As the Internet forces us to buy more

You never noticed that being on the website of any online store with a clear purpose of buying a certain product, you acquired not only him, but also an additional bunch of completely unnecessary crap? I confess, honestly, to me a few times. It turns out that this is understandable from the point of view of science. Scientists from Princeton University (USA) published the results of a new study which explains how the online shopping using various tricks to make us spend more money on purchases that we may not even need.

What are dark patterns?

A bit of terminology. In the Internet-shops are often used so-called “dark patterns” — design elements of the store that the customer sees, whose task is reduced to one single goal – to force us to do things we normally wouldn’t do. Agree, the temptation to buy a certain product, but still “at a discount in 50 percent” in the last remaining 5 minutes on the timer, sent you in the eye, becomes slightly higher. This is one example of these “dark patterns”.

The researchers decided to dig a little deeper and analyzed more than 10,000 different online stores (in the world there are many more). It turned out that more than 1200 stores from the sample use similar tricks to force the potential buyer to still buy a product or at least to spend more time on their website.

Why do people buy products online?

Typically, the primary means of manipulation is a provocative text. For example, instead of the button “cancel order”, the same online shopping food delivery often write something like “no thanks, I don’t like tasty food.”

In total, the study identified 15 ways in which online shopping is being manipulated and forced people to part with their money. For example, some different ways impede the person’s refusal to purchase the other – trying to encourage people to shame when they decide to leave the store (“Oh, you don’t want the iPhone, what to say to your friends?”). Another fairly popular method are “fake” (fake) buyers who comment and praise a particular product, thereby increasing the interest in him from real people. All this really puts pressure on our subconscious mind, which quietly begins to whisper to us: “and I can still buy?”. All you on the hook. The effect is achieved.

The researchers also found that many online stores refer to the specific firms that develop a less Intrusive and at the same time more effective methods of persuasion. Many of them are not shy to advertise themselves in the open.

Interviewed colleagues “on shop”. Opinions, as it turned out, was divided.

“Often notice how Facebook and Instagram with the help of “retargeting” (advertising mechanism by which online advertising is directed to users that have viewed the product advertised — lower. ed) determine in what stores I go to and what to buy. Often, due to this surrender of various products. Moreover, many goods are the ones that really want to buy. Sometimes arm stretches click. Sometimes click and buy. It is difficult to disagree with the fact that this mechanism is now working very efficiently,” chief editor of the site Hi-News.ru Renat Grishin

“To belong to dinosaurs on the Internet purchases. Began to enjoy online shopping from the beginning of 2000-ies. The brain has adapted to all these above and it does not react to them. Have them act opposite effect. If the store uses such tricks, I will pass and buy elsewhere. If I show the: “this product browsing another 3 people”, “left 1 copy at 30% discount” and so on — close the website.

At the moment, it is not clear what new tricks use a very large and reputable company, like Amazon or Yandex. What data about us is collected and used, for example, in the sorting of product offerings and margins. For example, the same person from USA online-rent a car in France will cost less than for a resident of Italy,” the founder Hi-News.ru Mikhail Korolev.

What from this you can conclude? The only advice here can only be — be vigilant and don’t be fooled.

Interesting to read: the Industrial revolution 4.0: how the Internet of things is changing business and how to stay afloat

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