Kathleen Noonan’s Last Word article titled “Things That Make Us Shop”, in the Queensland Life section of the Courier Mail last weekend caught my attention.
Kathleen was referencing River Clegg’s writing of “Buying This Thing Will Make Me Happy”, from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the literature site founded by author Dave Eggers.
Noonan’s article refers to Cleggs writing about people’s shopping behaviours and the reasons that I’m sure most of us can relate to.
I observe my own daughter who declares herself “bankrupt” at least once a week, however, she always manages to afford at least one pair of shoes and a dress or two that she “just had to buy because they were soooo cheap”. I don’t know how she does it!
In a quote from Clegg’s writing, he says “It’s really cool. They just started making it and not many people have one yet… Other people will look up to me because I own this thing and use it frequently, which will make me very happy. When I’m at a party, for instance, I can wait for a moment when people start talking about how cool it looks from the latest advertisement. Then I can stroll over and take it out and start using it”
Noonan also refers to the thoughts of evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller who wrote in his book Spent, that “humans evolved in small social groups in which image and status are very important, not just for survival, but for attracting mates, impressing friends and rearing children. Today we ornament ourselves in goods and service more to make an impression on other people’s minds than to enjoy owning a chunk of matter.”
My daughter, however, will state that she always shops for “survival” as she never has any clothes or shoes to wear!
The Role Consumerism plays in our lives has gone from something we did out of necessity to something we did as a little treat, once in a while, to today, a replacement for life’s meaningful pursuits.
So, what makes me shop? Obviously, clever marketing and merchandising play a big part, but most of all, great customer service!
Yours in great shopping