What Bad Economy? More Than Half of Americans Still Indulge in Retail Therapy, Survey Says

What: Online cash back shopping site, Ebates.com, commissioned TNS Global to conduct a survey on retail therapy in March 2013. They found that among the 51.8% of Americans– 63.9% of women and 39.8% of men– shop to improve their moods. 66.6% of the respondents also say that the convenience of online shopping makes the retail therapy experience even “better”.

What They Say:

“Our survey confirms that shopping truly is ‘therapy’ for many people, and can help raise one’s spirits after a bad day. Online shopping makes this pick-me-up only a couple of clicks away,” says Ebates.com CEO, Kevin H. Johnson.


What We Say: The survey confirmed a list of things we already know, but are kinda nice to confirm with a thousand-strong opinion. As you might have guessed, American women’s top comfort buys are as follows:

1. Clothes – 57.9%
2. Food – 34.7%
3. Shoes – 32.4%
4. Accessories – 29.1%
5. Books / Magazines – 28.7%

On the other hand, the top item on every American man’s shopping list is a clean pair of shirt… not. But we can certainly dream. Here are the real survey results:

1. Food – 28.1%
2. Electronics – 27.4%
3. Music / Movies – 26.6%
4. Clothes – 21.5%
5. Games / Toys – 17.6%

We’re not sure if we can chalk it up to conscientious shopping, but 80.7% of Americans feel better when they get a deal while indulging in retail therapy. Of that percentage, shopping during a sale is the most popular (61.8%), followed by receiving a reward like gift cards(49.4%), free shipping (45.0%), and using coupons (44.6%).

Online shopping has also proven to be an appealing option for retail therapy junkies out there. From not having to leave the house (43.7%) to the curiosity-rousing Don’t have to have anyone see what I bought (13.1%), people are definitely beginning to embrace the online shopping experience more over the years.

Are you part of the 51.8% of America’s retail therapy junkies? What do you usually shop for?

Image credit: Dennis Owusu-Ansah / Shutterstock

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