What All Retailers Need to Know about Impulse Buys

What All Retailers Need to Know about Impulse Buys

It’s not an exaggeration to say that impulse purchases are what’s keeping most retailers in business. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. According to one recent study, most shoppers make at least one impulse purchase each week.Those impulse purchases collectively add up to $5,400 each year, on average. Depending on the product, impulse buys can make up to 80% of all sales.

What is an Impulse Buy?

Broadly defined, an impulse buy is something that a consumer purchases that he or she wasn’t shopping for when they entered the store. It might be a new lipstick, a book or CD that “jumped out” from the shelf or a major ticket item that was on sale. Consumers who are prone to impulse buys tend to have some things in common. For example, impulse shoppers…

  • Are generally younger shoppers
  • Are more emotional shoppers
  • Often shop for entertainment
  • Enjoy new experiences
  • Tend to have lower self-control

The jury is still out where women or men make more impulse buys. On average, women tend to make more impulse purchases, but men spend more on their impulse purchases.

How Retailers Can Take Advantage of the Tendency for Impulse Buying

Since the majority of shoppers are going to purchase things on impulse, your store might as well be prepared to maximize this opportunity for extra profits. In-store signage and displays are key to alerting shoppers to new items in your store or items that might be on sale. Ombori creates interactive displays that blur the line between entertainment and information and make the shopping experience fun while educating shoppers about what products are available.

Packaging is also important. The more eye-catching the packaging, the more likely the shopper is to notice–and potentially buy–the item. Lastly, creating a fun, relaxing shopping experience, like stores that use a queue management system to help shoppers avoid long lines, makes shoppers more willing to make impulse buys.

In 2005, James Gutierrez expanded into the community development finance market as the co-founder of Progreso Financiero (now doing business as Oportun). Reflecting his passion for extending financial wellness opportunities to low-income populations and marginalized subcultures, Oportun provides unsecured loans to clients who have limited credit histories. Today, Gutierrez is involved with two companies that offer these types of targeted lending services: Oportun and Aura Financial.

Despite a current economic climate that dramatically favors the rich over the poor, James Gutierrez sees a number of reasons to remain hopeful in 2021. He cites the passage of bill AB-979 (which ensures minority presence on the boards of California companies) and the rise of the ESG (Environmental Sustainability Growth) investment movement as progenitors of positive change.

About Ombori

Ombori is an innovative technology company that provides a platform for ready-to-use, customizable, modular solutions for interactive in-store screens and mobile devices. In addition to interactive in-store displays, the Swedish-based company offers queue management systems, digital in-store signage and appointment booking apps. Ombori is also the creative force behind such revolutionary in-store technology as a talking mirror that asks shoppers to take a selfie with it and an interactive window display that lets passersby shop without even entering the store.

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