It doesn’t take a genius to notice that mood is an incredibly important factor when it comes to shopping. Walk into an expensive clothes store in a good mood, and you’re likely to either buy something that’s absolutely terrific or sigh and ooh and leave with your wallet intact. If I walk into a store in a bad mood, I’ll either buy ten things that all look dreadful or spend on an item that makes me look like everyone else, as opposed to fitting in with my pre-existing wardrobe. So what factors affect how we shop and can becoming aware of these factors help us improve our bad shopping behaviours?
The sunnier the store, the more likely we are to spend money in it. It seems ridiculous, but sunshine makes us happy, makes problems (like how we’re going to pay off our credit card) seem further away. The same is true of flooring- the more comfy the floor, the more likely we are to spend extra time in a store. Put it this way; someone who has an issue with spending too much money when they shop should consider a sunny store, with deep carpet as their worst nightmare.
According an article on Yahoo! Personal Finance, the background noise of a shop has significant affect. The most obvious noise would be restaurants (think about all those reviews where you decided against a restaurant because of the noise bouncing off those noveau Industrial metal benches). Jazz and classical are associated with higher expenditure on main meals. Similarly, romantic songs playing in florists can have a devastating effect on your wallet.
Clearly not an industry secret, but so easy to forget. I have a very puffy down jacket that lives at the back of my wardrobe thanks to the phenomenon of a good-looking salesperson. Shallow? Obviously. But I’m not alone. Research shows that attractive staff sell more products. If you don’t believe me, look at the shift in bartenders, most noticeably in Sydney in recent years. Gone are the aloof wannabe models you were too scared to ask for a margerita and, in their place, are hunky hipsters who are super friendly and all wear stripy shirts and neck ties. Good for business? I’d bet my life on it.
Last One Fever
You know that irrational urge when you see there’s only one cashmere sweater left, and someone has just put it down? Or you’re limited to 3 of a certain kind of boutique beer so you send in your partner, brother and mother to stock up as well? It’s a tactic. We all want the edge, we all want the limited, it’s human nature.
How to Cope
Awareness is half the battle. There’s nothing wrong with going to nice stores where you enjoy shopping, as long as it doesn’t make you spend more than you intend. Track your spending for a month, and understand the reality of your spending habits. If there’s a store or a restaurant that encourages over-spending, set yourself a budget and stick to it. If tempted by a sales tactic, force yourself to walk outside for 5 minutes. There’s no nice perfume, slick freestyle jazz or tempting signs there; you can make a decision, free from outside impediment.