Since the insurgence of the internet, it has become increasingly evident that we are so desperate to spend money we will buy pretty much anything. Companies almost instantly tapped into this, with the fast-fashion market being one of the most prominent in the online sector.
In recent months it has become very on trend to upload the mistakes we have been making since we first started buying online, whether it’s for the instant laughs of misfitting outfits or the harsh reality of buying something without reading the dimensions. If you haven’t had at least one problem with something ordered online, you really aren’t doing it right (…okay you’re doing it perfectly). This raises the question, why are we so desperate to buy something we can’t see?
With a new generation comes a new way of thinking, and with a new way of thinking comes a flurry of ridiculous new words that are spread like wildfire from idle tongues. So is FOMO the reason behind our impulse buying? FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is heavily touted as the reason behind the success of the e-commerce market. Basically, a product is waved in front of our eyes and we simply have to get hold of it regardless of how mainstream or limited it is.
In some markets FOMO has created a whole new sub-market for the reseller, who aim to purchase the more limited items to sell them on at an increased price to those who have missed out. FOMO is almost certainly one of the reasons why the e-commerce market is flourishing. But what else is going on behind the scenes that the consumer seems to be missing?
In any market, especially those directly serving the everyday consumer, it is pivotal that we never write-off the importance of price point. The e-commerce market and its many gigantic players continually use the power of price to blow high-street stores out of the water.
Let’s break it down a little, setting up and running a company website is sizeably cheaper than owning a premises in a big popular shopping centre. Therefore allowing online retailers to manipulate the prices of the products they offer. Do we really want to head to the nearest shopping centre to buy something we can get for £10 cheaper online? No, we don’t.
The really interesting thing with price point and online retailers is that sometimes, in the nature of competition. Companies will be willing to take a loss on certain products purely to put more items we most certainly don’t need right in front of us. So why not buy that lampshade as well as the cocktail dress, or even that designer table tennis set although the closest you’ve come to one of those miniature tennis courts was beside the pool on holiday?
The most important factor is of course marketing. Marketing is how these global enterprises get us to part with our money, and is there a reason why the shirt we ordered said white on the product description but resembles cling-film when it arrives. The marketing and branding of a company and its products lead to our desire to buy and the FOMO mentioned above. These factors go hand-in-hand with Innovation not only within the industry, but also technology , and allow those clever marketers to continue to bleed the money from our ever tighter pockets.
As a consumer it’s easier sometimes to not notice the increased amount of adverts we are receiving relating to a product we viewed weeks before, but due to the remarketing campaigns of many of the bigger brands this can go on for quite a prolonged period of time, sometimes until we revisit the site or buy the saved items in our basket. As algorithms change within social media platforms as well as the marketing techniques of the most successful players. Whether it’s through means like influencer marketing or paid social media ads.
It’s also pivotal to keep in mind that just because your favourite Instagram ‘model’ likes a certain brand or item of clothing, it doesn’t mean you have to. Live your own life, and remember to check the post fully, if it says AD, (which Instagram now requires but isn’t policed nearly enough) it normally means the product on show was gifted to that person, and let’s be honest it’s hard to not like something you got for free!