Thirsty Thursday: How Much Consumers Spend Under the Influence
Some people like to do a little online shopping when they're feeling stressed out or as a reward for accomplishing something. However, a recent study conducted by finder.com found that of the 27 percent of Americans that consume nine or more alcoholic beverages per week, almost half admit to shopping under the influence.
Clothing and shoes are the most common tipsy purchases, followed by gambling and cigarettes. These drunk shoppers are spending an average of $206 on purchases.
“When under the influence, our inhibitions are impaired and we're more likely to give in to temptations we can normally resist when sober,” explains finder.com Money Expert Michelle Hutchinson. “So those shoes that were a little out of the price range, or the poker game we know we always lose while sober suddenly seem like a good idea after a few drinks.”
Demographically, here’s how drunk shoppers break down:
- Eighteen percent of baby boomers admit to shopping under the influence compared to 36 percent of Gen Xers and 39 percent of millennials.
- Men are more likely than women to shop after drinking (41 percent vs. 30 percent).
Influence of E-Commerce
The rise of e-commerce has made tipsy shopping much more prevalent.
“With pre-programmed payment info and one-click cart access, e-commerce sites are perfectly set up to target sipping shoppers,” says Hutchinson. “They're designed to keep browsers of all states of mind on their sites for as long as possible, and hopefully convert to a sale.”
However, Hutchinson makes it clear that retailers cannot assess a shopper’s state of mind through a digital screen.
“While returns made from purchase regret may impact inventory flows for retailers, overall spending — whether tipsy or sober — has predominantly positive implications for retailers,” says Hutchinson. “Some shoppers may have needed that one drink to make a decision. While they may regret when they made a purchase or how much they spent, they probably aren’t purchasing much that's too much of a departure from what they purchase usually.”
For retailers, tipsy shoppers are more of a moral issue rather than a legal one. To keep customers happy — drinking or not — e-commerce sites should have clear return policies. Hutchinson suggests having a site page dedicated to your brand’s return policy, and stating it again during the checkout process.
The weekend is only a day away … if your customers are going to indulge in a little tipsy shopping, make sure they don’t regret that order confirmation email in the morning.