We are in the thick of end of season sales, fam. But it isn't the reduced prices themselves that get people to shop, according to a recent study done by MIT. Nah, it's those big ass signs shouting directly in your fucking face that prices are reduced that drive purchases.
Mark Ellwood, author of Bargain Fever: How To Shop In A Discounted World, talks about "information cues" like the aforementioned signs which force us to shop even if there isn't that good of sale going on. He cites the MIT study as strong evidence that, in the end, we're really just brainless shoppers. In the study, customers were given one of three catalogs with the same dress priced at $54, $49 and $44. In the first round, the cheapest option was the bestseller, naturally. But on the second go-around, the dress was surrounded by "sale" signs and sold equal amounts at each priceproint.
There was even another study done that featured 200 products in three groups: original price, lower price and original price with "SALE" signs around it. The lower price sold 17% more than the original price, but the third group sold 3.4% more than the first group, meaning the store profits just from putting discount signifiers around the product. Granted, we've sort of covered this before, since holiday sales are not always what they're cracked up to be and those deals are not always, well, deals at all. So, moral of the story? Be on the lookout, you mindless sheep.