Bagging a bargain: Shopping as sport

Dec 19, 2013 by Niki Widdowson

On your marks, get set, SHOP. Sport Shoppers are an intriguing, emerging breed of discerning and dedicated shoppers who even have their own app on which to display their "scores".

Like , Sport Shoppers are the ones who train hard to attain the goal of a genuine Chanel handbag for less than half price, says QUT consumer behaviour expert Dr Gary Mortimer.

"For the Sport Shopper it is all about selecting a desired (usually expensive) object and then seeing how much they can save when they finally close in for the purchase," Dr Mortimer said.

"Once a Sport Shopper has their eyes on the prize, they begin training and practising their routine in earnest to bag their goal while saving a bundle.

"Arguably driven by their ego, these focussed shoppers seek to outperform others, like athletes in competition.

"They pore over promotional material and conduct extensive information searches to determine market prices and potential discounts.

"Visits to the same store over many days enable Sport Shoppers to identify stock flow and promotional timing. Early morning reconnaissance missions are undertaken, with the objective of being first in the door.

"Sports shoppers reach their goals when they defeat the retail system, or other shoppers (their competitors), by finding their desired item at a significantly discounted price."

Every victor must have a trophy room.

"Sport Shoppers use social media to display their retail mastery on sites like Foundshopping.com.

"Then it's back to practice because to get their target with the perfect shop, the Sport Shoppers must hone their skills regularly."

Dr Mortimer said marketers have been studying consumers' motivations for decades, all the better to market to them.

What's your shopping personality? Alongside the Sport Shopper are the:

  • Economic shopper - financial constraints force them to seek out lowest prices and generic products
  • Apathetic Shopper- disengaged and disloyal, shopping's a chore
  • Recreational shopper - enjoys shopping as a fun activity, uses it to reduce stress and the seek pleasure
  • Impulsive shopper- selects and purchases with little thought, motivation or concern for consequences.
  • Compulsive shopper - compelled to purchase repeatedly during every outing to the shopping centre.

Explore further: With love from me to me: Why we self-gift

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