The final days of the holiday season are rife with impulse purchases. The first thing you see on the shelf looks pretty good when the clock is ticking down. But all year long, people struggle with the urge to buy things without fully thinking their purchases through first.
The latest Chase Blueprint survey took a look at impulse shopping and found that Millennials and folks under fifty are the most likely demographics to fall victim to the desire to spend money before it burns a hole in their pockets.
Eighty-three percent of Millennials and 85% of people ages 30-49 confessed that they’d made impulse purchases sometime in the past. The most likely time for them to make those purchases was right after getting paid—46% of Millennials reported splurging on something without any forethought when they’d just gotten a paycheck.
When buying something on impulse, it seems people are more likely to think of themselves. Forty-three percent of consumers said they buy for themselves when impulse-purchasing. Thirty-four percent pick things up for children or grandchildren spontaneously, while only 16% buy for a significant other and 7% make those impulsive buys for a friend.
Regrets, I’ve had a few
When it comes to buyer’s remorse—that sinking feeling in your stomach after buying something you didn’t plan to purchase—Millennials were more likely to experience that as well. The younger generation consistently reported feeling more regret, embarrassment, sadness and dissatisfaction after an impulsive purchase than older folks did. Millennials also said they are more likely to avoid shopping when they are feeling emotional; 19% said they stay away from stores when they are moody.
Retail therapy purchases reinforce gender stereotypes
Perhaps not surprisingly, women were more likely to report engaging in retail therapy than men were. Twenty percent of women said they pick up a little something to help them feel better when they’re feeling down, compared with only 9% of men. Women were also more susceptible to sales than men were, but only a little: 68% of women said a deep discount or great sale could push them to make an impulse purchase. Sixty-one percent of men said the same.
Again falling along stereotypical gender lines, women tend to buy clothes on impulse, while men go for electronic gadgets. Sixty-one percent of women said their go-to retail therapy item was clothing compared with 43% of men, and 50% of men said they were likely to make an unplanned splurge in the electronics store compared with 27% of women.
The Chase Blueprint Holiday Impulse Purchases Survey was conducted online November 20 – 25, 2014 and answered by a representative sample of 1,000 consumers ages 18 and up.