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Omega and Swatch “MoonSwatch”, that’s Hype Commerce

March 28, 2022
Andrew Lipp
CEO & Co-Founder, EQL

I’m in Covid quarantine. Both kids have it. We’ve been locked down for six days. It would make the best of folks go crazy. Throw in an Omega and Swatch “MoonSwatch” release, and things got utterly erratic. PJ Mask and Bluey babysat my kids as I repetitively called the Swatch shop all through Friday. Did they answer? No. Did that make me want it more? Absolutely. Did I try to organize someone on Airtasker to line up for me? Maybe……….ok, yes.

It’s unmanaged chaos.

It’s been hard to avoid the hype. Footage from across the globe shows people rushing Swatch stores and muscling in for spots in line. Police forced store closures as a matter of health and safety. Units are now selling for 5x on resale sites. It’s a frenzy and the truest display of Hype Commerce.

The Psychology of Hype

Be honest….. you now want it too, and you don’t exactly know why. Swatch released the following statement “Watches <will be> available in the selected Swatch Stores in the coming weeks as it is not a limited edition” So are you still madly wondering how you’re going to get it? Why the frenzy?

That’s Hype Commerce.

  • It’s shopping on heat: Shoppers love the thrill of the chase. It’s the highly emotive relationship people have with hype products and brands, blended with economic scarcity, and the thrilling experience that comes along with it that makes it a powerful addictive high for buyers.
  • Scarcity bias: We unconsciously assume scarce things are valuable and abundant things are not.
  • Social proof bias: You see a long line, and you need to line up in it. You didn’t want the watch last week, but you want it now. We subconsciously let the behaviours and influence of others guide our decisions. Your brain just tricked you. Welcome to the “Bandwagon effect” sucker!
  • Dopamine surges and decisions: Our reward system (Dopamine) goes into hyperdrive during a hype experience. The rush is magnified several times. You don’t want the “Mission to the sun” white and yellow watch from the collection. But you’ll certainly take it and likely never wear it. Dopamine can cause someone to get caught up in a shopping moment — like buying a watch colourway they never wanted.
It’s white and yellow 😳

Hype is a megatrend. Combine it with price-insensitive spending, erratic unconscious behaviours, and the freight train of eCommerce, and you have yourself a new wave of commerce. It needs to be approached differently.

It’s commerce, but different.

Running in-store first-come-first-serve for high heat product launches in the same way you’d run standard sales is like using an IKEA hex key to build a house….it isn’t going to cut it. Chaos ensues. Exhibit A; Omega and Swatch launch.

Today’s eCommerce platforms aren’t built to manage hype either. Sites crash, tech goes out of sync, bots clear out stock, and retailers try to work with a system that keeps falling over.

EQL is a platform specifically designed to manage the hype, helping retailers stay in control of all that wonderful chaos. Sites stay up, users can buy online yet go in-store for pick up, bots and scammers are deterred, and real fans get their hands on the products they love.

Bots are revving their engines, watch this space.

Bots are releasing their ‘swatch module’, and they are licking their lips. You get the feeling we’ll be seeing Twitter flexes very shortly.

A request:

To all retailers, let’s manage that wonderful chaos together and get products into the hands of real fans.

And to Swatch, there is still time to get redemption on your online drop, DM us ;)

Want to know more about the Psychology of Hype? Or need the tools to manage your next high heat launch? DM us on Instagram @run_fair or reach out at
Andrew Lipp
CEO & Co-Founder, EQL

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