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For a long time, retailers have been “leaking” offers, enticing customers with sneak peeks and even attempting to entice skeptics with special online discounts and flash specials.
So, what makes us believe in the Black Friday hype? A consumer scientist and a consumer psychologist discussed why discounts feel so wonderful, why buyers who plan ahead tend to lose it, and why even those who openly criticize consumerism may be the first to shove you out of the way for a fantastic Black Friday deal.
Deals Feel So Good ” and Sticker Shock Actually Hurts
“There’s that psychological thrill of pleasure whenever consumers buy and get a wonderful price,” says consumer scientist James Mourey, an assistant professor at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business in Chicago. He claims that seeing something you enjoy activates the nucleus accumbens, which is at the heart of the brain’s reward center. On the other hand, perceiving an unjust price stimulates the insula, which processes pain, according to study.
“They receive all the tremendous gratification in the nucleus accumbens when they see a product they like at a price they think is reasonable,” Mourey adds. “And they feel like they’re not being screwed over, and they don’t have that insula ache ” they feel fantastic.”
Limited sale times and product quantities build a sense of urgency ” and FOMO ” among customers.
“One of the main goals of Black Friday is to get people to focus on a specific, very limited sale opportunity,” says Laura Brannon, a social psychologist who studies consumer psychology and a professor in Kansas State University’s department of psychological sciences.
“Opportunities are more desired the more constrained they are,” Brannon observes, using the economic scarcity principle. “Restricting people’s ability to buy products at a deep discount makes them want it even more.” This is emphasized by the wording used in commercials, such as “supply are limited” and “moving quickly.”
The thought that an item is rare and a bargain is limited, according to Mourey, who analyzes consumer behavior in his book Urge, gets customers thinking in an illogical way, even if you know that you might be able to purchase the identical thing at a comparable price somewhere else at a later time.
Despite the fact that customers are aware of the marketing ploys, the dread of losing out keeps them lining up at stores and hovering nervously by their laptops on Black Friday weekend. “Even if individuals are irritated by being deceived, they still believe it is a good bargain,” Brannon argues. “They can’t bear the thought of losing out on a good deal.”
Buying Something Justifies the Time Commitment
After you’ve gotten up early, waited in line, devised a strategy, and made the mad run, you must believe the effort was worthwhile. According to Brannon, the persuasive concept of “consistency and commitment” applies here. “Once businesses get customers to wake up early and stand in huge lines, they feel forced to buy something to compensate for their time and effort.”