Watch Out! This Is How Retailers Get Extra Money Out Of You

by Lee Wang

The many methods online retailers possess to encourage more money to leave your pockets include one day only sales, countdown clocks, and a number of other subtle and not so subtle suggestions. There is no doubt you have seen many of these tactics before but you may or may not have been able to resist the urge to put more in your cart than was planned. But knowing is half the battle and the following are some of the most popular tactics online retailers use to help separate you from your money.

Free Shipping

Free and expedited shipping is perhaps the best tactic e-commerce retailers have in their arsenal. If you have spent any time online at all, you have seen advertisements promising free shipping on orders that total more than $40 or next day shipping if $50 or more is spent. This method is effective because it encourages consumers to purchase additional unneeded items to reach the threshold for free or expedited shipping.

Available Quantities Limited

Business insiders applaud the “scarcity principle” for its ability to encourage consumers to pull the trigger on potential sales. This created sense of urgency is a strong call to action and will often put an end to deliberations as customers feel it is now or never for the purchase. Customers today have unprecedented access to product reviews and inventory research. You should use this access and not be pressured into a purchase you will later realize you did not really want or need.

Countdown Clocks

Log in to a merchant site on Monday and you will see countdown clocks everywhere. These clocks constantly run while a visitor is on the page and alerts the consumer to the fact the price being advertised will no longer be available once zeros show on the clock. This is another play on the scarcity principle and consumers should take the same approach they used with ads that inform of limited quantities. Do not allow yourself to be pressured or rushed. If the product is no longer available on the site you are visiting, you will find it elsewhere.

Checkout with One-Click

You should take a deep breath and reconsider whenever encountered with a purchasing decision that can seemingly take place at the speed of light. This is because the ability to reconsider is exactly what the merchant is trying to eliminate. This tactic is extremely effective as nearly nine out of ten respondents to a recent survey admitted they are more likely to make a purchase if a “buy now” button similar to the one used by Amazon is available.

Increased Savings with Higher Purchases

Have you ever made a $100 purchase in response to a $10 savings? Or walked away feeling like you were discounted $5 after making a $50 purchase. The idea here is that your savings will increase if you spend more money. In reality, no one wins but the retailer. A little comparison shopping will often reveal that there really is no discount being offered at all.

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