Ever found the perfect pair of shoes online but couldn't stand the thought of paying full retail price? Ever located the lowest online price for the exact video game your son wanted but couldn't find a coupon code to drive the price even lower? Don't hit "submit" on that order just yet, savvy shopper! There's still a plan to score a better deal…abandon your shopping cart!

Some online retailers, realizing just how “krazy” we are about getting the best deals, track abandoned virtual shopping carts and send follow-up emails to those customers offering discounts in an attempt to complete the abandoned transactions. Here are some tips to make this type of cyber-negotiation technique work in your favor:

  • Know which sites offer abandoned virtual cart discounts. Some examples include Overstock, Lands’ End, Best Buy, and The Home Depot. Go to the store's site directly, not through an online ad—if the store has to pay a fee for the ad click, they are less likely to offer a discount incentive for you to return to complete your transaction.
  • Register with the site. The company must have enough of your information to contact you with an email!
  • Complete as much of the checkout process as possible. Even go so far as to enter payment information and simply abandon your cart prior to clicking the button to finalize your purchase.  This is key because companies do not always offer the same discounts to all customers.

As people hunt around for the best deals, companies see more and more abandoned purchases, so companies are now using software to figure out just how small of an incentive will lure you back in to their online store. Discount offers can differ depending on your previous purchasing history, previous promotions you've used at their store, your purchasing frequency, cost of goods in cart, percent completion of checkout process and whether you arrived at the site directly or via an ad. Recently, while browsing online for gifts for my husband, I abandoned a cart at DaveRamsey.com and later received an email with a coupon code for a free book (which became a present for my husband). I was also able to score an additional 15 percent off on a major gift for him after I first abandoned it in a cart at Overstock.com.

As a KCL, you should always refuse to pay full retail price, even when shopping online. If the cart abandonment strategy has not worked (or if you are in a time crunch for ordering the item), see if the online store has a "live chat" feature to connect you to customer service. Much like how we KCLs call customer service phone lines and request coupons for our favorite products, operators working behind the "live chat" features are sometimes equipped with coupon codes. Be kind and request a coupon code. You just might just get an additional 10 percent off!

This is a guest post by Debi from Archer, FL
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