Selling Impulse Items Can Prompt Customers to Buy More

Posted: August 27, 2023
Category: Impulse Feature

One of the busiest spots at wholesaler markets is the Impulse area. Retailers check out everything from peppered beef jerky to sequined key chains to packages of thermal socks. Most displays are loaded with tempting merchandise that will entice shoppers to stop and buy quickly. Impulse buying is a shopping indulgence for almost 90 percent of Americans.

Purchasing small and inexpensive treats and gifts for ourselves can change the buyer’s disposition, relieve stress, and make them happier. These items are a form of escape that doesn’t take much thought or effort. According to a survey conducted by Slicksource Food/groceries (48 percent), Household items (42 percent), and clothing (40 percent) are the top product categories for impulse buys.

  • 62 percent of respondents felt happy after making an impulse purchase
  • 66 percent of impulse shopping takes place in bed while on a smartphone
  • 75 percent of those surveyed wouldn’t order online if they had to pay for shipping

Impulse Purchases Can Be Profitable

Statistics indicate that more than 22 percent of retail purchases are therapeutic since their primary purpose is to make buyers feel better. Impulse merchandise is an opportunity for hardware stores to improve profits by selling products with larger margins and faster turnover.

  • Americans make 156 impulse purchases every year
  • 65 hr. per year is spent shopping online and 90 hr. per year shopping in-store
  • 40 percent of the money spent on e-commerce sites were impulse purchases

Customers Should Believe They Are Getting a Deal

Price can determine if the shopper brings an item home or leaves it at the store. Consumers can easily justify buying an item that costs less than $20 versus one costing $100. Items bought on impulse should make shoppers believe they are getting a good deal and saving money. Unlike planned purchases, these are random buys that are not in the budget.

Ryan Tronier, the senior personal finance editor for the social platform Slickdeals, says, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, our research shows that impulse spending can be associated with saving money. Our Slickdeals community has millions of real people constantly finding the best deals at the best price, which means that even if you weren’t planning to buy everyday items such as laundry detergent or coffee at a given time, stocking up when there’s a great price can ultimately help your budget.

Place Items in High-Traffic Locations in Store

It doesn’t take much space to place racks of candy and vending machines at or near the checkout. Doing simple things can diversify your product selection and increase add-on sales. Dump bins and end-caps can be strategically placed within high-traffic areas to promote seasonal items or niche products that competitors may not offer. Remember to upsell, when possible, to increase the basket size.

Limited-Time Deals for Consumables and Special Buys

Shoppers are afraid to miss out on a great deal that can save them money. reports that 50 percent of people point to Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) as the reason for their impulsive buying. Although the issues with the supply change have improved since the start of the pandemic, everyone remembers the panic buying that happened when there was a shortage of toilet paper. One way to appeal to impulse shoppers is to create urgency by putting items on sale for a limited time. This works well for consumables, special buys, and bundled merchandise designed to build exclusive offers.

Maximize Every Customer Interaction

Give customers who visit a physical store an opportunity to pick up products and interact with them while standing in the checkout line. Anything visual that gets shoppers to notice the item is helpful. It includes using bright signs and large price cards. There are no downsides to selling impulse items. It’s a great way to refresh your inventory by continually exposing customers to new products at value prices.