The Psychology of Shopping Online

BlogHer Original Post

I've heard before that colors mean things to us emotionally. In grade school a friend told me all fast food places are red or yellow or orange because those colors make you hungry. I don't know that I really believed them then or now, but it certainly is interesting to think about the psychology of marketing. The Man. Out to get your Benjamins.

online shopping cart icon

Credit Image: simiezzz on Flickr


Here's an interesting infographic about online shopping marketing techniques. Do you agree with it?

Carrie Sloan at LearnVest writes:

Research reported in the New York Times has shown that if you have two similar items on a page, one selling for $200 and the other for $250, most people will choose the cheaper item. But add a third item, at a higher price point, like $300, and now the same customer will buy the $250 item. Sites often add high-price items they’re unlikely to sell, seducing you into buying up.

Even scarier? Online auctions. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD, writes at Psychology Today about the science of eBay:

In eBay types of auctions, people bid more aggressively as the bid values increase. Economists believe this last minute frenzy occurs because bidders become increasingly less fearful that that their bid is overvalued.

Does this freak you out? Do you feel manipulated by your favorite online shopping sites?

Rita Arens authors Surrender Dorothy and is the editor of Sleep is for the Weak. She is BlogHer's assignment and syndication editor.

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