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Why shopping makes us happy: The science behind retail therapy revealed

Our brains release feel-good hormone dopamine when we order a parcel, with Sunday and Monday revealed to be the most popular days for conducting online orders, according to new research.

Generation Logistics, a recruitment campaign for the logistics industry, has undertaken research to reveal the science behind retail therapy, as well as working with experts to reveal what really happens to us when we order and receive a parcel, and the most popular days for shopping online.

Your brain releases dopamine every time you place an order

Did you know that your brain releases dopamine when you order a parcel? As Mairead Molloy, Psychologist and Global Director at Berkeley International says: “The brain releases dopamine in anticipation of a reward rather than in receipt of an award – making the order transit process the most exciting part of the customer journey. But this only works when a customer knows their order is coming, which is why confirmation emails, delivery updates and parcel tracking are vital in the customer experience.”

So, that might be why we anxiously await parcels as soon as we press the order button!

Sunday and Monday the most popular days for online shoppers

Research has shown that there has been an enormous shift in buying patterns post-Covid, with most people now buying earlier in the day because of the increase in remote working. There are now two peak hours for online shopping – 10am and 8pm – meaning shopping while working at home and after work is particularly popular3.

The same research also found that Sunday and Mondays are the most popular shopping days, when buyers are browsing and ordering online the most3 – indicating a pick-me-up for the Sunday, and a way of battling the work blues on a moody Monday.

As Irene Salter, Leadership Coach, writer and trainer reminds us: “Happiness researchers have shown that treats and pleasures are an essential part of a joyful, flourishing life. Being able to find pleasure in one’s daily life isn’t something to feel guilty about, it’s something to treasure.”

Shoppers encouraged to be aware of their emotions around money

Although the arrival of orders delivers dopamine, in today’s current climate it is still  incredibly important to ensure we are not overspending, and keeping within our spending means and limits.

Embodied Wealth Coach, Leisse Wilcox says: “Being aware of our emotions around money and how we earn and spend it allows us to be more in partnership with money, and use it as a tool for creating a lifestyle that just feels good.”

Logistics delivering the goods

According to Danielle Baron, Entrepreneur, Coach and Therapist at Phoenix Flames, retail therapy has four positive effects on the customer: fulfilment, excitement, convenience and happiness.

Thanks to today’s nimble, sophisticated logistics industry, customers have access to hundreds of different products that can be delivered to doorsteps in a matter of hours without ever leaving the house. Logistics makes buying products easier and more accessible, which links to convenience and how important this is to customers.

Callum Brough, Ambassador at Generation Logistics, commented: “Imagine the parcel you receive at your door as a string of Christmas lights on the tree, there are many lights that will make your tree look pretty however If one light is broken the lights will not be lit, if one element of the logistics of getting your parcel does not work you may not get your parcel on time!”

Commenting on retail therapy and how logistics plays a massive part, Bethany Windsor, Programme Manager at Generation Logistics says: ”Without the logistics sector people would be forced to find other ways to collect their most desired items, even travelling hours for one package. Logistics was actually one of the few sectors that benefitted as a result of the pandemic, as lockdowns drove e-commerce and delivery traffic, and the industry saw dramatic growth. As a result, there’s been a rise in opportunities for those who are looking to enter the sector.”

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1. Data taken from: 2. 59% of respondents said quick delivery is most important when buying online – Information taken from: 3.Information taken from :

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ilk Agency

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