jsinger - 7:49 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)
I don't think ecommerce sites would be using them constantly if they weren't making money off of them.
I wouldn't assume that. You have no idea what the motivations are.
Did the banking sector, for example, make all those risky loans because they made sense for their bank's long term profits? The were made because most of the big banks (CITI, BOA etc) were doing it and because banking executives, like Dot Com execs a decade before, are motivated by short term personal goals, such as quarterly bonuses and stock options. Governmental pressure to make risky loans has also been alleged.
Keep in mind that some businesses are driven by stock market considerations if they hope to go public (IPO buyers insist on rising sales, but not necessarily profits). Others have loan covenants that may fall into default if sales drop.
Yes, and some business owners (and shareholders and lenders) are simply stupid.