5 Ways to Inspire Impulse Buys

By Tori Atkinson

Impulse BuyingGood retail is dependent upon a variety of factors, but ultimately comes down to powerful and actionable strategies designed to maximize sales. Running an effective business is much more complex than a case of opening a store and hoping for the best. Thanks to retail psychology, we can manipulate consumer behavior to great effect.

Impulse buys are a clever and effective way to have an impact on your customers’ spending habits, as these last-minute spontaneous purchases contribute massively to your profits. And the best part is, they’re easy to influence. If you’re wondering how to use these short-term spends to drive your business to maximum long-term profitability, following are some tricks of the trade to inspire impulse purchases like never before.

Color psychology

One of the most powerful trade secrets is the use of effective and lucrative color coordination. The use of color in retail has a proven effect on spending habits, with each color boasting its own array of retail benefits, whether it’s trust factor, a suggestion of good value for money, or even a more subconscious positive association with your brand. Red is a color universally associated with urgency and spontaneity, making it an ideal shade for impulse purchase displays. When a customer sees the color red, the ability to think rationally and analytically is diminished, giving way to impulsive urges and driving those last-minute purchases.

The urgency effect

One of the factors that make daily deal sites so popular is the time sensitive nature of their offers. Customers are compelled to make impulse purchases on the basis that the offer won’t last forever, and they might miss it on account of their indecision. The beauty of this approach is that you don’t actually need to put an expiration date on your deals. The mere suggestion of limited offers implies a finite window of time that should have customers committing to these impulse purchases “while they still can.”

Impulse BuyingThe customer journey

The foundation of any airtight retail marketing plan is a store layout that works. By mapping out the optimal placement for every product within the context of the overall customer journey, you can give your products the best possible chance of selling. Retail merchandising specialists help storeowners to maximize their in-store layout, ensuring that every product is optimally placed to tempt passing customers.

The ideal spot for impulse buys is along the route to the checkout, where customers are forced to congregate. This puts your products along their line of vision at the last stop before the point of sale. The last-minute factor awarded by this strategic placement means a lot of customers will pick up these items on their way to the checkout, on the basis of convenience and spontaneity alone. By employing these tried and tested merchandising strategies, you can empower your store to greater profitability.

Engagement factor

The key to compelling customers to make purchases is allowing them to visualize themselves with your product. While clever displays can impact on this to a point, the ultimate way to have customers engage with your products is through demonstrations and product testing. Using eye-catching displays where an employee will perform live product demonstrations is sure to encourage impulse purchases, as customers are not only drawn to the product in question, but shown how to use it and helped to visualize using it themselves. Once this seed is planted, you should be guaranteed an impulse buyer.

Bundle culture

Products that qualify as impulse purchases are often small, accessory items designed to complement or supplement other products. While this makes them inessential purchases that are easily forgotten, it also offers some unique promotional potential when it comes to the “bundle culture” phenomenon.

Efficient shoppers are looking for a way to get everything they need at once, and economical shoppers want to be sure they’re getting a good deal. Through effective impulse purchase promotion, you can kill both of these birds with a single stone. Present your impulse items as part of an overall package or deal, and make sure to highlight the value of the bundle versus the individual prices of all items, demonstrating to consumers not only that they’re better off buying everything at once, but also that committing to that purchase makes them a smart shopper. Since 88 percent of impulse purchases are the result of a sale or a perceived sale, these are numbers you can’t argue with.