How to Take Advantage of Impulse Buyers

When you think of impulse buying, you probably think of snagging a pack of gum or a tabloid while you’re waiting in line in the checkout lane. However, people can also buy impulsively online – if they have a reason to do so. Here, you can learn a little more about how impulse buying works, who’s most likely to do it, and what you can do to help take advantage of those who are most likely to add an item to their carts at the very last minute.

Interesting Statistics about Impulse Buying

The following statistics on impulse buying were compiled based on data and research from sources like Kent University and User Interface Engineering (UIE). They can lend some insight into the different strategies you can use to enhance impulse buys in your online store.

88% of all impulse buys were purchased simply because the item was on sale.

60% of all women have made at least one impulse purchase in the last year.

When surveyed, impulse shoppers say they buy items because they put them in a better mood – not because the item was useful, necessary, or even a good value.

Surveys also show that people tend to make impulse purchases when they are made to feel that something is a once-in-a-lifetime deal. In fact, it has its own acronym: FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out.

With this information in mind, you can set up your online store in such a way that you trigger more impulse buys and sales than ever before. Remember that your goal is to offer customers products tailored directly to them based on things they’ve viewed or put in their carts, products that are on sale, and products that are displayed in such a way that customers feel like they need to make that purchase now. Below are some of the best ways to go about it.

Offer Free Shipping – with Conditions

Conditional free shipping is probably one of the biggest drivers of online impulse buys. Assume you’re shopping in one of your favorite online stores, you go to check out, and all of a sudden you see a popup that tells you to spend another $13 to get free shipping. If shipping is going to cost you $7 anyway, then you’re really only spending another $6 to get something else, right? That’s how conditional free shipping works, and you should be using it to your advantage. Being meticulous is even better. Calculate your average order value, then set your free shipping threshold about $10 to $15 above it. You could even suggest items within certain price ranges at checkout to help customers meet those conditions.

Optimize Your Store for Mobile Devices
Impulse buys are quick decisions – something people do without too much thought. Your goal, then, should be making these purchases quick, easy, and painless for your customers. Optimizing your e-commerce shop for mobile devices does just that. It gives your customers the ability to pick up their phones, go to your shop, see what they want, and buy it – all in less time than it takes to walk from their cars into their homes. To further improve impulse buys from mobile devices, minimize the number of clicks in your checkout process and enable logins through social media outlets like Facebook.

Sales, Sales, and More Sales

Because 88% of all impulse buys occur solely because items are on sale, it’s absolutely crucial for you to always have some kind of promotion running. Free shipping is incredibly encouraging to online shoppers, and sales can further drive sales. Just be sure that you make it front-and-center on your website’s landing page. After all, if people don’t know there’s a sale, they aren’t very likely to buy from you.

Options include BOGO (buy one, get one free) sales, percent off sales, spend $100, save $20 sales, and more. Anything you can do to give customers an advantage – especially if you allow your customers to combine their sales – will really get them into gear to buy. Advertise not only on your website, but also through social media channels, guest blog posts (if possible), and through family and friends.

Use Outstanding Imagery

One of the most important things you can do to help people truly want to buy your products involves using the highest-quality imagery possible. After all, people want to see what they’re getting, so if the image is grainy, tiny, or otherwise questionable, they will probably think twice – and that ruins the impulse. Always use high-quality photos and give visitors the option to view other photos of products, as well. The more familiar people can become with a product, the more likely they are to buy it on impulse.

Impulse buyers are everywhere. There’s a very good chance you’ve ever bought something on impulse within the last few weeks. When you understand what drives people to buy without much thought, it becomes easier to stage your sales and website in such a way that you can appeal to your customers and entice them to buy.