Why online shopping sucks?

Temptation to buy more and more leads to accumulation of useless possessions. We buy more than what we need for happy life. Time when more possessions was necessary for survival gone but desire to accumulate items stronger than ever before.

Useless purchases mostly done under influence of social media, TV, colleagues, friends. We want to look better, feel better and to achieve this we presented with quick SHOPPING fix. Offline shopping shifted to online space. To own more items was never easier, just order it online and it’s gonna be delivered to your doorstep (office).

Main online shopping advantages: convenient, affordability & variety, price comparison, time saving, easy delivery.

Main online shopping disadvantages: overspending, wrong products delivery, item does not meet expectations, shipping, environment impact from over packing, payment frauds, privacy concerns.

Ticket size smaller for online purchase and majority of people do not return cheap items. Buyer feel that will need to spend more time to return parcel that to keep it. It’s only $9.99, I’ll better keep it and in one day I’ll definitely need it. But that day when you actually need it never arrive. And if you will need it you can always buy it. Most common problems for not returned items: slightly small & big size, product not meeting customers expectations, sales and holiday shopping, busy lifestyle, laziness.

Let’s check example. Customer want to buy new fancy phone case for $19.99 with attractive free overnight shipping. Looks familiar? Do customer really need new phone case if precious one perfectly good to use? Is it own decisions or influenced by Instagram influencer? Most buyers will think “it’s only $19.99”. But actually this case cost more for buyer that $19.99. How much more? Let’s count:

  1. How many hours do you need to work to afford it?
  2. How much cost is your time which required to browse online shops to buy it?
  3. What’s manufacturing cost?
  4. How much profit margin seller, shop, logistic partner receive? There’s nothing like free shipping (shopping cost already included in price)
  5. How can you invest this money for future profits?
  6. Maybe you should save this $19.99 and spend on dinner with friends?

As you can see small expenses adding up to big sum over long period of time.

Love for online shopping linked with dopamine. Buyer experience dopamine release twice: ordering moment and delivery & unpacking moment. But with more often shopping dopamine levels reducing. Need more shopping to enjoy dopamine release. When buyer believe that gets better price or quantity deal dopamine levels higher. This phenomena used by retailers best described as “retail therapy”.

Brain overestimate level of emotions from owning desirable item. Online shopping addiction linked with “shoppers high” and lowers self-esteem. Researchers proved that hidden depression make online shopping like “fresh breathe”.

Moderate online purchases is great tool to save time & money. But don’t let emotional shopping waste hard earned money.

To pay for memories always better than, to spend for useless items which require maintenance and storage.

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