8 Clever Tricks Online Shopping Websites Use to Make Us Open Our Wallets

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With shopping online becoming easier than blinking your eyes these days, e-commerce companies are trying their best to make the most of it. From applying smart marketing techniques and carrying out some remarkable research on the back-end, to using psychological and emotional tricks, they are doing it all. And we all fall for these tricks some time or another.

Want to know how? Read on as we discuss 8 clever tricks online shopping websites use to make us open our wallets.

1. No whole numbers in pricing

Ever wondered why you’ve never bought anything for a whole S$100? Or S$50?

As humans, we will tend to more readily buy a product priced at S$49.99 than the one that is priced S$50. Here, your brain tends to give importance to 49 and ignore the numbers after the decimal. This ‘just under’ pricing trick has worked historically and continues to rule the e-commerce markets even today.

Related: Online Shopping Hacks: 7 Ways to Crack the Best Deals

2. Limited stock warning: Buy now or you miss-out!

Many e-commerce websites play with the fear within us of not being to be able to buy a desired product if we don’t do it right away citing ‘limited stock’. This not only pushes us to buy the product but buy it instantly.

3. Suggesting items for bulk buying or bundling products

Why should you buy just one? If you set out to buy just one dishwashing liquid soap, don’t be surprised if you end up with six. While the Maths may quite make sense then, sometimes bulk buying ends up with you spending more than you set out to do.

Ditto with bundling. This trick almost works every time. If you are shopping for a cake stand, e-commerce websites will suggest other equipment you might require for baking a cake. More often than not, they get it right and tempt you to buy something that you already own (it is always time for an upgrade!) or something you could do without.

Related: 4 Occasions That Make Us Overspend, and Tips to Avoid Splurging

4. Year-round sales

There was a time when things were on sale only twice a year. However, with online retailers taking over, there is some sale or the other all the time. These persistent sale prices coax you to buy things you wouldn’t really buy in the first place.

So, while checking out, if the website mentions ‘you saved S$45’ on a discounted product selling for S$100, you end up not saving S$45 but spending S$100. However, that message does provide some solace at the end of shopping! Feeling smart, eh?

5. Minimum order for free shipping

This trick, just like the previous one, makes you buy things you totally did not intend to when you logged in. If a website has a minimum order price of S$60 and the product you need costs S$51, you will be tempted to buy something worth S$9 to save the shipping cost.

Why pay for shipping when you can spend a bit more and actually buy something!

6. Cash on delivery

Who doesn’t love CoD? It is quick, convenient and secure. So, even if a website is charging you a nominal fee for paying in cash, you wouldn’t really mind since who really has the time to key in all those tedious card details?

Plus, this tends to give you a feeling that you actually bought something without really paying right away. And that is one good feeling.

Related: 13 Smart Makeup Shopping Tips for Budget Beauty Junkies

7. Customer ratings

A single positive push is all you need when you are shopping for something. Positive customer reviews do just that. Apart from giving you a true picture of the product quality, they tend to encourage you to buy the item.

8. Reminders of products in your cart

You liked a shirt online, added it to your cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. You thought that’s the end of a story, but it’s not for the e-commerce website. Welcome to the world of retargeting. Now that shirt could well appear in your dreams!

You will see images of that shirt on social media, e-mailers and so on. This might seem to be a pleasant coincidence but it’s not. E-commerce websites invest heavily into online retargeting to see a high conversion rate. Thanks to this trick, many of us will end up buying that product after failing to resist it.

Psst: Clear your cookies, if you don’t want to be lured into buying a product that you initially rejected.

Related: Cheapest Online Grocery Stores in Singapore: We Compared 7 and Here’s Our Verdict

So now that you know of these tricks, will it impact your online shopping habits?

Now that you know all about how you are being ‘persuaded’ by your favourite websites, it is safe to assume your next encounter with them will be interesting. It is also safe to say that you will never retire from online shopping even after knowing it all.

So, don’t forget to use these best credit cards for online shopping in Singapore while you are at it.

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