By V. Hassun
Over time, it can be agreed that different shopping platforms have been increasing and developing each time more, and with this development, companies have been trying to find new ways to catch people’s attention and keep their interest for a longer period. Hence, companies started to develop online shopping so that people could shop more efficiently and faster.
Surprisingly, online shopping began back in 1979, and according to Purple.ai, Michael Aldrich ‘invented’ online shopping. As the website explains, initially, they used videotex which “revolutionised businesses” this is also known as e-commerce. Even though it began long ago, online shopping became more popular in 2001, when Amazon was inaugurated and began mobile services. This was a huge hit, and over the 2000s, online shopping kept increasing and becoming more popular. Purple.ai states how online shopping grew and states relevant statistics. For example, in 2008, there was an “Increase in growth of online shopping by 17% from the last year in the US, with e-commerce sales figures around $204 billion.”
With phones and computers advancing, online shopping also advanced. And as Jessica Thomas says, “this Forbes report tells us that 74 per cent of people use their mobile phone to help them while shopping, with 79 per cent making a purchase as a result.”
Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic limited people’s access to physical shops since they were forced to shut down, and humans need to buy things for their well-being, so online shopping reached its peak activity. As Purple.ai says “By May 2020, e-commerce sales had exceeded $80bn displaying 77% rise YoY.”
As we see how online shopping increased its strength in commerce over the years, we can also analyse how they made this common thing so addictive that in 2021 e-commerce buyers have risen to 2.14 billion stated in Oberlo.com.
Due to the efficiency and velocity of online shopping, people’s obsession increases, and the addiction part of the brain is triggered, as said on addiction center.com. After reading psych guides, I learned some dates they discovered from Indiana university to explain how the brain works and why you get addicted. They explained by stating, “According to Ruth Engs from Indiana University, some people develop shopping addictions because they essentially get addicted to how their brain feels while shopping. As they shop, their brain releases endorphins and dopamine, and over time, these feelings become addictive.” This shows how, the more people shop, the more they get addicted to it, as it releases types of pleasure to people. The result of shopping is also very rewarding, and people feel good.
Additionally, companies do various things to make people more addicted to shopping; for example, they offer black Fridays, large discounts, and occasionally two-for-one clothing items and sales. This way, many believe that people feel more comfortable spending money as they think that because there is a sale, they are not spending that much.
These methods used by various companies increase people's addiction to shopping and make the online shopping industry each time bigger.
Clinic, The Chelsea Psychology Clinic Psychology. “How to Stop Online Shopping: What Is Emotional Spending and How to Overcome It.” The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, 18 Sept. 2020, https://www.thechelseapsychologyclinic.com/wellbeing/how-to-stop-online-shopping/#:~:text=Dopamine%20plays%20a%20key%20role,these%20highs%20can%20become%20addictive.
Gaubys, Justas. “How Many People Shop Online in 2022? [Jun 2022 Update].” Oberlo, Oberlo, https://www.oberlo.com/statistics/how-many-people-shop-online
“Shopping Addiction Symptoms, Causes and Effects.” PsychGuides.com, https://www.psychguides.com/behavioral-disorders/shopping-addiction/
Thomas, Jessica. “The History of Online Shopping.” Purple, Purple, 12 Aug. 2021, https://purple.ai/blogs/the-history-of-online-shopping/#:~:text=1999%20%E2%80%93%20the%20first%20online%2Donly,yearly%20profit%20of%20%2435.3m.