“Retail Therapy” – The effects of emotions on our shopping habits


Emotions play a particularly important role in many aspects of marketing – namely customer satisfaction, loyalty and post-purchase behaviour. We experience a range of diverse emotions which can affect our shopping habits greatly – so it is an important thing for marketers to study.

In our blog on ‘Blue Monday’, the term ‘carryover sadness’ was identified (Garg & Lerner, 2012) – this is when we splurge more money when we’re sad. Sadness triggers a positive valuation of products, meaning we are more willing to pay. Spending induces a sense of control to attenuate the effects of sadness. The opposite effect occurs if we feel disgusted – we are less likely to spend money.

In a more general sense, we all shop for different reasons and with different values in mind. Arnold & Reynolds (2003) created a list of hedonic shopping motivations which is still the basis of many studies looking into consumption habits today. This explains the broad goals that we shop for, and the enjoyable outcomes that are gained from them. Next to these are Emotional Logic’s own Lifestyle Segments.


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