You probably think you’re pretty rational when it comes to making purchasing decisions, right? Most of us like to think that we’re in complete control when we buy something. The reality is we all suffer from some common consumer biases that marketing companies love to exploit in order to push us into buying something!
What is a consumer bias? A consumer bias, also called a cognitive bias, is when a person places more value on their preconceptions, environmental factors or any criteria other than reality. Since your biases affect your shopping behavior, companies often take advantage of them in order to pressure you into a sale! But if you learn what these biases are, and how they work, you can protect yourself.
Take a look at these 4 secret consumer biases that you may have and learn how to avoid falling into a spending trap!
The Bandwagon effect is the first consumer biases commonly taken advantage of by marketing companies. The basic principle is this: consumers are more likely to purchase something if they see other people buying the same thing. We humans give value to something just because it’s popular. That’s why you’re subconsciously always chasing after all those cool new products you see advertised online!
One way that you can combat this habit is to have a budget-friendly retailer where you can pick up on all that trendy decor or new tech you want without blowing your budget! AliExpress is a good option for finding all the cool gear you see trending on social media, only at affordable prices. With this great AliExpress discount code, you can enjoy your next order from AliExpress at a big discount!
2. Exposure Effect
Just like its name suggests, the exposure effect works by assuming that customers favor products that they are exposed to often. Supermarkets take advantage of this by featuring their most profitable merchandise in highly visible spots. When you see a product at the front of an aisle, your brain is automatically triggered into believing that since it’s so highly visible, it must be valuable!
So the next time you go to press ‘like’ on a brand’s social media page, you might want to think twice! Constant exposure to products might just lead you to make some unwanted purchases thanks to the Exposure Effect!
3. Loss Aversion
Creating the idea that a customer is about to potentially lose out on a bargain has long been a classic marketing strategy. It works by playing on a common consumer bias, that of loss aversion. For decades studies have shown that people fear losing something more than gaining something, even if they are of equal value. People will do a lot of things to avoid a loss and that includes buying things they don’t necessarily need.
So the next time you’re out shopping, be aware of any signage or advertisements warning you not to miss out on the “next big thing”, even if it’s just a sales event. Your loss aversion bias might just convince you that you’ve got to have it!
4. Ingroup favoritism
This consumer bias often rears its head on social media, as it’s all about what’s trending at any given moment! Ingroup favoritism is a bias that leads us to desire products that are popular in our ‘group’… or a group of people we wish we were a part of! A great example of this bias in play is through the marketing choices of Apple. By creating a clique of “Apple product users”, Apple managed to leverage an “us” vs. “them” mentality to sell a lot of iphones!
To avoid this bias, pay extra careful attention on social media or other social platforms where influencers can leverage their popularity within a community to sell products. The next time you want to pick up a product your favorite blogger is promoting, consider if your ingroup favoritism is pushing you into making the choice!