Sunday, May 1, 2016

Buyer Beware

Drunk dialing has evolved.  Most of you of a certain age, might remember way back when...before the Internet became our BFFs... when it wasn't uncommon to hear about some moron in a flash of brilliance (drunk)  making an ill-advised phone call.  Sometimes this involved calling an ex and reinforcing with great clarity why your are now their ex. Other calls would be just be "prank calls"where the  caller would randomly call someone out of the white pages (remember those?)  with some "hilarious" joke. Of course, most of these calls were stupid and only the caller was amused. For the unfortunate people that had any type of odd name, I am sure they weren't laughing along with the
caller.   In our hometown there was some poor lady with the unfortunate name Ester Burnie. Now I realize that name should be a leap as far as being inundated with rogue  phone calls but, of course, we are talking about phone calls from inebriated people so we can't really get caught up on the idea of "rationality", can we? Maybe in a drunk, foggy mind, Burnie and bunny are easily confused.

Anyway... recently..I happened upon a couple of articles and a "news" clip about the "sip and click" phenomenon.  What?  You haven't heard of this?   According to a number of surveys, studies and other statistics that probably are the exact opposite of "accurate",  sales climb over 48 percent after 2 AM on Friday nights on Internet shopping sites. (that particular number comes from Lyst, a fashion e-commerce site.)

Seriously?  There are people shopping at 2AM on the Internet and we are being told it is a sizable  number of people at that!  It's very hard for me to relate to "shopping" being fun even if one was hammered.

I have mentioned on many occasions that I HATE to shop.  I routinely shop for food because people have to eat to live.  Every other type of shopping takes effort on my part. I would say that maybe being drunk would help as far as making shopping more tolerable but then, as I have also, mentioned in the past, I have alcohol intolerance.  I can't drink. 

Given the fact I don't drink and hate to shop, I guess it could be said that I am breaking the rules about "writing what I know", but I do "sort-of", "kind-of" follow marketing trends.  I find it rather interesting there is a whole segment of marketing that depends on people getting drunk. I am sure there are a number of ways that marketing firms could take advantage of the idea of "selling by inebriation".

This trend is popular enough that it has acquired it's own acronyms. Just among the articles I read,  it has at least three acronyms and a catch phrase. Sip and Click is also called SUI (shopping under the influence) or BUI (Buying under the influence). There was, also, another coming from a study that  British marketing firm, Conchango conducted.  They did a study on drunk purchasing and coined the acronym BLOTO (Buying Loads of Tat online). Sadly, BLOTO doesn't translate all that well in America as we don't use the word "tat".  Here we might want to call it BSWDN (buying sh** we don't need) but I recognize that as acronyms go that one doesn't have much appeal.  Accurate..sure but

In a book To Buy Or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop And How to Stop written by April Lane Benson, counselor to the shopping-addicted said,  “From the comfort of your own home, you can jump online and spend a small fortune on alcohol-induced purchases, many of which you neither need nor can afford."

Besides asking the obvious question of why April made the title of her book so ridiculously long, I would be curious as to what qualifies one as a "counselor for the shopping addicted". Is there a need for an entire professional category of therapists to treat the shopping addicted?  I guess we can assume there is as "hoarding" is now a recognized as a mental disorder and is a protected disability under the ADA. (Americans With Disabilities Act)  I do find a certain irony if someone tried to collect disability payments for that, they could use it to fund their disability. 

The idea of companies needing, wanting and hoping for people to drink and shop struck me as interesting from a marketing perspective.  If you have a product to sell, perhaps you need to sell the idea of enticing people to have a few  cocktails first.

For those of you that want to participate in SUI,  but don't want to actually wake up with a hangover tomorrow there is an Internet site just for you.  There is a site called Drunk Mall.  Now to be fair, Drunk Mall isn't really an e-commerce site as much as a site that will get you connected to the types of things that you would buy when you are drunk.  A drunken middleman of sorts. In the event you are looking for a Trump Voodoo doll, for example, you might want to click on the Drunk Mall site before they are sold out.  If you are rooting for Trump, pretend the doll isn't selling well.

While reading the articles (and there are a LOT of articles on this subject), it was rather fun reading about the array of things that people have bought under the influence.  The studies, for the most part, say women are buying high-end clothing, jewelry and shoes and men are buying sport related items, collectibles, and CDs.

BUT..there are a number of lists of "things I bought while drunk" that reinforce the idea that "when you are drunk you are one quick leap away from a bad idea."

You want one, right????

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