To many, shopping is considered a recreational and diversional activity in which one visits a variety of stores with a premeditated intent to purchase a product.
"Window shopping" is an activity that shoppers engage in by browsing shops with no intent to purchase, possibly just to pass the time between other activities, or to plan a later purchase.
To some, shopping is a task of inconvenience and vexation. Shoppers sometimes go though great lengths to wait in long lines to buy popular products as typically observed with early adopter shoppers and holiday shoppers.
More recently compulsive shopping is recognised as an addiction. Also referred as shopping addiction, "shopaholism" or formally oniomania, these shoppers have an impulsive uncontrollable urge to shop. The term "retail therapy" is used in a less serious context. The nonprofit organization Debtors Anonymous provides free support groups for shopping addiction or oniomania and other money related addictions.