Ways Online Retailers Are Tricking You During Quarantine

When COVID-19 lockdowns started in March and brick-and-mortar stores became mostly off-limits, consumers flocked to shop online, driving a monumental growth spurt in online spending.  According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales grew more than 30% between the first and second quarters of 2020; in the second quarter of 2020, Americans spent $211.5 billion online. Though panic buying and other consumer trends — like spending more time on social media — were largely responsible for the surge in online spending, e-retailers were quick to pull out tricks — or dark patterns — to lure shoppers into spending more.