When it comes to discounts, deals, and special offers, shoppers usually tend to adopt a “the more, the merrier” kind of attitude, which apart from a certain sense of material achievement often brings about a specific kind of fatigue. Why is that, when shopping is something that is supposed to make you happy (well, at least for a while)?
Some of the quick answers will bring to mind the variety (sometimes too much, other times too little) of options to choose from, a relatively short time allocated to decision-making, crowding, long check-out lines, promotional jingles playing out loud… well, we’ve all been there.
This is why the month of December, when the average time spent in shops and stores suffers a spectacular increase, is resented by some as being particularly stressful. And this is also the reason why many customers have switched their shopping experience from offline to online.
Shopping usually makes even out of its biggest fans exhausted customers with long faces, thoroughly confused, weary, out of energy and out of inspiration. You’ve seen them in malls, in department stores, and in supermarkets; sometimes you’re one of them yourself. And you are not alone, because when it comes to patience and attention span, we all have out breaking points.
The following sections of the article will introduce you to the most common fatigue-triggers in various shopping categories while also providing you with 10 useful tips to avoid becoming an exhausted shopper!
In this guide...
Why Mall & Supermarket Shopping Makes You Feel Drained?
Shopping in a big mall may end up provoking you the same amount of physical distress as running a marathon. This stays true for large supermarkets, hypermarkets, or department stores.
Regardless of the place, it is important to know that the physical fatigue is more of a mental origin, because the buyer is surrounded by a sea of information in the form of visual cues like colors, patterns, labels, prices, and signs.
This setup already demands a lot of focus, but there are also auditory cues (like endless chatter, background music, or jingles) that will equally get you easily distracted. These factors are combined to form a huge amount of data waiting to be taken in and processed. This could become a very daunting challenge for someone who is not always very fond of shopping, and especially if it happens after a long day of work.
To the stressful environment, add two kinds of pressure one usually feels in a store: to make wise purchase and to not waste too much time in the process. Sometimes decision-making becomes really difficult, in front of the wide variety of products in the same category.
If you don’t know exactly what you’re heading for, you have to make new choices for each item, trying to find the right balance between a good price, a nice appearance, and a quality brand.
You also have to pay attention to the desired quantity, to flavors, sizes, patterns… sometimes you lose focus, which after a certain period makes you act like “anything goes” and this is precisely the moment you’re bound to make wrong choices.
What Can Be Done?
Tip #1: Try to pick small boutiques with a smaller variety of goods for less important items (such as detergent or grocery products.) If you discover that you can find there everything you need for the moment, there’s no point in making a stressful journey to the supermarket. And when you do, try buying larger quantities of non-food items, so you don’t have to come back very often.
Tip #2: Avoid large shopping areas and big commercial centers when you are already tired. After work shopping sounds like a bad idea, if you really want to enjoy doing it. Keep a few hours in the weekend for that.
Tip #3: Don’t go shopping alone. Not only because it is comforting to know that someone will help you carrying the heavy bags, but it is also of great help in decision making in front of the shelves.
Tip #4: Always go shopping with a list. Either you do it mentally, on paper or on your smart phone, it will help you to remind what you really came after, in the sea of distractions.
Coupons and Deals
Everyone loves a good deal – and this is why coupons and special offers don’t go unnoticed. It’s just that trying to consider each and every piece of information from the flood of offers and promotions that daily fills up all your inboxes is already an exhausting task, before you even set up foot in a store. Also, it is not always obvious to tell apart the ones that are actually relevant from those which are deals only with their name.
For example, statistics have it that an average user of a coupon app will see 338 coupons from 25 different stores upon stepping near a commercial center. Of course, most buyers prefer to have access to more – rather than less – discounts and product reviews, but permanently keeping their track can make even the most diehard consumers feel confused and fatigued. And once in store, the amount of information becomes overwhelming.
What Can Be Done?
Tip #5: Unsubscribe from receiving offers that don’t interest you. Browse through relevant promotions only and try to keep them organized.
Tip #6: Before making use of coupons and discounts, pay extra attention to terms and conditions and expiration dates, to make sure you got them right. Offers that sound too good to be true often have their hidden tricks.
Why Shopping Online Does Not Always Solve the Problem?
For some of the reasons presented above, online and mobile shopping have been on the rise in the past few years. Some buyers prefer them because it helps them avoid crowded stores, long queues, and the noisy background present frequently in offline shopping. In fact, market studies show that 72% of buyers under 35 actually research and shop their options online, before going to a mall.
Nevertheless, if you want to be aware of all the available offers and to make the wisest choices, browsing through websites can become just as a time-consuming and nerve-wracking activity as browsing through showrooms and shelves.
Going through long lists of reviews for many similar products and the time invested in making elaborate comparisons of features and prices is exhausting enough – not to mention that to this you have to add the shipping or payment arrangements and reimbursement conditions, that require a bit more time than in real life shopping.
What Can Be Done?
Tip #7: Use online price comparers that will save you a lot of trouble recommending the online shops where you can find the same product for a lower price. Don’t go for non reliable, obscure online shops, however, because chances are you will get cheated.
Tip #8: Especially when shopping for gadgets, don’t waste time over comparing features you will not use.
Tip #9: Make sure you are entering your credit card details only on secured websites!
Is Buying Cars The Most Stressful Shopping Experience?
As confusing as online research may turn up to be, it is however largely more attractive that the truly miserable experience of long hours in a car dealership, where salesman and managers will put all their efforts into winning you over financing and extended warranties.
It may sound hard to believe, but more than 13% of those who bought a new car in 2013 have never done a test drive on their desired model before purchasing it. Skipping this important step is largely motivated by their interest to avoid interacting with car dealerships sales teams as much as possible.
Statistics reveal that 4 out of 5 car buyers go first to online research for features and prices before actually stepping into a car dealership; and if you haven’t done that yet, you will be surprised to find out that this research process lasts for an average of 16 weeks (!) before a top of preferred choices is made. After four months of continuous research, it is not difficult to imagine why frustration among car buyers is such a common feeling.
Since it is a major investment with a lot of functional, design and financial variables, everybody wants to get their money’s worth. Consequently, it is easily understandable how choosing a new car may feel overwhelming and not even close to fun, and why research often results in a information overload.
What Can Be Done?
Tip #10: Know what you want and don’t allow salesmen’ long speeches interfere with your preferences, unless they really come up with visibly more advantageous solutions. Make a list of your standards in terms of technical features and design and make sure it matches your available budget.
Tip #11: Do your research online to save you many confusing trips, but order your car offline. And always go for a test drive to discover if you and your potential new car are really getting along well with each other!
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