Why is it dangerous to shop on Instagram and how to unleash impulsive shopping
Recently, Instagram introduced a long-awaited feature: in-app shopping. It's called Checkout on Instagram, and the author of this article claims that the only purpose of the new option is to get you into debt.
No more time-consuming going to a retailer's website, no pop-ups asking you to allow cookies - and generally no need to go from “oh cool shirt” to “your order is on the way,” writes Kara Catrazzula for Money.
Now the Instagram Checkout feature works in closed beta with 23 retailers, from high-end (hi, Balmain and Burberry) to low-cost and trendy (Warby Parker and Uniqlo).
Buying things on Instagram is easy. First, you click on a photo in a participating store's feed. This takes you to a product page with a photo and details such as colors, sizes, and price. Enter your credit card number (or PayPal details) and address, place and place an order - voila, your new beads / linen shirt / volumizing mascara is on the way. Your next purchase on Instagram can happen even faster because the app stores your card information and other personal data for future purchases across all stores.
In the interest of research, I decided to give it a try. After 10 seconds on Instagram H&M, I saw a shirt I liked, clicked and bought it for $ 17,99. The whole process took 30 seconds.
I'm not a hardcore shopper, but it looks like the financial implications of surfing on Instagram for an hour can be very serious. To get useful advice for customers, I called Keith Yarrow, a psychologist and consumer behavior expert. Guess what she said first when I mentioned the new Instagram Checkout option?
"Danger, danger, danger!".
Social media, self-esteem and impulsive shopping
Polls have shown that the active use of Instagram is associated with low self-esteem and the syndrome of lost profit (obsessive fear of missing an interesting event or a good opportunity, provoked, among other things, by viewing social networks - Wikipedia). Impulse buying is associated with the same emotions that arise when you scroll through photos of other people's lives on Instagram and reflect on how perfect they are.
Are you bored? Alone? Envious? Need to calm down? You are just a click away from another life and high waisted linen trousers you've always dreamed of!
Yarrow says the combination of social media and shopping can be a very dangerous combination, especially for people who buy unnecessarily or live on credit. Her greatest advice is to try to eliminate temptation entirely.
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“If you're on a diet, don't go to the bakery,” says Yarrow. - If you are trying to save money, you are not shopping. But now, when purchases come to you, everything is as if there is a plate of donuts in front of you at every moment ”.
And you will want to eat when you are not even hungry. Did I want to buy the weird-looking mesh sneakers from Zara for $ 69,90? Not really - until I saw that the corresponding post had 186 likes and 475 comments. Maybe I should take it, I thought. If strangers like it, is there anything in it?
The secret to impulse buying resistance
Yarrow advocates unsubscribing from e-mails associated with stores that include discounts and offers, and the same rule applies to social media. You can unsubscribe from brands (at the moment, the Checkout on Instagram feature is only available for images in the main feed and Stories, but not in the advertisements that are offered to you).
“The more contact we have with a product, the more comfortable we feel buying it,” says Yarrow.
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We are especially prone to buying products that "haunt" us. This is the reason why brands pay for those intrusive ads that continue to appear on the Internet after you look at the product once. The thing becomes familiar - and turns into your next order.
Try the 20 minute rule
Yarrow says that if you often focus on impulse purchases, it would be good to set voluntary limits. Tell yourself: “I don’t need to buy it now, but I’ll wait for 20 minutes and come back.” After this time, ask yourself if you remember what you wanted to buy. Often the answer will be negative.
There is a way to save products to Instagram for later viewing. I kept these mesh sneakers, wondering if I would be the person who would wear this (after 20 minutes I realized that I would not, and the purchase did not take place).
Whether you're shopping on Instagram or anywhere else, it's wise to spend some time thinking about whether you really need something that you click on in a fit of boredom. Save yourself money and get rid of the need to print out return shipping labels (a pain that always reminds you of your slack willpower).
If you like Instagram, limit scrolling with cute photos of animals and images of sunsets on the beach (you can hardly order them right now).
And if all this did not work? Read the fine print: all Instagram orders can be canceled within 30 minutes.