E-Commerce Sites Are Using Dark Patterns to Fool Consumers

Ecommerce sites need users to stick with them through thick and thin, but in spite of the fact that this is the case they tend to use some rather underhanded techniques to make that happen. For example, many ecommerce sites are guilty of using trick questions. If you were to try to cancel your subscription, you will be posed a question that will mix up the answers. This might trick you into keeping your subscription, even though your goal had been to get rid of it.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that these are just some of the dark patterns that companies tend to deploy. One of the most egregious ones involves adding items to a user’s basket without telling them. This will occur regardless of whether or not the user has even shown an interest in the product to begin with.

Ecommerce companies are also notorious for the disparity between signing up and cancelling a subscription. Signing up is something that usually requires little more than a click, but if you want to cancel this subscription you might have to make a call to a helpline and jump through countless hoop. This makes cancellation far harder than might have been the case otherwise.

A fourth dark pattern that can be noted has actually been named after none other than Mark Zuckerberg. The way Zuckering works is that it essentially fools you into thinking that you need to share certain private information, even if it is not altogether necessary.

Companies take part in such practices because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up boosting their revenue streams. The use of dark patterns is still somehow legal, so it is not all that likely that they will go away in the near future.

Instead, consumers will need to be wary of them and figure out what they can do to avoid falling prey to them. As the ecommerce industry grows, such dark patterns would need to be addressed in order to make the industry safer.
H/T: Merchantmachine

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