SALES are now in full swing – it feels like there are incentives everywhere to spend, spend, spend.
But by being more aware of these subtle ‘nudges’ – sometimes used by retailers to make us spend more than we possibly could – it might be easier to stay on a budget.
The PriceSpy price comparison website (pricespy.co.uk) urges shoppers to beware of failed ‘deals’ and highlights retailer tactics with help from consumer psychologist Cathrine Jansson-Boyd.
Here Jansson-Boyd reveals some of the tactics to watch out for …
1. The most prominent products on websites are not always the best
Jansson-Boyd says, âMany consumers assume that websites prioritize their most popular items. And because we fear that we will miss what is popular, it means that we often buy one of the items that is presented to us first.
“However, often the first things are just the things that companies need to get rid of urgently.”
2. The very practical âbuy nowâ button
Many store website checkouts are incredibly efficient, often using pre-populated information to speed up the process.
Jansson-Boyd says, âYou can order everything in seconds if you register all of your information on their sites.
“The faster a person makes a purchase, the better it is for the site because it means the consumer doesn’t have time to rethink their purchases and change their mind.”
3. The hype
Jansson-Boyd adds, âPeople are social by nature, and they assume there is security in numbers.
“Therefore, when reviews, likes and recommendations are used, it signals to the consumer that an item is tried and tested. It makes it seem like the purchase is safe.”
4. The “call” discounts
Retailers sometimes build momentum by offering big discounts on certain items – and once they’ve caught your eye, you might be tempted to start filling your cart.
âHuge discounts are often used to entice consumers to visit stores or websites,â says Jansson-Boyd.
âThey are essential in creating what is sometimes called buying momentum. Basically, it happens when one purchase gives you a psychological push to buy another.
“It basically puts consumers in the right frame of mind to shop, and they almost automatically look at what other items they can buy.”
5. “Free” deliveries that encourage you to spend more
Often, websites offer free shipping for expenses greater than a fixed amount. This can work in buyers’ favor sometimes – but if you’re spending a lot more just to get free shipping, ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
Jansson-Boyd says, âConsumers are often happy to meet the spending (free delivery) requirements because they will feel like they haven’t wasted their money on something intangible.
She adds, “From a seller’s perspective, it’s worth noting that many consumers change their mind if a shipping charge is added at the end.”
6. FOMO (fear of missing out)
âPeople are more affected by the losses than by the gains,â says Jansson-Boyd. âTherefore, people try to avoid the pain of missing something and linger on defeat if they do.
“Because people are afraid of missing out on something they think is a good deal, it can lead them to make hasty decisions that they might later regret.”
FOMO can appear when buyers see terms such as “limited stock available” or “limited time offer”.
HOW TO AVOID EXPENSES …
Buyers can use their own tactics to guard against the urge to splurge. Jansson-Boyd suggests researching what an item normally costs – that way you’ll know if it’s really a bargain.
She says, âCompare these items across multiple sites and use the price history and comparison tools to understand the price change over time. buy now ‘prompt. “
And think about how you feel when shopping – for example, if you’re feeling stressed out or looking for an emotional uplift.
There may also be some physical tactics that you can use. When browsing online, Jansson-Boyd suggests not to sit too comfortably – because “you are more likely to view articles online in a less favorable manner.”
She adds, “If you are in a store, avoid touching items and using a shopping cart – you are more likely to buy items that you touch because that generates psychological property.”