Hi, I’m Deb, and I’m a compulsive shopper.
Or at least I have been. But then again, haven’t we all?
It happens when you just know that everything will fall into place if only you have that perfect pair of boots, fall coat, or new phone. You think to yourself, let me just pop into this store. I’m just going to look, you promise yourself.
Never mind the novel you promised yourself you’d start, or the meditation class you’ve been meaning to try, or even the pipe under the kitchen sink that needs to be replaced. Because those things take time, and nothing – I mean nothing – can compare to the high we get from a short-term or impulse buy.
Are you retailers getting this?
We want to buy your stuff. Not because we can’t live without it, but because we believe we can’t live without it. That’s what we think: our lives will be complete once we have this or that. The truth is, most people don’t need that new dress or pair of boots, but no one who has ever impulsively shopped will admit that.
Now, I hate to encourage businesses to prey on those compulsive shoppers, but I assume you’re just trying to increase sales and make a profit. Heck, we can think positive, that maybe you’re even helping people in the end. So how are you going to get people into your store, or onto your commerce site?
By helping them feel complete, that’s how. Thread counts are great. Non-stick is great. But are they going to make you crave getting under the covers every night, or help you create the relationship-clinching omelet every morning? They better.
So start thinking about how your products are going to make me feel. Stylish? Pampered? Cutting-edge? Savvy? More confident about both myself and my life? Because that’s what I want. And the faster you can get this feeling to me, the better.
There’s a reason for that. In order to survive and pass their genes on to the next generation, every animal is equipped with a “Motivational Triad.” This triad includes pleasure seeking, pain avoidance, and energy conservation. We seek to enhance pleasure, we seek to avoid pain, and we seek to do all that with as little effort as possible. That’s why Fifth Avenue is so popular.
In advertising, reaching this triad is often promised through a visual image.
Remember when car ads always had a beautiful woman leaning against the sports car in question? We’ve moved beyond that, but not far. It’s still the same message, just altered for a new era. In the end, it’s always about pleasure seeking. Because for humans, it’s instinctual. Eventually, the guys who gave up on finding the beautiful woman from the car ads settled down and started a family. Now our compulsive shopper’s pleasure comes from seeing their child have everything, instead of that sports car they once lusted over.
As you can tell, this post isn’t about media spending, or incentivized unit pricing. It’s about feelings, and if you’re not tapping into people’s emotional capital, you’re not tapping into people.