Online stores have taken the pain out of shopping for those of us who can’t stand dragging our feet around the mall. But the friendly beast of internet retail still has a sting in its tail. More than ever, retailers and service providers are using advanced neuromarketing techniques to manipulate us into spending more than we planned, on products we didn’t know we wanted. Forewarned is forearmed, and if you want to keep an eye on where your hard-earned wages go, you need to stay one step ahead of the game.
Did you notice that every time you’re buying something online you’ll get some complementary items you cannot miss? How nice of the online store! Problem is that suddenly, those extras seem essential. Before you know it, you’ve bought twice what you needed and paid extra postage fees into the bargain. To avoid this, make yourself a rule and keep to it: complementary items, if appealing, should not be bought at once. If they really seem essential, add them to your wish list – and see if they still seem so vital in a few days time, when the initial rush has worn off.
Low stock alerts are similarly designed to appeal to our sense of panic. You spot an item that you’re curious about, and you’re not sure whether to buy – but a red banner suggesting it will soon be gone urges you into snapping it up quick, even if it’s outside your monthly budget. But stores re-stock themselves: don’t panic, shop around, and don’t be pressured.
These are just a couple of the simpler methods online stores use. But for a whole host of other hidden dangers, check out this infographic – in fact pin it on your desktop. It’s the warning sign you’ve been missing your whole life!
Featured image by Thomas Galvez