Happy Impulse Shoppers Grow Sales and Increase Profits

Posted: January 24, 2024
Category: Spotlight on Business

Impulse Buys are essential for boosting retail sales. They’re significant as retailers struggle to generate profits when confronted with rising inflation and interest rates. It’s also a stressful time for some Americans. Many consumers elevate their mood by making spontaneous, last-minute purchases before they exit physical stores or checkout virtually online. It’s up to retailers to create environments that make it quick and easy for shoppers to see impulse items, assess their desirability or usefulness, and close the transaction with a purchase.

Focusing on improving sales for impulse items is undoubtedly worth an independent retailer’s time and effort. According to a recent survey by Slickdeals, an only shopping platform, sixty-four percent of U.S. adults spent more on impulse merchandise in 2022 (up from 59 percent the prior year).

  • Seventy-three percent of respondents made spontaneous purchases
  • On average, Americans spend $314 per month on impulse purchases
  • The most people are willing to pay for a single item is $314

Sales Keep Growing
Even in this inflationary period, consumers have not significantly altered their purchasing behavior for certain types of products. While seven in ten shoppers are more cautious about overspending, the emotional elements related to buying on impulse remain strong. “This year’s survey indicates Americans are spending more on impulse purchases than in the past two years, says Louie Patterson, personal finance content manager for Slickdeals. “While inflation is certainly impacting budgets across many essential shopping categories, interestingly. We’re also seeing consumers reporting an increase in the frequency of their impulse spending.”

  • Seventy-seven percent of respondents say spontaneous shopping has a positive effect on how they feel (Up 2 percent from 2021)
  • Forty-one percent feel happy after making a purchase. Forty percent are excited.
  • Thirty -four percent of Americans shop because they are bored.

Fear of missing out
One of the reasons impulse purchases are so popular with shoppers is the fear that the item will not be available at the same price later. Highly visible merchandise flagged out by a special promotion is perceived as a value. Patterson says fear of missing out is a powerful motivator for impulse purchasing. Still, as indicated in the survey, 58 percent of Americans report that unplanned purchases have actually saved them money. We regularly witness the positive effects of impulse purchasing through our community of shoppers helping one another find the best prices at any given time. Tapping into a great deal on household items, coffee, or technology products can ultimately help you save on your budget.”

Drive impulse sales
Increase the product’s visibility
to enable customers to decide quickly. Placing merchandise on the path that leads to the checkout counter and on endcaps are ideal locations. Adding colorful signage and callouts will draw attention to specific products when the treatments are used selectively.

Categorize products to promote add-on sales and cross-merchandising—position impulse items at logical places throughout the store. For example, put batteries near smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and checkout counters. Placing duct tape in the electrical department and with insulation products will prompt shoppers to add the purchase to their basket.

Place low-cost essentials in bins near the front of the door and at checkout. Glue, tape, small hand tools, garden gloves, and candy sell faster when easily seen. In-store displays that are visible account for 16 percent of unplanned purchases.

Use lighting effectively to showcase merchandise that is more expensive or requires special treatment. Lighting can draw attention to oversized items such as power tools, grills, housewares, or seasonal displays. Lighting will enable shoppers to read labels and specifications that can make them feel comfortable about spending more than their original plan.

Create a unique display or section for impulse buys. Customers who are in a hurry appreciate having the ability to see the newest or most popular items in one location. In time, they will automatically know where to go in the store to quickly review merchandise before checking out. This arrangement offers an opportunity to keep assortments fresh and promote specific seasonal merchandise.

Try New Things
Impulse items are a numbers game, so trying new products and partnering with various vendors is a good idea. Selling locally sourced merchandise can help attract new customers. Consider displaying specialty sauces, spices, and cooking utensils near the grills. Be imaginative and creative in your selection of impulse items to make the shopping experience more enjoyable for customers.