Want to Spend Less Money? Try Shopping in High Heels

When consumers are focused on keeping their balance, they tend to make smarter purchases, says a new study

The higher your heels, the smarter the shopper you will be.

That's according to new research that found having to focus on physical balance tends to lead to more balanced buying decisions. Hitting the stores after a yoga class or riding an escalator can also have the same spillover effect.

"If you're someone who tends to overspend, or you're kind of an extreme person, then maybe you ought to consider shopping in high heels," study author Jeffrey Larson, a marketing professor at Brigham Young University, said in a university news release.

His team found that when consumers' minds are focused on staying balanced, they are more likely to consider all of their buying options and choose a mid-range product, as opposed to something high-end or of low quality.

In conducting the study, the researchers set up several ways in which physical balance was involved in consumers' shopping experience. For instance, people leaned back on a chair while shopping online, played a Wii Fit game while being questioned about certain products, or stood on one foot while making a buying decision.

The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Marketing Research, found people focused on balancing were more likely to buy a 42-inch television for $450 than a bigger, more expensive model or a smaller, cheaper TV.

The researchers concluded that people should be aware of how physical elements can influence the buying decisions they make.

"We need to sit back for a minute and consider, 'Is this really what I want, or are the shoes I'm wearing influencing my choice?'" study co-author Darron Billeter said in the news release. "We need to be more aware of what is influencing our choices."

More information

This article from Psychology Today takes a look at impulse buying.

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