On a subconscious level, shopping is much more than what it appears to be on the surface. It fulfills many of our inner cravings that we may not even realize are part of our psyche. Think of it as filling a void as the surge of emotions passes through one’s brain upon the successful completion of a purchase (or even just fantasizing about having a new toy).
Indeed, there are many powerful forces at play that a savvy marketer knows how to turn to their advantage. In the end, it comes down to understanding the human psychology; to grasp it, try doing a little bit of self-analysis the next time you’re shopping for something and see if you can identify any of the following:
A flashing sign promising a 50% off your purchase is a surefire way to get someone’s attention. After going through with the purchase, a store may visibly display the sum of money you’ve saved by buying that particular item. But you know what? Even netting a great deal does not equate to saving money if you’re actually spending it. It’s merely a marketing trick to get you excited and thus more likely to open up your wallet.
Scarcity tactics are a way to play on your fear of missing out. Let’s say you’ve noticed a new pair of shoes that you’re dying to have in your collection. Everything is perfect about them; the style, the color, the material they’re made of, and even the way they fit. But if they’re in high demand or part of a limited run, how can you walk out of the store and know they’ll still be there when you come back later? You can’t. Will this make you more likely to secure the deal and buy them on the spot? You bet!
The next time you’re out doing shopping in your favorite store (either online or offline), take note of what kind of emotions you’re experiencing, particularly if you’re female. While true that women enjoy shopping more than men, it can be argued that shopping in and of itself has a calming, almost therapeutic effect on one’s mind. At the same time, it can also serve as a form of escapism to forget your daily hurdles and let off some steam, albeit for a brief while.
You won’t believe how many people resort to playing at online roulette and casino sites when they crave to be entertained, and shopping also tends to press all the right buttons as it is a similar concept. It could even be watching your favorite series or eating a bowl of ice cream. When feeling bored, overworked, or under-stimulated, we start looking for ways to stimulate our brains. It’s that instant fix these kind of activities can offer, and the specifics depend on what gets you excited.
Knowing the psychological triggers that lead to spending is the first step towards developing a tighter grip on your personal finances and a healthy degree of self-restraint. If, however, you’re on the other side of the fence and your job has something to do with marketing or sales, you’ll be able to use these to great success.