Most of you would be familiar with this phenomenon. You are at a retail store and something captures your eye. You do not think twice, you grab it before someone else does and proceed to the cashier for payment. Rushing off home, you immediately imagine how this new object will make your life more positive. The reality? It is something you did not need and surely should not imagine buying before you saw it. It is safe to say that we all, one day or another, fell victim to an impulse purchase.
Impulse buying can become a problem, especially if it is poorly managed. This will impact your finances in the short-term and if not controlled, in the long-term as well since you will not be able to develop financially sustainable patterns and habits. Whilst one should definitely treat himself every once in a while, it is important to keep your budget in mind and distinguish between proper needs and wants.
The topic of impulse buying started gathering attention in the 1950s and remains popular in research till this very day.
So what really causes impulse buying?
This can all be associated with the love of buying new things and an addiction to shopping. Some people experience a rush of adrenaline when they buy something new. This is typically a dopamine rush which makes people feel good. Most people also feel excited with the anticipation of buying something new, so they end up purchasing it without considering the need for it that much.
People may also buy things simply because others are doing so. The fact that other people are buying a certain product whilst you are not, can create a fear that you will be left out, thus leading to a purchase decision with minimal consideration.
Another reason why one could be led to make an impulse purchase is due to a seemingly good price. This can put you in a position where you believe that you would save money in the long run. Take for example, an expensive outfit, which is fifty percent off and it looks ok. You might end up not wearing it at all!
Impulse buying creates a feeling of temporary happiness. In moments where one is stressed and demotivated, he might turn to shopping to feel better. This becomes all the more tempting with different marketing messages which promise happiness and a better lifestyle with the acquisition of a particular product. Cleverly crafted advertising messages make it very hard to resist those few clicks which will bring you a new item for your indulgence.
What is your view on impulse buying? Let us know in the comments section.