Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

The psychological traps of online shopping, explained

Vox: “Online retailers have all sorts of tricks for getting consumers to buy more and buy faster. The people who create those tricks don’t really even try to hide them.A cursory Google search reveals all sorts of marketers advertising their tools to help merchants boost sales. They boast countdown timers that are “a great way of creating urgency and encouraging shoppers to buy your products” and low stock counters that employ “psychological triggers” to ignite a sense of scarcity and increase sales. Some companies offer sellers tools to show how many people have added an item to their carts, ordered it, or looked at it, and they’re open that these numbers can be real or random — as in, made up. A travel website tells you there are only three hotel rooms left at a certain price ahead of your next vacation, or an e-commerce platform tells you that you only have 10 minutes to buy that dress in your shopping cart. Sellers and marketers know that fomenting a sort of fear of missing out will indeed push you to act, whether or not it’s true. The same goes for showing ratings and reviews, for marking something as a top seller, for indicating someone else in your network bought the same item before. Sometimes what you’re being shown is real, sometimes it’s not, and oftentimes, it’s impossible to know what’s actually the case. “It’s kind of buyer beware,” said Harry Brignull, a user experience expert who has tracked deceptive design, often referred to as “dark patterns,” for more than a decade and is currently working on a book on the matter…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.