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A better way to save online

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Scotland is a nation of bargain hunters, and rightly so. There is no doubt that there is something deeply satisfying about picking up a discount or reaching the till and finding out that there is money off.

It will come as no surprise that the figures support this.

55% of shoppers that sign-up for saving sites actively look for money off discounts which is still the most popular way to save. 93% of shoppers use at least one discount or coupon code throughout the year, and 75% of people spend time searching their inboxes looking for a relevant coupon code before purchasing (1).

In recent years, the nation’s challenges have forced people to rethink how they shop, with more people turning to online shopping than ever before. While online shopping can be quicker, more convenient, and more suitable for the work-from-home lifestyle, there is a big disconnect between the in-store shopping experience and the online one leaving many dissatisfied and uninspired.

The options for the savvy bargain hunter online are minimal. Shoppers have the choice between sifting through emails and coupon sites searching for voucher codes, hoping that a relevant voucher will land in their inbox, or waiting long periods for third-party cashback facilitators to return their money after making the initial purchase at full price.

Slash could see a critical piece missing from the online shopping experience and wanted to learn more about how young people are saving.  Maybe there was a way to return control back to the consumer. 

In October 2021, Slash surveyed 700 UK respondents aged 18-35 to determine whether millennials and zoomers use promotional codes and cashback offers. The results were disappointing but unsurprising.

Most respondents (76.3%) don’t use promo codes, coupons, or cashback offers of any kind, leaving only 23.7% who do. Of those that do, less than half (41.8%) only use them when they have them and don’t actively seek them out, leaving only 14.5%  who use them on a monthly basis. That means that only 14 out of every hundred shoppers from this demographic regularly save money on their purchases.  

 

Google was the most popular tool for searching for promo codes and cashback offers. Other methods of receiving coupons and vouchers included signing up for mailing lists and using referral codes; as few as 15% of the people surveyed used purpose-made voucher-seeking extensions.

Is cashback an alternative?

 

Most respondents told us that they have never received any form of cashback, while those who did state that they had only ever received cashback in the 2-5% range, finding it not worth the hassle for such a small saving.

The study quickly revealed that most young people were gaining no benefit from the options available to them now, leaving vast amounts of money on the table that could be sitting in their bank accounts or going towards something meaningful.

 

It is clear that the younger generation has moved beyond traditional voucher codes and lengthy waits for cashback: they expect quick results and more intuitive processes. Technology has rapidly progressed in other areas, yet the whole online saving system feels dated and inaccessible, especially to those below 35. The responses showed that people wanted to save but not at the cost of their time.
 

Research also reveals another important consideration. The power of discounts extends far beyond simply saving money.

Several American studies have suggested that promotional offers substantially influence sales, brand loyalty, and brand perception amongst consumers, mainly when those consumers are of the younger generation. If that is the case, making more of an effort with how discounts are distributed could have a significant impact on the success of the business. So, why aren’t brands doing more to encourage this highly valuable demographic to spend money with them?

It’s a complex question with several possible answers.

Firstly, the lengthy process of finding and securing the right voucher while ensuring you adhere to all the terms and conditions means more people are willing to pay full price than go to all that effort. This inevitably increases the profits of the business. Young people are more ‘marketing aware’ and are quickly able to determine whether a deal is right for them and don’t waste their time if it’s not. People are becoming more resistant to ‘direct selling’, preferring to browse and make decisions on their purchases for themselves, and the list goes on.  
 

When asked about discounts, Anushka, a 28-year-old influential digital content creator (@anoushkalila), explained that discount marketing strategies make her expect that she can find a great deal for almost any purchase. “You kind of always assume that there’s going to be something if you search hard enough”.

She sees discount codes and cashback services as powerful marketing tools that help customers feel good when making purchases: “I think everyone wants to feel like they’re getting a good deal. And this is the easy way of making you think you’ve snagged something. And yeah, I said, we’ve just been conditioned to expect it now. So if you’re not using a discount code, it feels like you’re getting a bad deal”.

Most young people share this sentiment, but despite that, the overwhelming majority still end up paying full price instead of searching for coupon codes to avoid the stress and wasted time. The reality of making a small saving via cashback or spending hours in an effort to find the right coupon does not measure up to the expectations of most shoppers.

Despite that, some respondents take advantage of promotional offers, even though they often struggle to find the right ones in the sea of coupon codes and vouchers floating through the internet every day.


What about cashback?

If you ignore the lengthy time frames for the money to get back to you and the fact that your money is left with an anonymous third-party facilitator, there is another issue with cashback. Many young people do not own a credit card which is the primary method of receiving cashback, ruling this out for them entirely. Cashback is also heavily restricted by the number of partner brands, often offering cashback on services that are of little interest to many people. Cashback lacks transparency in many cases and is often poorly explained. To many people, it’s still a mystery and the effort required for such a small return over such a lengthy period of time hardly seems worth it.

Given all of that, it’s not hard to see why so many people are paying full price when the only options available to them are time-consuming and frustrating.

There was, however, a standout winner when it came to saving money, and needless to say, it wasn’t vouchers or cashback. It was an instant discount. Sadly though, this rarely features on the online marketplace and is usually associated with bulk buys of mundane goods.

Our research concluded that people really want an experience as close to shopping in a brick-and-mortar store as possible. They can browse freely in the shops they like and secure instant discounts on items they want, not just the offers the merchant is presenting them.

Put simply, people like to see exactly how much they are saving and to feel the benefit immediately, just like when they are shopping in-store. 

They want to be able to save at the shops they love, whether they are well-known household names or boutique stores. Their shopping experience should not be restricted to the dominant giants in the voucher and coupon market. It should be as open and accessible to them as their local high street.

As things stand, the current way of saving ultimately reverses the customer experience making it awkward, frustrating, and counterintuitive. Customers begin their buyer journey by pre-selecting the item they want in their minds. They then search for coupon codes or vouchers to save on that purchase and are restricted to buying from the sites that are offering the coupons.

Here’s an example. You want to buy a new pair of running trainers. You like brand X, so you look for voucher codes to save money on your new trainers. Brand X isn’t offering any sort of discount on the trainers that you want so you are left with three choices. Either you pay full price, buy a pair of trainers they are offering a discount on, or go to brand Y that is offering a better deal even though they are not your preference.

This makes for a terrible shopping experience, explaining why so many people simply pay full price and get exactly what they want instead of going through this ordeal.

What if there was a better way? What if, instead of starting your online shopping experience backwards, you could do it the way you would in person?

Imagine going to an online store you love, hovering over the prices to see what you can save, then going to the checkout and getting that saving instantly, just like you would in-store.
HeraldScotland:
It sounds almost futuristic, but Slash has made it a reality.  


Slash is bridging the gap between the real world and the online world, allowing you to save instantly on any of its partner brands. Slash is turning your shopping experience upside-down or right-way-up, as the case may be.

The strategy is simple. Slash wants shopping online to echo the experience of shopping in-store. The Slash browser extension does precisely that. You simply and quickly sign up, link your purchasing card to your account, and then you’re able to browse any of their partner brands and receive instant discounts just as though you were shopping in-store.

All you have to do is hover over the price to see the reduced Slash price and then click the ‘Buy with Slash’ button at the checkout. That means no lengthy waits for cashback, no wasting time searching for coupons to only find offers for items you don’t really want,  just instant savings at the stores you love.

For every customer Slash brings to one of our partner brands, we receive a commission. We then share that commission with you creating instant savings. The merchant is happy because they have a new customer, we are happy because we receive our commission, and most importantly, you, the customer, are happy because you get to shop the way you want, where you want, and save instantly.


Slash also deals with one of the major concerns of all online shoppers – safety.

All purchases are verified with MasterCard to ensure your security online while buying with Slash. They strictly follow all industry security standards for the processing of debit and credit cards, ensuring your data is protected at all times.  

Slash is now the first-ever browser extension to provide instant discounts online for the full range of products and services available at our partner brands. So far, Slash has partnered with B&Q, Converse, New Look, Joules, Furniture Village, AliExpress, and many more retailers, with more joining all the time as they recognise the potential of this method of saving.

You also have more choices to shop the way you want with Slash. You can access our partner sites through our website or shop with them directly. We make you aware of any new special offers at the stores you love through reminders in your browser to make your shopping experience as easy and natural as possible.

So is there a better way to shop online?

Yes, there is. It’s called Slash. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we’ve spent our time listening to the customers and providing what they really want, a simple return to the way people have always loved to shop updated for consumers living in the 21st century.  

ABOUT SLASH

Slash – is the first-ever price reduction browser extension, making shopping where you want, for what you want, an easy ride. With Slash, you can enjoy your savings immediately, get your guaranteed lower price at checkout and spend more time showing off your spectacular glad rags instead of spending hours browsing for a new promo code or waiting months for cashback. 





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