A spending trigger that sales and marketing managers are always looking for is a compelling event to start the buying process that encourages a buyer to make a purchasing decision.
Emotion, especially for B2C buyers, plays a significant part in the purchasing decisions they make. There are a range of different emotional spending triggers. Let's explore a few.
Achievement can be a positive emotion to drive sales. A spending trigger here might be a promotion at work, closing an important business deal, getting engaged, or something equally significant that encourages someone to make an important purchase. In essence, it all boils down to someone making a buying decision to reward themselves for all the hard work they put into achieving an important goal.
Negative emotions can also create emotional spending triggers. Sadness, which may be a result of one of life's disappointments, can encourage people to make a purchase decision by providing someone with some kind of compensation for their disappointment. A significant purchase can help them deal with the stress involved, although there is potential for this type of shopping habit to develop into some kind of addiction.
Jealousy is a hugely influential trigger for emotional shopping, and companies are very adept at using it to promote a brand or product. Whether triggered by the idea of achievement or sadness, the notion of 'I'll show them' is a powerful motivator, which can trigger both healthy retail therapy and unhealthy retail therapy.
Companies are skilled at using this tactic, whether in advertising or other promotion, but it must be subtle. By and large, people do not want to admit they are jealous; however, they do want to feel they are better than 'the other person.' While an obvious appeal to jealousy will surely backfire, a more subtle approach will provide a more effective emotional spending trigger, likely creating significantly better results, especially with premium or luxury goods.
Guilt can be a powerful trigger to do a little retail therapy too. For example, it goes to the heart of much advertising targeting children. 'Pester power' is designed to trigger guilt in the parent, so they can feel they are looking after the best interests of their children. Like tapping into jealousy, however, no one wants to feel their personal value system is being exploited.
Fear is undoubtedly a compelling event that motivates people to buy. However, it is difficult to think of how fear can be seen in the context of healthy retail therapy. A shopping habit driven by fear has the potential to create a shopping addiction in someone and will likely antagonize potential customers rather than offer some shopping therapy.