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Essentia’s Top 10 Online Shopping Nudges

With the festive season gathering speed, many of us are now making some critical gift-allocation choices. Not surprisingly, it’s a decision-making process that online retailers are happy to help us with.

Using increasingly powerful algorithms and a cocktail of behavioral insights, sites like Amazon have become experts in guiding our choices and encouraging us to convert from browsing to buying. 

Below are 10 online sales techniques to watch out for and share (especially with anyone that has access to your credit card).

The psychological power of a free gift

1. Free gift with your purchase!

According to behavioral scientist Dan Ariely, we have a curiously illogical approach to free gifts – attributing to them a worth that is higher than their actual face value. As a result, we are more drawn to free items than discounted ones, even when a discount makes more sense financially or helps us to get more value from our purchase. Online retailers take advantage of this, using a “free gift with purchase” tactic to lure us into increasing our average order size.  

2. “Great product – just what I needed”

Customer feedback has become an important selling point and retailers know that we consistently go for the product with the most reviews. But we need to be careful: recent research into this popularity bias shows we also tend to choose the item with more reviews, even when they give the same low rating as an alternative product with fewer reviews. In statistical terms, this is actually a poor strategy because we are choosing the item more likely to be of low quality. 

User reviews

One in five people shop online from the bathroom.
(Source: Adobe Inc)