Online shopping is an addiction

July 8, 2020, 11:05 p.m.

Do you spend extra time on shopping websites? Do you start craving for the products as you see them online? Do you click on every ad flickering on Facebook? Can’t resist online sales and availing coupons instantly? Then you might be an online shopping addict!

It is startling to know that, the recent studies conducted by a journal named Comprehensive Psychiatry diagnosed shopping addiction as a mental disorder. They called it Buying Shopping Disorder (BSD). BSD is defined as the obsession of buying products even when you don’t need them and you actually waste your time and money on buying. It is time to recognize BSD as a separate mental health condition according to Dr Astride Muller.

The addiction of shopping may be online or offline, but in this blog we will only focus on Online shopping addiction factors, which can be studied under BSD.

Four reasons that determine online

  • Accessibility
  • Availability
  • Affordability
  • Anonymity

Accessibility

The world has become a global village, so, online products and services are accessible to everyone who has the internet. You see the product free of cost; can compare the prices, colors, designs, brands, sizes without paying anything to the website. With the advancement in the tech, almost every shopping website like amazon, eBay and wish have their apps for both iOS and Android. The apps are more user friendly and have quicker options of carting things, maintain wish list and easy payment options. You can fill your cart with hundreds of products at a time with just one click, without any charges. All these factors are involved in making a consumer addict to online shopping.

Availability

Online shopping offers the facility of 24/7 service of dealing with the customers, showing products and advertising the deals and coupons. Some of online shopping websites have time-bound sale in late night hours which incites the customer to crave for branded products at cheaper rates. Moreover, the availably of all price ranges, colors, material, designs, brands also make online shopping addictive to the buyer. The growth of e-commerce industry has made it possible to deliver fast; and easy and free-return policies are predictable explanations for online shopping addiction.

Affordability

The online products are cheaper than the products at retail stores. The reasons for that are:

  • They do not have to pay to the third party or retailer etc.
  • They do not need to hire and pay any salesmen.
  • The products are basically directly delivered from the factory outlet.

Some of the websites do not charge shipping charges (Free delivery) making the product more affordable.
The buyer does not pay any tax unless he is in that region.
Apart from online sales and offs, the online shopping resources like the credit cards, PayPal accounts also offer off upon using them.
Thus the affordability of online products cause the online shopping addiction.

Anonymity

This is the feature of online shopping that make it more addictive to the buyer. The secrecy of sender and receiver is maintained during online shopping. You do not have to face crowds and meet some annoying salesmen. No bargaining issues with anyone and you get the desired product within your selected price range. This saves your time and money and motivates you filling your cart with the extra products that you might not need. Anonymity is the best thing for the introvert buyers. It causes addiction of online shopping who love surprises.

Additionally, excessive purchasing to regulate your negative emotions like anger and depression also causes shopping addiction. This is named as emotional spending or retail therapy. One who is obsessed with buying various products at once because they are just one click away, is also a symptom of online shopping addiction. This Buying-Shopping disorder (BSD) needs to be addressed according to the mental health experts.

 

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