Science says, Shop!

Encouraging your customers to splurge on treats for themselves won’t only boost your sales, but will elevate their mood in a healthy way, according to recent studies.

Here’s why retail shops can offer an all-natural high comparable to Zoloft (ok maybe not, but at least shopping requires no prescription!).

Shopping gives people a sense of control:

Depression and anxiety can sometimes come from a sense of not being able to control everything in our lives. Powerlessness can be linked to sadness. It’s why the ability to make a decision and take control over a situation, i.e. “I love this jacket therefore I will buy it,” gives shoppers a sense of power in a world where so many things are out of our control.

“Depression and anxiety can sometimes come from a sense of not being able to control everything in our lives. Powerlessness can be linked to sadness. It’s why the ability to make a decision and take control over a situation”

It stimulates the senses:

Bright, cheery music and olfactory stimulation might not lift a person out of deep depression, but it can certainly tantalize a shopper’s senses during a dull period. An interesting store can break the monotony of everyday life. Some research has actually shown that the sensorial experience of shopping is great for a child’s development. It helps improve motor skills as well as social skills, and might be better than typical sedentary activities.

It gets you out of the house:

Brick-and-mortar shopping is a social activity, even if you go shopping alone. Interacting with sales associates and being in a public place can be stimulating and elevating for someone who is experiencing mild blues. Some people have been known to exclaim “shopping is my cardio!” – and they’re not wrong. Walking from store to store carrying bags and trying on clothes can burn up to 75 calories an hour or more!

It boosts dopamine (the happy chemical!):

When you are delighted by a retail experience, your brain chemistry actually changes. Scoring a deal on something you were seeking for a long time, or even being enchanted by a beautiful window can flood the brain with dopamine, which plays a crucial role in our mental health. MRI studies actually prove that the “reward centers” of the brain are affected by things like trying on flattering clothing or getting a great bargain.

It goes without saying that for those experiencing true loneliness and depression, buying unnecessary goods is probably not the best solution. Shopping is not the number one key to happiness. For a temporary lift in spirits, however, retail therapy can help people feel more excited about life, more in control of their situation, and possibly better about their own image (especially when it comes to shopping for clothes). Ask yourself if your staff brings positive energy into the store environment. Does the music and ambiance lift spirits? Do you have the right scent strategy? For more tips on how to stay ahead of the times and delight customers, check out these 8 Secrets to Steal From the World’s Most Innovative Retailers.

Stephanie Braun

Stephanie Braun

Stephanie Braun is a content writer, fashion enthusiast, and lover of pets. When she’s not writing about retail trends, she’s travelling the world and learning new languages.