Impulse purchases and sales

In the world of sales, impulse purchases are the most important. Impulse sales alone can account for over 50% of general purchases. Impulse purchases also help businesses to successfully release new products and maximise profits.

What makes an impulse sale so appealing to businesses is that they are instant sales with the customer giving little thought about:

  • Price

  • Reliability

  • Usefulness

This is important because cost, reliability and usefulness are the main areas where businesses compete. Profit margins will be reduced if a business tries to reduce the price while improving the reliability and usefulness.

Impulse sales are determined by 3 separate factors. These are:

  • First impression

  • Availability

  • Ease of purchasing

By using these 3 factors we can work to encourage impulse purchases. Here are some ways that might help to encourage impulse purchases.

The impressive one-of-a-kind feature

You need to catch your customers attention with a feature that is:

  • Impressive

  • Attention grabbing

  • Marketable

  • Cool

Your customers need to be thinking that your product or service is like no other and can do things much better, faster or easier. All your marketing needs to emphasise that what you have to offer is like no other. This will encourage impulse buying.

Marketing to a need

Your marketing needs to also make your customers think that they need your product or service right now. They should have no reason to put off buying your product or service. For example, you will have more impulse purchases if you try to sell winter clothes in the winter.

Limited time offer or discount

Discounts, special offers and sales are a great way to catch the attention of your customers. Deals make people think that they are getting something worth more than what they are paying for it. A well placed 3 for the price of 2 deal can have you customers walking out the door with 3 items when they only came in to buy one.

Easily accessible

You need your product or service to be very accessible to your customers. This includes:

  • Having the product or details in a very prominent position that makes yours easier to find than your competitors.

  • Place the product or details of the service everywhere people might look.

  • Be able to deliver if the customer needs help to transport the product.

  • Be able to provide the service on time.

Direct affect on customer

In your marketing, you need to cater for two types of audiences:

  • Those who understand the features

  • Those that do not understand

You will rarely get an impulse purchase from someone who understands the features. As long as the features and details are available, they will compare your product with others. Just make these details easy to spot.

For the rest of us, we are often overwhelmed by features and numbers. We are put off when we have to consider technical features as we automatically class the product as complicated and not easy.

To appeal to those that do not understand features and the details and make more impulse sales we need to state the benefits more prominently than the features. This means stating the direct effect on the customers. For example:

Feature that customers use to compare your product:

100 gigabyte per second transfer rate

Benefit that drives impulse sales:

No waiting

Rated fastest by [technical sounding magazine]

Feature that customers use to compare your product:

Double Glazing

Benefit that drives impulse sales:

Warm in the winter

Save on your home heating costs

Peer pressure

Potential customers are more likely to make impulse purchases if they can see that others are also buying your product. When your customers walk away with your product, you need others to be able to see what they have brought. This will get your next customers interested and thinking that they are missing out on something.

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