Have you noticed that the moment a promotion or sale sign goes up outside a store the place is flooded with people? It seems that everyone, regardless of their bank account balance, is drawn to a promotion in the same frenzy like style that a shark is drawn to blood in the water! Why are consumers so obsessed with promotions? Is it possible to make any sense of this timeless fact? Let’s take a quick look.
The Inner Bargain Lover
It’s human nature to love to get a bargain. People adore it when they don’t have to pay as much for an item as they feel it should be. It seems that the happy endorphins and chemicals we release when we reach such a state of satisfaction are enough to drive us back to sale and promotion signs time and time again.
In fact, we could even say that some consumers get quite a ‘high’ from sales shopping. Finding an item on a rail that is marked as $5 yet the price tag shows it initially cost $50 can put the consumer into such a state of excitement and contentment that the happy feeling can last for hours if not days! Surprisingly this applies even if the item is not something the consumer was looking for or even needs for that matter!
Consumers who find such bargains on sale rails and in promotional stores will usually try to justify why they should purchase the item. Often it is a case of it being too good a bargain to pass over. This phenomena also explains why so many people have wardrobes and homes full of clothing and items which have never even been used or worn!
The Budget-Based Mind
Another factor that comes into play and which is rather linked to our first is that of being budget minded. For many people, budgeting is simply part of life. We have a certain amount of money that comes in and we need to make sure that it can stretch to all of the outgoing needs that we have. This means that is we can save in one area of our outgoings, we get to spend the saving on another area. This could also be why people flood to promotion signs the moment that they clamp eyes on them! Their inner budget self already sees the potential saving as having a positive impact on other areas of their life. However, is this really the case?
Sometimes it rings true. Finding several items which the consumer needed to purchase at a discounted price will indeed save them money. They can then use this saved money for another purpose, perhaps something more enjoyable, for instance. However, often another situation arises. Entering a store which has a promotion on opens up a whole world of temptation. The consumer sees signs everywhere such as ‘50% off everything in this corner‘, ‘buy 3 get the cheapest item free’ and so forth. What starts to happen? In a word; panic! The consumer feels that they need to make use of all of these sale offers and finds that rather than simply purchase the few items they needed at a discount price they end up spending more than they ever planned for. To the seller, this is exactly what they had in mind, their goal has been accomplished, however, to the consumer they suddenly find themselves having to take money which was meant to be spent on other outgoings rather than save money as they had planned!
Indeed, consumers are obsessed with promotions, it is a timeless fact and likely one that will never change! Perhaps you know from personal experience exactly what we are talking about! Nearly everyone has an inner bargain lover side, as well as a budget-mind. When we see a sale or promotion sign it awakens these parts of our character in a way that is more powerful than we ever give it credit for. So next time you see people flooding into a store that has a promotion sign plastered on the window, take a moment to remind yourself of the reasons behind the common situation you are seeing unfold right before your very eyes!