Online shopping is quite possibly one of the best things to come about since the Internet was born. We can now shop wherever we are and whenever we’d like to, on our mobile devices.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like to shop in person. But, there are moments when you just don’t have the time to get to an actual store. Moreover, stores have made it even simpler to shop online through their creation of mobile websites.
Mobile websites are the stripped-down versions of desktop sites. Their whole goal is to make your life easier, by making your search for information and path to purchasing easier.
However, despite the convenience of browsing said sites and being able to purchase items at the touch of a button, mobile websites might actually do consumers more harm than good.
Mobile websites are not only easy to use, but have a way of convincing us to spend more money as well. Here are some ways mobile websites may be costing you more money.
They Use Our Addiction to Their Advantage
How many times have you been somewhere, found yourself without anything to do, only to turn to your phone? Almost all of us do it. Anytime there’s a lull in our day, whether we’re standing in line, on our morning commute, or having a meal, it has become our instinct to browse our phones during times of boredom. Oddly enough, however, what begins as an innocent browsing session can quickly turn into a spending session.
Social media can suck you into thinking you need things you likely don’t. This can cause you to turn to retailers’ sites. If you had to navigate a tiny version of a company’s desktop site, you probably wouldn’t take the time to purchase anything out of frustration. However, the condensed version entices you enough to stay on and browse. Then, thanks to our small moments of boredom, you’re much more likely to hit the purchase button. After all, the joy of shopping is the instant gratification you receive the minute you make a purchase, making it hard habit to break.
They Target Us Specifically
I won’t go so far as to say that Big Brother is watching, but in a sense, that’s exactly the case. Anytime you Google something, search for a particular item, or browse other stores, retailers and search engines use your data and browser history to tailor ads to your liking. They’ll purposely place advertisements of products you like or have looked at right within your view, whether that’s on their site or within your social media feeds. They follow you and in a way, try to trigger your subconscious into purchasing said item.
Moreover, many mobile sites utilize the simple space they have in ways that try to entice us further. Since they stick to simplicity when it comes to their sites, they’ll place large ‘sale’ banners across your mobile screen offering you great deals, you likely won’t refuse. Unfortunately, when items are on sale, we have a tendency to spend even more than we originally would have.
Furthermore, many mobile sites take full advantage of the bottom of your screen as you’re browsing. If you choose to click on one item, many retailers optimize the page by adding a “you might also like…” or “viewers also bought,” section that suggests other items they think you’d like. And in most cases, this tactic proves successful.
They Make Our Shopping Experience Easier
The simplicity of mobile sites is part of the reason we end up spending more money. A mobile website doesn’t usually contain the many buttons or options you see on a desktop site. It is designed specifically for great usability. Their goal is to make your life easier and shopping easy, by creating a more streamlined view. When a website is easier to use, especially on your mobile device, you’re more likely to keep coming back to that site and spending more money.
Furthermore, mobile sites literally make purchasing an item as simple as clicking a button, especially if you’ve shopped with them before. If a retailer already has your credit card and shipping information, all it takes is the click of the “Check-Out” button to get something bought and on its way.
The shopping experience in general is more appealing on a mobile website as well. They have a tendency to lay out your options in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you, which means you’ll keep browsing and the longer you browse, the more probable it is that you’ll buy something.Mobile websites are easy to use, which can be a good or bad thing for your budget. Click To Tweet
They Keep You Coming Back
One of the biggest ways retailers get you to spend money is to convince you to come back to the site itself. Many retailers entice you to sign up for loyalty programs, text alerts, or notifications. While this may seem harmless at first and quite possibly useful, they may cause you to spend money when you normally wouldn’t have.
These alerts pop up randomly and often on your phone, usually to alert you to sales or new products. You might not realize it, but these notifications have a way of getting you to check out those sales or new items. Then, once you’re on the site, it’s only a matter of time before you inevitably purchase something.
Our phones are with us 24/7. Plus, for many of us, they are our lifelines, the way we do just about everything. Of course, they’re also our source of entertainment, and when we’re bored our phones are what we turn to.
We play games, search social media, and browse the selections of some of our favorite stores. While it may seem like a harmless way to pass the time, mobile websites get us to spend more money. They’re strategically built, easy to use, and utilize the information we give them to keep us interested and sell us the next great thing.
Do you browse on mobile websites on a regular basis? Do you find yourself spending more on mobile websites?