If you’re guilty of drinking and online shopping, you’re definitely not the only one who has woken up to email confirmations for purchases you barely remember making.
A survey of over 2,000 alcohol-consuming adults by tech and business publication The Hustle found that shoppers spent more than $400 on average per year on items purchased while drunk. This works out to roughly $48 billion annually generated by blurry purchases made in America.
The survey found that 79 per cent of respondents claimed to have purchased something online while drunk at least once, with women (80 per cent) more likely to whip out the credit card after a few drinks compared to men (78 per cent).
Drunken millennials were most guilty of making intoxicated online purchases (82 per cent), followed by Gen Xers (79 per cent) and Baby Boomers (69 per cent).
Not surprisingly, online shopping giant Amazon is the main beneficiary of all this drinking and dollar dropping.
The company continues to dominate the online shopping world and others simply can’t keep up. Everyone from Walmart and Target, to Google has tried to expand their online offerings as of late in an attempt to win over online shoppers from Amazon.
According to the survey, 85 per cent of intoxicated shoppers turn to Amazon to make purchases while under the influence, followed by Ebay (21 per cent) and Etsy (12 per cent).
As it turns out, clothing and shoes account for the most popular drunken purchase, followed by entertainment (movies and games) and tech items.
Members of specific professions seem to be more prone to online shopping than others, according to The Hustle. The publication limited its data to professions with the highest response rate, then analyzed out of the five industries the most and least likely to online shop while under the influence of alcohol.
Those in sports, transport and oil & energy are most likely to online shop while drunk, while writers, editors, and artists were the least likely to fill their online shopping carts after a few bevvies, likely due to their thinner wallets compared to other professionals.
As The Hustle highlights, there is a strong correlation between working in sports and alcohol consumption – so the results aren’t entirely shocking. However, the connection between transport and oil & gas with alcohol consumption and online shopping is less obvious. It could, somewhat alarmingly, be associated with long solitary hours.
The power of inebriated purchases and the psychology behind them is a known phenomenon to retailers.
Before it went downhill retail-wise, I can remember strolling down Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles years ago. I walked into a high-end boutique that I had no business being in as a recent university grad. Upon arrival, I was offered a stiff martini. Upon exiting, I had a solid buzz and a new dress I didn’t need. Similarly, shops in Las Vegas have offered shoppers champagne for years.
What is the psychology behind it? Not only may alcohol make certain items appear greater and more “must-have” than they would sober (“beer goggles” aren’t reserved for people), a relaxing of inhibitions means less rational thought given to making purchases.
Furthermore, The Hustle article points to a study that reveals that those who correlate their self-worth to their appearance are more likely to consume alcohol. One would only assume that those who value keeping up appearances to such a degree would also be avid shoppers.
The fusion of the two potentially addictive passions – drinking and shopping – can be a recipe for disaster as the boxes continue to arrive at the doorstep.
For some, however, drinking and shopping is simply more of a harmless pastime than a problem; a glass or two of wine and an evening of online shopping may naturally go hand-in-hand.
“As a mom, I don’t get out as much as I used to,” said Jessica, a 35-year-old Toronto real estate agent. “My ‘me time’ often involves cracking a nice bottle of red and committing myself to an hour or two of online browsing and adding to my cart.”
Unlike some, she has never made a purchase she regrets – well, no more so than she would have while sober, at least.
Featured Image: Pixabay
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