As the world changes, so does the way the world shops. In 2010, a number of tech-related buying trends were introduced. As we look ahead to a new year, we should see the following buying movements pick up more steam. (For related reading, also take a look at Coupon Shopping: Clip Your Way To Savings.)

IN PICTURES: Top 6 Mindless Money Wasters

Mobile Coupons and Online Discount Codes
While some rural areas struggle just to get the hang of internet-generated coupons, the more savvy shopping meccas are already on to bigger and better things. Coupons that arrive in your mobile inbox are hot right now, giving shoppers a less cluttered way to ask for a discount. Sites like Coupon Sherpa not only share big discounts for travel, jewelry, books and more - they also have their own iPhone app. Just flash your iPhone display to the cashier to redeem dozens of member-only perks or one of hundreds of savings offers that are available to the public.

If you're shopping online, keep an eye out for discount codes that can be entered for instant savings, free shipping or add-on gifts. Sites like CouponMountain collect these codes for you, and can save you a lot of money.

Did you know that you can text to save? Many companies reward customers with coupons and even gift cards when they text to a special number. Text messaging charges may apply, however, so be familiar with the details of each promotion (and your data plan) before you participate.

Group Buying
The influence of crowds is one of the hottest new developments in deal-finding, with Groupon leading the way in this daily offer category. By focusing on just one spectacular savings special per city each day, buyers can net a total savings of 50% or more on a variety of services, gifts, or merchandise. In 2010, a number of sites followed Groupon's lead, creating dozens of destinations for the high-pressure, one-day-only events. Since the playing field is only expected to get more competitive, aggregates like have become invaluable in narrowing down the possibilities to only what you can afford.

Do you feel like you're stuck with a group buying deal that you no longer want or can't use? Both CoupReCoup and DealsGoRound let users get cash for their unwanted daily deal certificates. They are also great places to check if you missed out on a fabulous past deal!

IN PICTURES: 9 Ways To Trim The Fat From Your Spending

Subscription Incentives
Just as we struggle to keep our inboxes clear of clutter, there are now shopping sites that require subscriptions to have access to the best deals. For those consumers who are determined to never miss a deal, the email subscriptions can add up to big savings.

Super shoppers are encouraged to set up a separate email account for newsletters and deal alerts - especially if they are checking deals from work - to keep their emails from loved ones from being lost in a sea of "Christmas in July" sale offers.

Bar Code Scanning Software
Price comparison sites are popular, but they can be difficult to access on the go. Since most buyers find themselves curious about a good deal while standing in the store aisle, the development of smart phone apps such as ShopSavvy give you up-to-date pricing in an instant. Just use the camera feature on your phone to scan the UPC code on most any product. Prices for the same product at stores near you or online will be displayed, giving you the chance to see if you are really getting a good deal.

The scanning and saving doesn't have to end when you get home. Applications like CoupSmart award prizes and freebies to users who use the same type of bar code scanning technology with their online platform.

The Bottom Line
There are already many predictions about the buying habits of shoppers in 2011. Without a doubt, many shopping trends will involve technology, but as always, the most popular ways to save will be the offers that provide the best bang for your bucks. (For additional reading, also see 4 Coupon Sites Worth Checking Out.)

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Procter & Gamble Restructures, Sheds 100 Brands

    All businesses face adversity, and Procter & Gamble is no exception. We take a look at recent developments affecting this global giant.
  2. Economics

    Explaining Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

    The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is just what it describes – the price manufacturers recommend that retailers charge for their goods.
  3. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  4. Personal Finance

    What to Collect: Apple Watch vs. Luxury Watches

    The "iWatch" is a new player in the luxury watch world. But will it stand the test of time? Some points for collectors to ponder.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Amazon Stock

    Find out which risks are most important to Amazon's shareholders. Learn which operational risks impact share prices and which financial risks affect investors.
  6. Stock Analysis

    2 Reasons PepsiCo's Snacks Division is Crucial to Its Growth

    Understand the recent trends in the North American snacks market. Learn about the top two reasons why PepsiCo's snack division is crucial to its growth.
  7. Stock Analysis

    How Does Work and Make Money?

    Learn how is taking on retail giants Amazon, Walmart and Costco by promising to save customers an average of 10 to 15% on over 10 million items.
  8. Personal Finance

    Alpaca vs. Cashmere: Which Luxe Wool Is the Best?

    Winter is coming. Which of these luxury threads is most worth the price (and how to distinguish true luxe from cheap imitations).
  9. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  10. Investing News

    This is the Fastest-Growing Consumer Complaint

    There’s no way to guarantee that your Social Security number won’t fall into the wrong hands. Here are some ways to make yourself less of a target.
  1. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What factors make it difficult to compare performance ratios between retail stocks?

    Companies that operate in the retail sector significantly differ in terms of their profitability and efficiency, making stock ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!