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Preventing impulse buying may be different depending on who you are, researchers say

Study findings suggest that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to stopping unnecessary spending

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A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Würzburg explored the reason why some consumers are compelled to make impulse purchases

They found that knowing your personality type can be helpful when it comes to stopping unnecessary or indulgent purchases. Whether you’re a pleasure-seeker or someone who focuses on security, they say impulse spending is something that affects everyone. 

Personalities and stopping impulse purchases

The researchers analyzed several earlier studies on how personalities can affect consumers’ buying habits. They explained that our personalities can help us understand why impulse purchases occur, and they say we can use that information to cut back on these types of shopping trips. 

Pleasure-oriented consumers typically tend to buy things that they believe will make them happy at that moment -- whether that’s a dessert in a cafe or new clothes. The team says this kind of person is very driven by their emotions and may be driven to buy or avoid buying items depending on their headspace that day.

The researchers explained that pleasure-focused consumers that are looking to limit their impulse spending should try to leave themselves little reminders around their wallets or purses. It can be difficult to avoid spontaneous purchases, but a quick glance to skip an unnecessary item may do the trick for pleasure seekers. 

On the other end of the spectrum are security-oriented people, and the researchers explained that this group isn’t immune to impulse purchases either -- they just may take longer to actually go through with it. The researchers explained that security-oriented people tend to go through a mental checklist before making any purchases, and the decision to buy or abandon an item often takes a little more time. 

For this personality type, cutting back on impulse purchases may take a more persistent approach; the team recommends that consumers make a note and look at it throughout the entirety of the shopping trip, which gives them more time to analyze and think through their decisions. They can use their time in the store to figure out if the purchase is something that they really want. 

Moving forward, the team hopes consumers take these findings into consideration the next time they’re in a store. They say knowing your personality type can help you understand what strategies to take so that you can avoid unnecessary spending.

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