Emotions play a huge role in shopping

Buyer\'s remorse sometimes occurs when a shopper changes her opinion about how important or useful an item is. (David Silverman/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Impulsive consumers may want to keep their emotions in check the next time they shop.

Whether online or in a store, shopping and emotions go hand in hand.

Rosellina Ferraro, marketing associate professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, says shoppers can slip into what’s known as a “hot state,” – becoming excited or joyful over a prospective purchase.

“And then you get home and you’re in a more cognitive state and think, ‘Oh ,this is probably not right for the occasion.'”

The Wall Street Journal reports consumers regularly wear just 20 percent of the clothes in their closets. This is especially true for women since they tend to have more clothing and shoes than men.

Ferraro says retailers count on people’s emotions and create an atmosphere of sights, sounds and smells that encourage shoppers to spend more.

However, The Wall Street Journal says a 2008 study by Ran Kivetz, a professor of marketing at Columbia University Business School, and Anat Keinan, assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, found that shoppers may not regret splurges. Instead, the study found consumers had a tendency to regret “passing up an indulgence for something practical or less expensive.”

Another study from Western University’s Ivey Business School in Ontario found most regrets came from fear that the shopper could have made a better choice or that he put too much time or effort into the purchase.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.


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