We’ve all experienced the moment when we’ve gone into a shop, clean forgotten what we were meant to be buying – and picked up something we didn’t even need instead.
Now this niggling – and expensive – habit could be being made worse by your mobile phone, experts say.
Research shows that shoppers who are chatting, texting, checking emails or listening to music on their phones while browsing the shelves become easily distracted from the task at hand.
Research shows that shoppers who are chatting, texting, checking emails or listening to music on their phones while browsing the shelves become easily distracted
And the effect continues even if you put your phone away half-way through the shop, a study shows.
More than 230 volunteers were asked to complete a simulated shopping task – either not using their phone, using it only intermittently or using it constantly.
They were handed a list and asked to compare the items which ended up in their basket in each of the three scenarios.
In most cases, heavy phone use led to a ‘considerable distraction’ and more unplanned purchases.
Research found that of those studied, heavy phone use led to a ‘considerable distraction’ and more unplanned purchases
The only exception was when the phone was being used for a task related to the shopping, such as researching a product.
Dr Michael Sciandra, who led the research at Fairfield University in Connecticut, said: ‘Mobile phones are quickly becoming the principal distractor for many consumers, with 93 per cent admitting to using their phones while out shopping.
‘Almost half of all in-store mobile phone use is unrelated to the shopping task – and this is associated with more hedonistic unplanned purchases.’