holiday shopping

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales quickly approaching, Finder surveyed 1,800 U.S. adults to better understand consumer behavior around impulse spending and buyer’s remorse related to sales.

According to the findings, 64 percent of American consumers have bought something on sale that they later regretted. Notably, the survey revealed that apparel purchases lead to the “most commonly regretted shopping decisions,” with just over 77 percent of respondents saying they had experienced buyer’s remorse in this category with an average spend of $72.02.

The electronics category followed apparel as the category, with 51.4 percent of consumers saying they had made regrettable purchases after purchasing a gadget or electronic device, with an average spend of $175.85.

“It is common for consumers to engage in impulse buying when brands frame their product promotions as limited-time deals. Time-bound offerings have the potential to catapult individuals into fragmented and disorganized consumer decision making states,” said Dr. Ross B. Steinman, professor of consumer psychology at Widener University. “This influences their shopping behavior, often leading them to purchase much more than intended. For many, the marketing environment they interact with is a stimulus that can cognitively prime their self-reward focus and lead them toward impulsive consumer behavior.”

While the survey found both men and women experience equal buyer’s remorse, younger consumers reported higher regrets when compared to consumers in older generations. Generation Z experienced the highest percentage of consumers with purchase regret with 70.8 percent saying they wished they “hadn’t made a purchase,” followed closely by 70.1 percent of Millennials. Still, Gen X was not far behind at 68.5 percent. There was a notable drop, however, from Baby Boomers and The Silent Generation at 58.6 percent and 49.7 percent, respectively.

Overall, despite previous regrets, Finder’s data shows Millennials and Gen Z will plan to take advantage of deals on Black Friday, with 92.43 percent of Gen Z planning to shop the pre-holiday promotions and 91.88 percent of Millennials saying they plan to spend an average of $851.79.

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