Content Manager
November 28, 2019

Do you really need it? Our chatbot tackling Black Friday impulse spending

Black Friday sales 'twisting your spending nipples'? Ours too. Put your pending purchase to the test using Chip's decision-making chatbot to answer the question on everyone's lips: Do I really need it? Check it out here.

Do I reeeeeeally need this?’ my inner monologue questions a discounted Chrome-Pink Air Quality Monitor I have sitting in my online cart.

On the eve of the spending Olympics that is Black Friday, asking yourself aloud if you really need something should as much a part of the purchase journey that the three digit code on the back of your bank card is. 

While Finder predicts Brits to spend more than £5.6 billion on sales this year, 21% of shoppers that purchased something on Black Friday/Cyber Monday last year admit they later regretted it, spending an estimated average of £83 on each of these items.

The impulsive purchases brought on by a combination of adrenaline, time sensitivity and seizure-inducing promotional banners can endanger your savings, and even put you in a position of financial vulnerability, so we’re here to talk about it. 

Does Black Friday really mean deals?

We can easily be disillusioned we’re bagging a bargain by the level of hype surrounding the sale weekend, asking a second question: are these deals actually deals?

While for many outlets, Black Friday prices are their lowest, others leverage off the naïve consumer’s belief that Black Friday boasts the best deals, sneakily adopting marketing ploys to get you swiping, tapping and spending those precious pounds. found seven in 10 admitted they are more likely to make an impulse purchase when something is reduced in price.

Martin Lewis: "twisting your spending nipples"

And TV's Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, explained the need to really question your Black Friday buys in this week's episode of the Money Show (the Chip team was there at the filming!).

He used an interesting turn of phrase:

They’re trying to twist your spending nipples to get you to buy the things that they really want to. Actually, this is where you’ve got to be careful. Just because it’s cheap, if you weren’t planning to buy it, don’t buy it. If you were planning to buy it, it’s got to be cheap.

Chip CMO Alex's shaky footage from the night.

A Chip hot tip 🔥

Much like the electric blanket you plan to purchase on Amazon, price comparison sites are the tools you never knew you needed this time of year. Idealo and Camelcamelcamel reveal the price history of a given product, telling you if and when it was at a lower price.

How we’re reducing the risk of buyer’s remorse

Looping back to the opening question, “Do I really need this?”, we had a light bulb moment. We thought, why not use our chatbot expertise to help you decide whether you’re making an impulsive purchase or not?*

Plus, share your results to Instagram or DM us a photo of your Black Friday buy to go in the running to win £50 in your Chip account!

Tag in your friends and share our Chat Bot with the hashtag #DoYouNeedIt?

More tips for Black Friday/Cyber Monday control

  1. Can you provide at least three good reasons as to why you should buy this item?
  2. If you only intended to buy one specific product, refrain from browsing any further, as tempting as that ad for a Loch Ness Ladle is. 
  3. Set yourself a budget before braving the stores, and stick to it. Have a friend hold you accountable or create locked pots if you’re weak. 
  4. Check your bank balance; can you afford this? As Jay Z once said, if you can’t afford to buy it twice, you can’t afford it. 
  5. Ask a friend or family member for their opinion.
  6. Have you been wanting this item for longer than a week?
  7. In the words of Marie Kondo, ‘does it spark joy?’. 
  8. If time permits it, leave it for an hour. If you keep thinking about it, revisit and reassess. 
  9. Perform some browser hygiene. Clear your cache and browser history to restrict retargeted ads. 

*FYI, Chip is not authorised to provide financial advice. This is just a silly way to help you be sensible.

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