I bet blogging & its impact on purchase behaviour would be a brilliant dissertation topic! The obvious impact is on readers (oi, you! - that's all of ya out there readin' this, ya 'no) - sometimes you pick a favourite blogger & buy the same things the blogger has bought - or even buy a whole new wardrobe when you get inspired by their style (& have the cash for it)? That's not all there is though. Blogging has got a massive impact on purchase behaviour & psychology of shopping of the blogger themselves. Take me, for instance.
When I started blogging I didn't have much of a taste or style - or knowledge of the market (or money). My make-up collection was one lipstick from Poundland, one lip balm my mum gave me, and my wardrobe was, let's put it nicely - limited (when I came to the UK for the very first time I could only take a 15kg suitcase and believe me, clothes was not my priority at that time - I only had space for a pair of jeans, two tops, a jumper and a cardigan - no joke, that is literally what I had with me). You might not know that, but I've never been a girly girl. When I was 15, I chopped my hair to 3cm length, spiked it up with loads of hair gel, wore black eyeliner smugged all over my face & baggy army trousers with army green tank tops. Looking back, I'm not surprised noone asked me out until I was 17 (& had longer hair again), haha! *awkward confession laugh*
Reading blogs was a bit of an enlightenment. It's like reading books - you sort of imagine yourself in the story-line & then bring the best out of the story to the real life. At least that's how it worked for me - my brain started slowly processing the whole fashion world and I realized that you don't have to have loads of money to be able to buy nice things to wear and to make your face look a bit prettier. So I started buying cheapo clothes from charity shops, Primark & in major sales. Shift number one in my purchase behaviour - budget shopping. Becoming a blogger as such opens even more doors to you than just being a passive blog-reader. You start to think about things from the third-party view (because you do want to show your readers things that are of at least of some interest to them), you interact with PR's & brands - you learn about brands you've never heard of, even about brands that you haven't even read about on other blogs. By now I have read so many blog posts that my brain has become a little statistical bank - if I have the time I do read a few reviews before I buy something (this usually applies to make-up and online stores - you obviously don't need to read a review on bag of crisps, doh!), and then consider the stats - how many people like this or that, how many dislike it, who likes it and who dislikes it, what are the chances I'm gonna like it (the fact that majority dislikes it doesn't ultimately mean you won't like it, don't forget)? This is where shift number two comes - statistical shopping (yeh, I made that term up - there's a gap in the theoretical framework on this one, so there). You don't necessarily need to buy the cheapest/most expensive product for you to like it - you have to think about it. Here goes an example:
Above is a simple, quite on-trend outfit which you can get from either high end brand or a budget brand. Clearly, there are alternatives in both stores to create a very similar look. BUT! This classic black biker jacket from Whistles is made of real leather - the H&M alternative is a faux leather. The odds are that although the Whistles jacket is more expensive, it is likely to be a good investment - the leather material is less likely to fall apart after one season. The cut is classic & black won't be out of fashion - like ever. The H&M jacket might last a season (maybe two if you're nice to it), but then you will have to spend more time & money to hunt for a new one for the following season. Is it worth it? The neon knitted jumper, on the other hand, is something that you might not be a fan of after this season - so why not to grab a cheapo alternative? And maybe get it in a different colour next season? Just think about your priorities, spend your hard earned money on pieces that are timeless (what a cliche, innit!) & don't stick to just high (or low) end of the purchasing spectrum - it's your taste, your style, your money and your decision after all.
Have you noticed a change in your shopping habits lately?
What are your thoughts on blogging & shopping?