As you enter into La Merced Market, one the worlds largest public markets in Mexico City, your adrenaline pumps, your senses heighten, and you are swept up by the collective frenetic energy of the space. Sooo many items… Fried grasshoppers, cactus pads, crispy pig skins, corn fungus, 10 pound bags of bright orange cheese puffs, Oaxacan cheeses, banana leaves, endless varieties of chile peppers, candies, pots, pans and livestock! Your shopper impulse is on high alert, you want to buy EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING is a possibility. You have to act NOW and you don’t worry about the consequences of your purchase, nor do you care how you will get that 10 pound bag of cheese puffs back home.
A Journal of Consumer Research study suggests that people are more susceptible to making impulsive purchases if they are distracted while shopping. This is obvious if you are in a Mexican Market, The Mall, Trader Joe’s, 5th Ave or IKEA. The basic concept of putting people into a frenetic environment, distracting them with mazes, meatballs, Cinna-Bons, free samples, lots of people and endless selection of goods is the best recipe to get people to buy stuff they don’t need. It’s been going on for centuries and it works.
Comparatively, the online marketplace is also insanely frenetic, maze like, endless, always open and is available in your pocket on a mobile device anytime. If the more products a potential customer sees the higher the urge or impulse to buy becomes, then we can see how sites like Amazon are crushing it.
While Amazon continues to have record breaking numbers, new online shopping experiences are making impulse buying so easy it's scary. Companies like Spring, a fashion lifestyle shopping app that looks similar Instagram is changing the game. Once you sign up, simply swipe right on an item you like and and boom, it drop ships from the retailer. Wanelo, a 550,000 store mall curated by people like you on your phone, has been a pioneer for sometime. Others like Polyvore, Luvocracy (Acquired by Walmart Labs) and Faveable are also disrupting the scene and making it easier for you to buy the things you like with a quick tap, click or swipe. There are so many new shopping experiences out there and the one that figure out how to pump the smell of grilled corn, steak or warm Cinna-Bons in while you shop will definitely be the winner :)
What is your favorite new and old shopping experience?