Consumers are learning to game the online shopping system, according to research by email marketing platform provider dotmailer which reveals popular tricks used by shoppers to secure the best deal.

It will be no surprise that ‘abandoning a basket’ to check competitors ranks highly, while significant portions of savvy shoppers admit to entering fake details on the same website to receive multiple new customer rewards.

The findings come as UK online shopping reaches an estimated £133 billion worth in the UK, and as a result consumers are becoming more “sophisticated” in how they approach purchases.

In fact, the research of 2,061 UK online consumers found that 80% now willing to put the time in to find the best possible deal, including signing up to mailing lists (39%) and waiting for online sales days such as Cyber Monday (30%).

Meanwhile, 6% will set up different customer accounts using alternative email address to capitalise on new sign-up offers.

When it comes to cart abandonment – a key pain point for e-commerce marketers affecting nearly 70% of sales - dotmailer found that 13% are doing so to secure a better a deal elsewhere, while 17% will abandon their order at different sites to compare deals.

“Increasingly savvy”

At the same time, however, “tried and tested” methods are losing their effect; less than a third of shoppers (32%) regularly click on email offers sent by brands and almost a tenth (8%) will create an account to get a discount but cancel soon after purchase.

“People will always try and game the system, and it is up to businesses to face the challenge by providing incentives and communications that will keep the customer engaged,” commented Skip Fidura, client services director at dotmailer.

It’s no surprise that Fidura believes email to provide the solution, but with 81% of consumers considering the bulk of brand emails spam, he admits marketers have a challenge on their hands in order to satisfy the 61% who welcome relevant comms.

“The call to action for brands is clear – as consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, businesses must respond in kind. Email remains a highly effective tool, however ensuring emails are relevant and personalised will ensure consumers don’t disregard brands,” said Fidura.

“The prevalence of email throughout our lives shows how crucial it is as a channel, but brands need to understand how to make the most of it to glean the best results.”