hunting rots the spirit of gift giving
Black Friday is our unofficial bargain hunting national holiday.
But the focus on finding deals is undermining the emotional purpose of gift giving.
Trying to understand how and why people shop and buy is pandora braclets what I do as a consumer psychologist. Since, and because of, the recession, I've seen shoppers become more obsessed with deals and discounts. If this were simply pandora link bracelet a refusal to overpay, that wouldn't be a problem. But that's not the case. Bargain obsessed shoppers frequently compromise on a purchase (not the right size, not a great color, not the preferred brand) because it is on sale which is a particularly bad way to choose a gift.
Though it's fashionable to think of gift exchanges as the commercialization of the holidays, gifts have always been a deeply effective, meaningful pandora stores in sydney way to connect with others.
Memorable gifts ones that delight, ones that ignite or cement relationships reflect the giver's taste and personality and also express his or her understanding of the recipient. That's a lot to accomplish, and it takes focus. In fact, this intense empathy is why gift giving creates such bonds between people. It's not gratitude that strengthens relationships, but the mental and emotional process of selecting a gift. In where to buy pandora charms fact, studies show that the giver gets more emotional gratification out of a thoughtful gift than the recipient; it validates that they're a caring person with significant bonds.
Shoppers today are less likely to lovingly describe merchandise and more likely to gush over savings. In the scores of interviews and ethnographies I've conducted over 18 years here's an overarching trend I've seen: Shoppers today are less likely to lovingly describe merchandise and more likely to gush over savings. In other words, the focus has shifted from what they're buying to what they're spending (often incorrectly called "saving").
For example, I asked a woman earlier this year to describe a recent favorite purchase. She excitedly listed the multiple sources of discounts she used to get a silk shirt at 70% off, but never mentioned any aspect of the shirt that impressed her. By contrast I remember a shopper I interviewed a decade ago petting her new nightgown while describing every aspect of what she loved about it, including the feel of the fabric, the cut and the brand.
It's easy to see how we became bargain brained. At the start of the recession everyone was caught off guard, especially retailers, who, in December 2007, were forced to unload bursting holiday inventories at clearance prices before Thanksgiving. For years afterward, offering bargains was many retailers primary survival mechanism.
The psychological motivations for shoppers also evolved during this period.
For example, pre recession, shopping was more competitive; securing a bargain was proof of one's prowess. As trust in businesses plunged during the recession, shoppers started to use bargains as reassurance of fair pricing. Then as the economy improved and online retail gave shoppers an overwhelming array of options, people began to use bargains as a way to narrow decisions to a manageable level.
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