Social media "encouraging retail returns"

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

The adoption of social media has led to the creation of a "serial return culture" amongst shoppers.

This is according to psychologist Geoffrey Beattie, who suggests that a craving for social media likes has led millennials and Gen Z to return large volumes of the items they purchase.

Beattie says that buyers' remorse is "supercharged" amongst millennials. He continued: "[It is] simply because of the social media aspect to the whole thing. Narcissism has been about since the beginning. But we have now the vehicles to allow it to develop. You supercharge it.

“Narcissism shouldn't really surprise any of us, because human beings didn't evolve in big, anonymous cities like London. We lived in communities of about 60 to 70 to 80 people. Everyone knew who we were. Of course, the rise of narcissism and social media and celebrities is allowing people to recapture that recognition. I am someone because people know who I am.” 

On 'serial returners', Beattie said: “The problem for social media posts is that you have to present yourself differently to get likes. Your purchases help you to present yourself in different ways and, because people need affirmation or feedback, you either buy yourself a new costume all the time, in which case you're a millionaire, or you become a serial returner.” 

Digital City Festival has launched

Five days of events showcasing the best of digital in the North