You are online doing research or working, then all of a sudden, an AD pops up, and like a rabbit chasing carrot, you chase it down the hole. Before you say jack, you’re browsing through a digital store and checking items into your cart. #Sigh.
E-commerce can be both blessing and curse, depending on the customer. The convenience of not having to go into a store to shop can fuel an online shopping habit that leads to a shopping addiction. And apart from buying things on impulse, we all know how expensive this kind of online shopping habits can be. So, if you think your online shopping habits are a thing of concern, here are a few things that can help you. (P.S: I am not calling you out.)
Know your triggers
Know the things that set you off. Avoid window shopping. The internet makes it so much easier to window shop online. Know and understand why you have that impulse to buy. Is there a negative emotion driving it, something else that needs to be dealt with that is making you use online shopping as a soothing balm? When you know your triggers and root causes of your compulsive buying, you’re in a better position to combat the issue.
Get hold of your thoughts
It all starts in your mind. When you know what your triggers are, the next step is to get a hold of your thoughts. Distract yourself if you have to. If you’re triggered by an online advert showcasing the best peep-toe heels you’ve seen, ask yourself if you really need it or if you’re buying based on the negative emotions we spoke about earlier. And then find someone where to channel that energy. I’ve heard this said before – ‘Bounce your thoughts.’ Meaning, don’t dwell on these thoughts telling you that you have to self medicate with online shopping. The longer you dwell, the stronger the desire will become and you’ll just end up losing the battle.
Get an accountability partner
Have a trusted friend you can show your internet history to regularly. Or someone you can share your emotions with and how you’re feeling in the moment when you want to make that buy can help. And hopefully, they will talk you out of it.
Most of the work in curbing this habit is internal though. You may have people around you helping but there’s only so much they can do. Take responsibility for curbing your compulsive buying. You can also have spending limits on your cards, or close all your online shopping accounts and remove all saved card information. This can make purchasing online a bit more difficult.
The impulses may never fully go away but knowing your triggers and managing them will hopefully help you keep your urges under control.