As a senior digital analyst at Astound Commerce leading the company’s proprietary research division, it’s Kylee Magno’s job to think about shopping. She takes that task very seriously—so seriously, in fact, that during the long hours she spends poring over Astound surveys covering everything from digital commerce return policies to customization best practices, she’s learned a thing or two about how to stretch her own dollar to get the best values from the brands she loves. Here she shares her trade secrets with fellow digital analyst Renata Akers.
Akers: How would you describe yourself as a shopper?
Magno: I would say I’m a savvy shopper. I do my due diligence before making a purchase, but show me an amazing promotion, and my impulsive nature kicks in! [laughs] I guess I’m a bit of a split personality, if that makes sense. I assume there are a lot of people out there just like me.
Akers: What is the best way to stay on top of everything merchants and brands have to offer?
Magno: I like being “in the know,” so I sign up for email newsletters from merchants and brands that interest me and follow them on social media. This strategy ensures I’ll be one of the first to be alerted to sales and specials and can score amazing opportunities like invites to local store events, special guest appearances, and exclusive limited-edition products. Due to its dynamic nature, social media is the best place to find out about last-minute merchant happenings and flash sales. If the merchants or brands are ones that you already shop from often, or you see yourself doing so, be sure to download their app if they have one and sign up to receive push notifications, covering all your bases and alleviating any FOMO anxiety.
Akers: What are your top tips for finding the best available deal?
Magno: If you know what you are shopping for, always do your research to guarantee you get what’s best for your needs. Google is a great place to start for a quick comparison shopping tool. Going onto merchants’ sites to look for free or conditional free shipping offers is also a smart move. Many merchants offer one-time promotional savings, usually in the form of a percentage or dollar amount off, when you provide an email address. This is a great way to layer on additional savings in the short term and be alerted to all the merchant has to offer long-term. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Akers: Do you have any advice for finding offers or interesting incentives from merchants who typically don’t offer promotions?
Magno: Definitely! Take advantage of loyalty programs when they are available. Many offer free or conditional free shipping, rewards in the form of cash back toward future purchases, special perks, birthday rewards, members-only shopping days, and even exclusive products. Some also incentivize based on loyalty, so to optimize benefits, make sure to join membership programs of those merchants from whom you shop often. If all else fails, utilize store pickup to maneuver around paying shipping charges.
Curious about the behavior of other shoppers? Learn more from the new Astound Insight report Behaviors of the Online Shopper: A View Into the Channel-Surfing Shopper’s World.