Buyer beware! These are the tricks online stores use to get you buying more stuff
(CNN) — There's a reason you fall into the rabbit hole of online shopping. A new study breaks down a few wily ways digital retailers sucker shoppers into spending more and committing to hidden costs.
Websites, it turns out, employ a series of "dark patterns" meant to mislead or coerce online shoppers into making a decision that isn't always in their benefit, it says.
You may not know that term, but you've certainly encountered them online — surprise fees at checkout, false scarcity, clicking away that pop-up by admitting no, you don't want a great deal.
These patterns can cause headaches in users' inboxes and dents in their wallets. But in their more harmful iterations, these misleading tactics could cause users to hand over personal data under the guise of something benign.
In an analysis of 53,000 product pages on 11,000 online stores, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Chicago found at least one instance on 11% of the most popular websites. Most of them were deceptive, covert or hid information.