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Holiday shoppers expected to save $4B through coupon websites

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Posted at 1:04 PM, Oct 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-28 18:13:13-04

An overwhelming majority of shoppers will turn to a coupon website this winter.

Eighty percent of American consumers will log onto websites such as RetailMeNot, Zulily or Coupons.com specifically for holiday shopping. Those careful shoppers will save an estimated $5 billion total this year, according to a survey of just more than 1,000 shoppers conducted by RetailMeNot.

That number is up from $4 billion estimated by the website’s experts in 2013. Total estimated holiday spending for 2014 is up as well. The National Retail Federation predicts $616 billion will be spent this year, that’s a 4.1 percent jump from its expectations last year.

“Based on what we’re seeing with the slight uptick in the job and stock market, I thought it would jump about 3-to-5 percent,” said Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor at RetailMeNot. Bodge said the NRF’s predictions “tend to be pretty accurate.”

Deal websites allow consumers to look at in-store ads and receive digital coupons that can be saved to their phones before going shopping. Bodge said websites like hers help people save not only cash but time, by helping to organize a shopping trip.

Such websites may prove especially useful for America’s busiest shopping day, providing Black Friday ads before they hit newspapers. “For stores that have price protection policies, buy the item you want a few days before Black Friday and then go back to the store when things slow down and get your price adjustment,” advised Scott Kluth, founder and CEO of the website CouponCabin.

“Finding the right deal may take a little extra time but using the study, we found shoppers were able to trim nearly 26 hours across the holiday season by using deal websites,” Bodge said. “People are saving an average of $20 per transaction on deal sites — we calculated that consumers could save over $200 an hour on RetailMeNot.”

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.