How to avoid dark patterns when implementing Corso Shipping Protection

The addition of shipping protection to the order should be transparent and obvious for your customer

Corso's Green Shipping Protection is designed to provide a high level of service to your customers. We put your customer's experience at the forefront of our business practices. This starts with how shipping protection gets added to the order and ends with the very easy process of requesting a replacement

We don't purposefully do anything in an attempt to be obscure or difficult for your customers.

When it comes to online user experiences, we recommend avoiding dark patterns which are defined as deceptive practices to "trick" users into unknowingly make purchases or give up personal data. These guidelines will ensure that shipping protection gets added to your customer's order in a legal, ethical, and transparent way.

1. Checkbox should be in an obvious place to allow the customer to opt-out

In order to provide the highest level of service and customer experience to resolve shipping issues and carrier mistakes, most brands have the checkbox "auto-checked". This adds the service of shipping protection and carbon offsets to each order unless the customer decides they want to opt out of the service.

You should place the checkbox in an obvious place which allows the customer to easily opt-out. Usually it is placed directly above the checkout button in the cart or directly next to the order total.

2. Language should be clear and descriptive so the user is not confused about how to opt out of shipping protection

A dark pattern tactic some websites use is to confuse the customer by using abnormal UX behaviors such as, "Check the box to remove shipping protection." A checked checkbox with its corresponding label should always indicate that checking the box will be adding shipping protection to the order. Unchecking the box will remove shipping protection from the order.

Some brands will add extra clarity by adding a disclaimer such as "By deselecting shipping protection, we are not liable for any lost, damaged, or stolen items during shipping."

3. Product should be visible in the cart before the customer pays

With the product being added to the cart by default, we want the product to be clearly visible. Platforms like Shopify and Big Commerce clearly display the product in the checkout flow so the customer is aware of everything they are purchasing. In checkout, Corso will automatically refresh the product section so that shipping protection is displayed throughout the entire checkout process. Hiding the product in checkout would be considered a dark pattern and we take steps to make sure that doesn't happen.

4. Update the UI to include the shipping protection amount in the subtotal and total order amounts.

Even if the shipping protection call-to-action (a.k.a. the widget) may just be a checkbox on the cart, when the customer goes through the checkout flow to pay for their order, the amount of shipping protection should be included in the subtotal and the total amount prior to making payment. On platforms like Shopify and Big Commerce, Corso clearly displays the amount of shipping protection and refreshes the subtotal and total values in checkout so there is no confusion about how much is being charged for the shipping protection service.


Following these practices will make sure you are not following any deceptive dark pattern practices in order to stay compliant with FTC guidelines. It allows you to offer the valuable service of shipping protection to the most customers possible and maximize the use of Corso's excellent Corso Concierge services.