Online Shopping Addiction: Symptoms, Causes and Effects

Gunuc S., Keskin A. D.

ADDICTA-THE TURKISH JOURNAL ON ADDICTIONS, vol.3, no.3, pp.353-364, 2016 (ESCI) identifier


One of the various forms of technology used to make life easier is online shopping. Reasons for which one might prefer online shopping over real life shopping include such factors as ease of search, lower prices, a variety of goods, time saved, ease of use, entertainment, promotions, and impulsive behaviors in the shopper. A number of individuals have found themselves addicted to online shopping due to a lack of self-control. This study aims not only to reveal participants' reasons for preferring online shopping, but also to define and describe the hedonic nature of online shopping addiction. The study follows a mixed method design in which both qualitative and quantitative methods are applied in the data collection process. Qualitative data was collected from a total of 105 participants who had stated that they frequently used the internet to shop using the snowball sampling method. Quantitative data, on the other hand, was collected by asking open-ended questions to 18 randomly selected individuals from the original 105 participants. The researcher collected data through face-to-face and internet interviews over a period of five months. The sample group was composed of 80% women (n = 84) and 20% men (n = 21) with participants' ages ranging from 18 to 55 (mean: 29). The tools used to collect data were an open-ended questionnaire, a form soliciting demographic information, and the Hedonic Shopping Scale. Quantitative data were subjected to descriptive analyses, a t-Test, ANOVA analyses, and in order to classify hedonic shopping scores, to a two-stage clustering analysis. Qualitative data, on the other hand, were analyzed using content analysis. This work concludes with an evaluation of the qualitative and quantitative data on online shopping followed by a discussion on factors contributing to online shopping addiction as well as related concepts.