Have you ever felt that when you are buying products online, the virtual experience and variety tempts you into buying more than what you had aimed for? Well, if it happening to you, then you are not alone, and you certainly do not need to join a ‘Shopoholics Anonymous’, as yet. Various e-commerce websites implement smart strategies to lure customers by creating an urgency to buy a product, irrespective of the fact whether they need it or not. Here are a few tricks that online stores use to make you shell out maximum from your pockets.
Have you observed how colorful and inviting all websites of online stores look? They display the most interesting products on the homepage in an attractive manner, which seduces you into entering the website to make a buying decision. Not only this, but they have attractive animations and virtual stores which give you an experience of walking through actual stores while sitting in the comfort of your house. Similar to the strategy of retail stores, the pages of checkout direct you back to the products. This always ensures that you will shop more. The websites create an illusion that the products are pleasing to both, the eyes and the pockets. However, this may be far from the reality.
We have a tendency to think about getting as much free stuff as possible. And when it comes to free coupons, we ignore the price we have to pay in order to get them. Many stores even offer coupons for opening an account and placing the first order. The free coupons are then hand-delivered or emailed to your account. Sometimes, they even offer free gifts on purchases. Online stores capitalize on the fact that people do not mind extending their budget in order to get something free. Like many women, even I am guilty of buying unnecessary stuff to get extra coupons or free gifts. I once ended up spending on a really bad shade of lipstick because it was offering a free cosmetic pouch. The prospects of a free gift or coupons is too attractive to refuse.
Have you observed that you were searching for something related to shoes, and suddenly there is an Ad on the side of the page showing you a beautiful pair of shoes. You are tempted to go to the page and check the offers of that store. You like the shoes and make a purchase. You may think that it is serendipity, that you were searching for shoes and could get the perfect pair. However, this is purely a propaganda of these online stores, where Ads pop up based on what you are browsing. Once you hit the Ad and go to their website, you are sure to be lured by the charm of their products. Many times, these websites also utilize social networking platforms to get your attention, and make you shell out your hard-earned money.
You must have definitely seen this line at the end of the page. Once you click on an individual product, you will be shown results of what other people bought along with that product. For example, you have opened a page of a beautiful party dress. The page will also show you what accessories, shoes, or bags other people bought along with this dress. Even when you had resolved to buy just one dress and log out, you will be enticed to buy matching accessories with it. Not only this, but it will also give you some attractive bottom-of-the-page deals, which will be too irresistible.
Gone are the days when we would think twice before buying something if we didn’t have the budget to support it. Today, many online websites offer cash-on-delivery, and a secure mode of payment, which means, you can save the money till the day of the delivery. Apart from this, they also have easy installment payment schemes, which gives the buyer time leverage. Some stores also offer a try-and-buy scheme, where a product is sent to your house, and you may buy it only if you like it. There are also easy-return policies, where, if you don’t like a product, you may return it within a certain number of days. This makes me try out new products, which as my terrible record of shopping history suggests, I rarely return.
So you are not in a position to spend money now! No problem. Add the products you like to your wish list. It is a general tendency that once we set our eyes on something, we dream about it day and night, until we acquire it. Adding products to your wish list makes you restless until you lay your hands on them. A wish list is a never-ending story. Observe, and you will understand that the list will only get longer and longer. The moment you revisit your wish list to make a buying decision, you will be tempted again to browse through new stock as well, and add more things to your wish list. Some grocery websites even give you a list of ingredients according to the recipe, and make suggestions based on the history of your lists.
When big bright text showing ‘call-to-action’ words like – Sale, Discount 50% , Early Bird Discount, Get Three for the Price of One, Hurry Last Two Days of Sale, flash across the screen, my heart skips a beat. Immediately, I rush through the website to take advantage of the scheme optimally. I am sure most of us must be rushing to make the purchase. But what we do not know is that the slashed prices, discounts, etc., are a mirage. Most of the time, the price is raised and then discounted, so that it matches up with the product’s original cost. When we buy a nail polish at a discounted price of $10, thinking its original cost was $20, we are actually paying the retail price of $10. Customers are kept posted about such schemes through SMSes or emails. A link taking the customer directly to the discount page is also provided.
Many times, you will start seeing special schemes around the time of a certain occasion or holiday season. For example, before Christmas, you will start seeing Christmas Gift Specials, Christmas Must-haves, etc. The look of the website will change to give it a Christmas feel. You will feel like buying gifts not only for others but also for yourself. They also offer pre-order bookings. For example, if a bestselling author’s book is about to be released, people may book a copy for themselves. If Mother’s Day is approaching, the online stores will start offering items like crockery, jewelry, cards, books, clothes etc., with a tag of Mother’s Day Specials attached. All this will be so attractive that you will fall into the trap of buying more and more items, not only for your mother, but also for yourself.
If someone else is bidding for a product which you have laid your eyes on, the buying decision is taken even more quickly. Customers are extremely competitive in nature, and this is exactly what websites capitalize on. They introduce various schemes like Bidding for a Product, Deal of the Day, Ticking Clock, Limited Edition Sale, etc. We tend to immediately act upon things if we are challenged, and that is exactly what these online retail stores do. This also helps them sell a product at maximum cost, as people are ready to buy it for whatever it takes. Once I made an immediate buying decision thinking I would be the exclusive owner of a particular item after seeing the sign – Only 1 in Stock. However, the very next day I saw that the stock was updated to 25.
Have You Noticed?
We fall for the free home delivery trap, and do not make price comparisons before buying products.
Other related topics are flagged with your search. When you search for baby names, you start getting Ads for baby clothes.
A long list of impressive testimonials and product reviews make you believe that the products are excellent.
An attractive list of ‘Also Add to Cart’ items, makes you go weak in the knees, and later in the pocket.
Even before you can blink, your shopping cart size increases and explodes over your budget.
If you place an order once, they will always have your address and credit card details.
You really don’t watch as many movies online as you should, especially for the amount that you pay for the subscription.
The shopping filters only end up making you shop more than what you had decided originally.
Clearly, as you see, there is no window shopping in online purchases. Once you see something that you like, you will be prompted into a buying action. With the increasing number of smartphones, tablets, etc., people are spending even more and more time online, browsing and shopping for products. It has also induced sellers to come up with new and innovative tricks to engage and entertain buyers. This will further urge online buyers into taking impulsive buying decisions. So don’t fall prey to all these marketing gimmicks and smart strategies of these online stores. Before you click on the ‘Buy Now’ button, ask yourself a question – do you really need this product?