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Why you just can't stop Shopping!

Updated on July 10, 2016

You start with a budget: $500.

In your mind you think: "That should be more than enough for a small shopping spree."

You walk through the mall and begin to shop around while being somewhat careful about the overall spending. You look for items on sale and maybe even try to bargain with your favorite store brands to get a better deal.

Yet in the end you notice that you've spent $800 in all. Almost double your primary budget.

How and why did it happen?

What you didn't realize while going through your shopping spree was that we were with you throughout your whole experience.

Market researchers are, in essence, masters of psychology. Our jobs require us to think of more ways to keep you in a store longer, and make your purchase decision an easy one.

"Well I can't guarantee this item will still be here tomorrow"

A typical line you tend to hear, and a lot of times it is completely false.

Top industry brands, especially in apparel, understand that you are more likely to purchase an item if you spend more time in the store.

  • Our research also shows that you are less likely to purchase an item of interest if you leave the store to shop around. The opportunity in essence slowly begins to disappear.

There are 5 steps that we marketers use to manage your shopping journey:

  1. Opportunity or Problem Identification
    There is a reason to why are shopping. Whether it is to actually purchase an item of need, or to simply de-stress. Our job is to make you think it is one and the same thing.

  2. Personal Research
    This could be browsing the store at your favorite mall, or simply online. Whatever the case is, we know that your dopamine level surges when you just think about the upcoming experience.

  3. Picking the 'best' option.
    Or what you think is the best option. In a lot of cases, you are fooled in believing that you saved money on a Macbook charger, when really you still paid the average retail price. From the moment you walked into that store, all the ads and hidden online messages we've created have helped steer you into our target store.

  4. Making the purchase.
    Remember, we WANT you to pay. And so this is the most crucial step. Most brands, in general, don't want you to 'think about it'. We just want you to walk right in, grab the item, and purchase it with a smile on your face.

    Oh and yes -- The loyalty card (you may have) is primarily designed to also make your purchase move a lot faster.

  5. You got the product now what?

    Well, now it is time to make you believe that the product isn't perfect. I mean yes you paid $200 for a bra that is incredibly comfortable -- but it is still a bra. I mean, how 'perfect' can it be right?

    This is the exact mindset we want you to be in, and guess what: Over 60% of the time, consumers are likely to keep a product even after they feel the quality is not at the standard they expected.

Conclusion: Think about it!

Make our lives harder for us, and think about your next shopping experience at the store. Challenge that norm of "Oh this item is perfect" and remember that we are with you throughout your experience looking for more ways to get you to purchase the item of need.

Now don't get me wrong -- We all are impulse shoppers in the end of the day. Yet, the key difference is that marketers understand how brands are trying to target you and it is very hard for them to succeed when you can simple respond back: "Nice try, but I know a lot more about shopper behavior marketing than you do."

Try it out on your next shopping spree, and let us know how it felt in the comment section below!

Shopper Marketing

When did you last 'impulse shop' (whether in a store or online)?

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      James 17 months ago

      Cool article. Will share.