If you’ve ever heard that retail therapy can make you happy, there is actually some truth to the statement. At least according to recent research. After asking hundreds of shoppers to keep diaries of their shopping behavior, and after interviewing hundreds of happy shoppers, researchers have concluded that shopping has a happiness component to it.
Research on Retail Therapy
The researchers asked shoppers to keep diaries of their buying habits, their moods before and after shopping and about purchases that they regretted making. They found that impulse buying occurred more often by shoppers who were in a bad mood when they started their shopping trip.
As the study by Selin Atalay and Margaret Meloy published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing in the U.S., concluded: “Retail therapy purchases were overwhelmingly beneficial, leading to mood boosts and no regrets or guilt.”
Using the Research to Your Advantage
The authors explained that retailers should definitely use this information to their advantage. As they say, “What is suggested is that perhaps practitioners have it ‘right’ when they appeal to consumers with slogans that encourage them to buy themselves splurges. There seem to be positive consequences to buying oneself a small treat: one does feel better.”
They did give one caveat to their research – they pointed out that the findings need to be interpreted carefully since the survey was with a self-selecting group. Participants were generally those who were already in a good mood, which could have swayed the results.