Tuğçe DUMAN
Uzman Klinik Psikolog-Aile Danışmanı-Adli Psikoloji Uzmanı
Does your passion for online shopping serve your needs or your feelings?
The developments in information technology in the world and in our country have gained importance in terms of commercial activities. The rapid spread of internet use in all segments of the society attracted attention to its e-commerce dimension and brought the concept of 'online shopping', a new form of shopping, to its agenda.

The emergence of the coronavirus has changed the habits and behaviors of individuals as consumers and as individuals in their daily lives.

Individuals in today's working environments are in search of happiness channels because they are faced with different stress factors such as time constraints and health concerns. Shopping, in this sense, is a source of happiness for many individuals. The mood of the people affects the decision-making and purchasing behaviors in the consumption process.

During shopping, the person takes his mental focus away from the stress they are experiencing and direct themselves to channels that make them happy. In particular, the internet environment, unlike the physical environment, is the area where the consumer is completely free and has many options.

E-commerce businesses, on the one hand, provide consumers with the opportunity to browse online stores with websites and mobile applications that they can easily access from wherever they are without getting bored.

On the other hand, they are becoming alternative channels for companies since it provides them with the highest turnover and lowest costs. Two of the most important factors that determine the purchasing process, behavior patterns and values of consumers in the world and in our country are gender and emotions.

The approaches of women and men to the concept of shopping differ from each other. While shopping may be seen as a necessity by men, it may be defined as a means of creating a status to make life more meaningful, a way of getting rid of the stresses of daily life, and a way of self-expression for women.

According to studies, 70-85% of shopping decisions in today's modern life are made by women. The second factor affecting the purchasing behavior of individuals is the emotions.

We can say that people whose outlook on life is shaped by their emotions are more likely to shop and buy new things. At this point, the effects of the messages given to our subconscious by the advertisements that appear both on television and on the internet have a great effect.

Each brand has a consumer-oriented image perception, and the message is given in a way that if individuals use the products of that particular brand, they will satisfy whatever emotions they need. The need of men to feel strong and charismatic, and women to feel beautiful and valuable is caressed through the perceptions of brands.

In order to satisfy this need for approval, the individual tends to buy more products under the influence of images that make him feel like he needs it even if he does not. No matter how much a person has, they feel incomplete. Because the feeling of emptiness does not represent a material void, but a void that needs to be filled in the spiritual world.

People who cannot fill this emptiness they feel in their spiritual world, and cannot feel complete and competent try to fulfill this need with their impulse to buy and possess.

To fill your void, you may obsessively shop because you feel like you need it, even though you do not after all. After a certain period of time, you regret it, or you find yourself in a new buying cycle. We can liken this situation to the desire of people on a diet to constantly eat without being able to stop themselves.

Research tells us that shopping increases dopamine and serotonin hormones in our body, which we call happiness hormones. However, this happiness can sometimes turn into a very artificial and disturbing addiction.

Especially when you feel bad and stressed, there is an increased desire to shop. This situation can be considered normal as long as it is not a habit or an addiction. However, if you feel regret after shopping, if you always tend to buy more when you feel sad, stressed, and nervous, if your expenses are disrupting your daily life and budgetary plans, if you cannot stop yourself from purchasing, if you believe that shopping is a must for relaxation, then shopping is no longer a source of happiness.

In such a case, getting professional help may be necessary. Shopping, as long as the boundaries are well defined, is an important activity that keeps your will to live alive and raises your self-confidence. As long as you do not index your happiness to shopping completely, it does not gain a negative dimension.