Sad or unhappy? Go shopping!

Sad or unhappy? Go shopping!

According to researchers at the University of Michigan, shopping is a very efficient way to get rid of sadness or feeling powerless. The fact that we get to make choices, gives us a sense of control. Shopping is therapy...

 

"Retail therapy" counters sadness

A study in the reputable Journal of Consumer Psychology has brought "retail therapy", shopping for comfort, back to the forefront. “Retail therapy is often said to be ineffective, wasteful and a dark side of consumer behaviour, but we propose that retail therapy has been viewed too negatively, and that shopping may be an effective way to minimize sadness”, the researchers from the University of Michigan wrote.

Retail therapy as a concept is quite old. There have been studies that show that shoppers become happy thinking about their recent purchases. Even a stroll past some stores can lower their sadness. There had been no scientific proof of what triggered this change in emotion though: the fact that something was bought or that window shopping provided a distraction.

Key? “Choosing is regain personal control”

Two sets of consumers were used for the experiments. Both were shown the same 12 items, from slippers to headphones. One group could choose or buy 4 items, while the other group could only watch.

Results showed that 79 % of ‘buyers’ had found their sense of self-control again, while only 2 % felt like that when they were not allowed to buy. The buyer group was three times less sad than the people in group 2. 

“Our experiments provided support for the notion that making shopping choices helps to restore a sense of personal control over one’s environment, and thus helps to alleviate sadness”, the Michigan researchers stated.

 

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Turnover for 100 largest web shops in Belgium grows 13.5 %

16/11/2017

Turnover for the top 100 web shops in Belgium grew 13.5 % from 3.7 to 4.2 billion euro. Digital sales for food items and household products have increased considerably.

Barbie rejects G.I. Joe & co (for now?)

16/11/2017

Toy giant Mattel has allegedly turned down competitor Hasbro’s bid, according to press agency Reuters’ anonymous sources close to the deal. It is still unclear what the repercussions would be.

Henkel increases full-year turnover forecast

15/11/2017

For the first time ever, Henkel will pass the fifteen billion euro turnover milestone for the first nine months of the year. The company will also increase its turnover and profit forecast on the back of these excellent performances.

Singles' Day alters the global retail calendar, even here

14/11/2017

Move aside Christmas turnover, Singles’ Day is the world’s largest shopping holiday – by far. Alibaba generated a 22 billion euro turnover in a single day and even Bol.com took advantage of the day. Are we heading to a new retail calendar?

Avoid long waiting lines at cash registers thanks to Google Maps?

13/11/2017

Google will add a new option to its Maps app on 23 November: users will then be able to assess how much time they will lose at the cash register.

This is how online retailers can beat Amazon Prime

13/11/2017

Market research firm SmarterHQ says Amazon’s bond with consumers is razor-thin and they would quickly abandon their subscription if the advantages proved to be too meagre. This should present opportunities to the competition.

Back to top