If you can’t find a discount voucher online, check whether the retailer you want to buy from appears on cashback websites, such as quidco.com or topcashback.co.uk.
These websites pay you a cash reward when you click through from them to buy goods online.
If you’re off on a summer holiday, you could also earn some significant bonuses by booking your flight and accommodation online through these websites.
It’s worth checking whether you can sign up to new financial or telecoms services (broadband, car insurance, bank account etc.) through them too.
A key step to remember is to delete your internet cookies before clicking through to an online retailer. This will help ensure your cashback deal is tracked properly.
Find out more on how to use cashback websites to your full advantage - at www.which.co.uk
Haggle in chat rooms
An increasing amount of online retailers are adding chat room services that allow customers to ask questions about specific products before they buy.
Which? has discovered that it’s often possible to use these chat rooms to ask for a better deal before you complete the sale.
Our haggling guide includes a list of online retailers that have added chat room services and highlights those where we managed to successfully negotiate a discount.
Find out more: haggling - find out which retailers are most receptive to online negotiations - at www.which.co.uk
Buy car insurance online
If you’re looking to save money on car insurance, it makes sense to buy online. Which? research indicates that it’s generally much cheaper than buying over the phone.
Make sure to shop around for the best deal every year, as insurance companies often significantly increase premiums when the time comes to renew.
Find out more: best and worst car insurance - see our list of Which? Recommended Providers at which.co.uk.