Expert reveals five tricks websites use to make consumers spend more money

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Expert reveals five tricks websites use to make consumers spend more money.

Jason Higgs, the Senior Deals Strategist at Bountii, discusses some of the most common tactics so consumers can spot and avoid them

Time Tricks

Messages indicating limited stock or time-bound offers are designed to instil urgency, making people less likely to shop around as they’re worried about missing out. Be sceptical of these alerts and take the time to consider if the purchase is wise before you click buy.

Beware of hidden costs (e.g. shipping or tax) that suddenly appear during the final stages of checkout. Companies hope that having spent so much time submitting your order, you won’t want to abandon your cart and start again elsewhere, and you’ll just accept the extra costs. See if you can find a better deal elsewhere before accepting their shady hidden costs. 

Subscription Models

Many websites encourage people to subscribe for special content, deals, and discounts. While subscriptions can be beneficial if you use the product or service regularly, they may lead to unnecessary spending on things you don’t need or use if you forget to cancel the subscription. 

Beware of auto-ticked subscription boxes. Remember that while it can be easy to subscribe, companies often make it much harder to unsubscribe.

Price Anchoring

Retailers often display a higher original price next to the sale price to create the illusion of a significant discount, making consumers think they’re getting a better deal than they are. Always compare prices across different platforms to ensure you're getting a genuine bargain.

Website Tactics

Websites often use features like pop-ups or special deals that automatically add items to your cart during browsing. Check the details of any deal thoroughly before buying, always look for opt-out boxes, and check your cart before you complete the purchase to make sure nothing extra has sneaked in. 

During a hurried shopping experience, it's easy to click on an ‘add to cart’ button unintentionally. Sometimes websites even take advantage of this, specifically designing the ‘buy’ or ‘add to cart’ button to blend in with the web page’s background colours to trick you into clicking on it.

Dynamic Pricing

Some websites constantly change prices depending on demand or time of day. This makes it challenging to compare prices and find the best deals. 

Jason says, ‘Sometimes, dynamic pricing is based on your browsing history. One solution is to clear your browsing history and cookies, or use different devices to compare prices.’

By understanding some of the common traps, you’ll be able to shop smarter and avoid being tricked or manipulated into making a purchase.

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