Some businesses do things we are unaware of to sell more products and reach more audiences. We see and purchase many things that we think could benefit us or enhance our lives. It is human nature to buy and consume products or content that are accessible and the “best.” This is primarily seen when we engage in transactions that involve free things like freebies or free shipping. Examples include AWS free tier, Spotify’s one-month free, and Amazon’s free shipping. How do these inconspicuous things take advantage of us? Read more to discover examples of companies benefiting and exploiting us from mere products.
This strategy is relevant and popular nowadays due to the rise of streaming services and platforms. But, this is not the first time we have seen this scheme. Any subscription service can have a form of a free trial; this was prevalent with magazine subscriptions before. They utilize this strategy to persuade and woo users or consumers to try their product or service. The company can then take advantage of you through this method. Your credentials must be given to the businesses for you to avail of the “free” trial. They can then charge you without you knowing or offer other things that would make you buy something from them on top of the free trial.
Furthermore, the things you get or experience from these free trials can also be limited to what the business intends. This is done for the consumer to purchase the subscription and receive full benefits. But, you can always cancel or opt out of the free trial period so that you would not get charged by the company.
The demand for online purchasing has soared due to the pandemic restricting outdoor movement and person-to-person exposure. Various online shopping platforms had a surge in user interaction which they have capitalized on. There are two ways to avail of free shipping; either the product is endorsed to have no shipping fee, or you should purchase more products to avail of a free shipping limit. A free shipping limit is a fixed minimum amount that an online store provides. At first, you might think it benefits you since you buy more items without additional fees. But, companies gain more profit from this since you are enticed to purchase in bulk. A membership strategy also exists where a shopping company would offer you to be a member to receive zero shipping fee. Another scheme would be reducing the shipping fee to convince customers they are saving money. These strategies only lead the consumer to overspend and buy more things they did not intend to.
Restaurants tend to have ingenious marketing ploys or tactics. Their main goal is to ensure you purchase a lot and return frequently. Menus are a prominent example of this. It is designed to persuade customers to think they are buying the most affordable options. Some items they sell have a high mark-up price to make them seem premium. These restaurants may also utilize a smaller plate to make dishes look bigger or have bigger straws to convince consumers the drinks taste better.
Businesses have these strategies to generate more profit than they intend. They are exceptional in utilizing psychological tricks to woo consumers into spending more money. It might not directly harm or put us in danger, but they do siphon a lot of profit from us. These are only a few of the many business tricks that exist to pull customers in. It is still our responsibility on how and what we purchase online and on-site.