Maximizing Impulse Buys – Top Ten Tips

By: Mike Yeo

There isn’t a single “sure-fire” method of increasing your impulse buys. Impulse buys depend on many different factors down to simply the mood your customer is in at the time. The following ten tips can help you to gain some control over your customers thought process when it comes to purchasing impulse items. To capitalize on impulse buys, consider using these tips in congruence with each other to maximize their effects.

  1. Increase visibility/Attractive displays.
    This is always first to mind when it comes to impulse buys, and arguably one of the more important points. A large majority of impulse buys are based on the visual attractiveness of the display. For a customer to buy something they didn’t plan on, it’s a good idea to first draw them in visually.
  2. Strategic positioning – place impulse items near top selling items.
    This goes hand in hand with the first tip. Your top-selling items are naturally where most of your store traffic will be focused. Place your impulse buys in these high traffic areas.
  3. Cross-Merchandising.
    Place items that complement each other together. When this is done, customers who have come into your store for the first item will be likely to purchase the impulse item that complements what they initially came in for.
  4. Leverage social proof.
    Social proof and influence can be a great method of increasing impulse buys. You can use testimonials from experts, or prominently displayed customer testimonials along with the product can go a long way in convincing consumers.
  5. Checkout optimization strategies.
    This can be as simple as creating a pathway with racks and displays filled with optimal impulse items leading to your checkout registers. This way the customers are corralled through an array of different purchases.
  6. Leverage online consumer data for greater insights.
    Many grocers are already looking to increase revenue by putting consumer data to better use. In addition to search, the resulting real-time insights and customer profiling improve merchandising, allocation, planning, and forecasting.
  7. Create an immersive online platform ready for innovative experience.
    Platforms play a key role in bringing creative content and deeply personal offers to shoppers at select moments during the customer experience. How product information is shared, and the absolute fit for each shopper, influences shoppers’ perception of offers as value rather than clutter.
  8. Use mobile tech to your advantage.
    Shopping apps, retailer texts, push notifications and retailer social media can all go a long way these days with impulse buys. With consumers spending less time in the brick-and-mortar stores and more time online, reaching them through their mobile devices is more important then ever.
  9. Use deals and sales to your advantage.
    A sale that offers uncharacteristically deep discounts or even bold signage that indicates a deal is ending soon can prompt a customer to purchase something they weren’t originally planning on purchasing.
  10. Product types.
    Characteristics of impulse buys usually fall under the same categories. They’re usually sensory, on the less-expensive side, as well as made to be perceived as urgent and needed. A customer will spend much less time debating a $5 dollar purchase, compared to a $20 purchase.

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