The Christmas shopping season is about to enter overdrive when the Black Friday sales begin on 27 November. But with so many eager shoppers looking out to snap up the best deals online, how can you stay ahead of the crowd when it comes to getting the best deals from the major retailers?
Shannon Edwards, the chief executive of fashion shopping site Styloko, have given IBTimes UK her five top tips for making the most of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday (30 November) online sales.
1) Go mobile
Most of us are spending at least half of our time on mobile, Edwards says. Its now overtaking desktop usage globally. So not only are you going to find good deals there, but theres a particular motivation from retailers to drive you there for the deals.
So that might be that only specific codes are available on mobile, or theres some sort of interactivity between mobile, desktop and in-store. So definitely sign up for whatever you can to receive alerts about mobile deals.
2) Use email
It seems like an old trick, but email still works. The more business-like approach you take to your email, the better you do with Black Friday deals.
So that means signing up to the emails from every retailer that youre interested in. You should possibly set up a separate email account or even a box so that as the deals are coming in youre able to immediately respond to them. Email is where they are going to be communicating their best offers.
3) Shop at night
[Around] 20% of our users to Styloko.com actually access the site between 10pm and 3am. The benefit of that is that some retailers in the UK release their deals in the middle of the night, either for fun or to relieve a bit of pressure.
But there are also US retailers releasing their deals then because of different time zones. And you can take advantage of that by checking email and mobile deals in the middle of the night.
4) Do your research
We can all get distracted by bright shiny things, but if we get caught up focusing on the big deals that we dont need it can actually be counterproductive to finding good deals. So make sure you research beforehand what it is youre looking for and what theyre normal price is, so that you can be aware if it is a genuine deal or just a marketing ploy.
So take the time, at least two weeks before, and try to understand where you want to go, what you want to buy and at what level you are comfortable making a purchase.
The last tip is to remember to relax. If past years are any indicator, particularly last year, then this is just the beginning. Its an incredibly competitive period and youre going to be finding deals right through Christmas.
Some of the items that are being promoted as Black Friday deals, particularly Christmas decorations, will in fact get cheaper after Black Friday as we get closer and closer to Christmas day.