How To Encourage Impulse Buying
Surveys show time and again that most people buy on impulse regularly. And those same surveys show that impulse buying isn’t something they object to; in fact, they welcome it!
Most purchasing decisions are made after a customer enters a store and, even if they know the type of product they want, many don’t decide on the brand to buy until they actually see it. A good proportion of shoppers also purchase items they have no intention of getting.
With increased competition from online sellers, this is one of the advantages that retail stores have because impulse buying is more practical on physical premises. It is therefore an opportunity that must not be missed and there are proven ways to encourage impulse buying.
The Right Price
Shoppers are unlikely to buy high-value items on impulse so it’s best to concentrate on products that are below a certain price point — typically $20 or less. You can also tempt customers with special offers, such as 'buy one get one free', or seasonal or time-limited offers that will instil a sense of urgency.
The Right Products
Customers are unlikely to buy on impulse something they don’t need so it’s worthwhile carrying out some market research to identify the right products. Look at sales figures at each branch to find out what items are selling and then promote these. Bear in mind that different branches may have varying popularity so be flexible between branches and ensure each one has sufficient stock. If something is selling well, you may also promote accessories for it or complementary items so that customers increase their spending.
Be aware of any local events that are due. These may give you the opportunity to promote items that are relevant for those events or to meet local conditions. You can also mount special promotions that you publicise in advance.
The Right Location
Impulse buys typically go well when displayed near the checkout area because customers may select to buy while waiting to pay. Success may also be achieved at strategic points around the store but, for this to succeed, you need to:
- Know customers’ paths around the store and where they spend the most time so that appropriate products can be placed at particular points
- Optimise the store’s layout so you steer customers in the direction you want them to go
- Create appropriate signage and lighting so that customers’ attention is drawn to products
- Keep selection simple by not offering too many varieties of the product that may cause confusion
- Place accessories and complementary items near the best-selling products they relate to so that customers are tempted to buy.
The Right Sales Method
If research tells you what customers are likely to buy, the correct signage and location will encourage them to do so. Keep things simple and don’t try to over-complicate the message.
Offers can be published on social media and by messaging, so build up information about your target customers and then act on it. Don’t forget also that your staff are a valuable resource that you can use to create a more personalised shopping experience and to boost sales. Checkout staff will see what’s in a customer’s basket and can suggest the purchase of other items, such as gift wrap or appropriate accessories, so encourage them to do this.
Getting the shopper’s attention is the main task and, once that’s achieved, you can promote special offers, 'must have' items and time-limited deals that give an incentive to buy. With over 75% of shoppers buying on impulse at least once a quarter and the same proportion doing that in physical stores rather than online, it’s an opportunity that retailers can’t afford to miss.