Although an impulse purchase appears on the surface to be a completely spur of the moment event, it actually is a reaction to a preexisting need of a consumer, according to Specialty Retail Report. Although the consumer has not “gone shopping” with the intent of buying a particular impulse item, he or she already has made a mental determination on some level of the need for the product. In other words, when the consumer sees the item while in a store or similar type of establishment, the sight triggers a connection between the previously determined want or need and its “sudden” availability.
By understanding the psychological dynamics of the impulse buy and impulse buyer, a retailer can have a better understanding of what techniques to employ to enhance and encourage these types of sales transactions. There are four primary strategies a retailer needs to employ to market effectively to the impulse buyer and to increase these types of sales.
Multiple Locations Enhance Impulse Sales
Standard operating procedure when it comes to displaying products perceived to be impulse buys is to place these items near cash registers and checkout points. Although these are ideal locations for impulse products, in the final analysis, many other locations in the store are ideal. For example, impulse products can be placed alongside companion items (socks with shoes). By taking a broad strategy towards locating impulse items, the level of sales will be enhanced. A retailer renders access to these items easier for an impulse buyer and places them in locations at which the desire to make such purchases is peaked.
Sightlines are Fundamental
The same rules apply to impulse purchases that relate to standard displays of merchandise. Many merchants do not pay heed to this rule of marketing, however. They tend to tuck impulse products in odd locations, including spaces that are not within a ready sightline.
In the final analysis, sightlines are fundamental when it comes to items intended for the impulse buyer. A merchant needs to keep in mind that an impulse buyer is by definition not looking around for a displayed item. Therefore, it is crucial that a product intended for an impulse buyer be staged in that individual’s line of sight whenever possible to maximize its appeal and attractiveness.
Limit Items Displayed
A common problem associated with the marketing of impulse items is a cluttered display. The checkout stand at a typical retailer usually underscores this point. A large array of different products are crammed into a very small space, resulting in a very cluttered appearance.
A crammed impulse product display area renders it challenging for a person potentially interested in this type of immediate purchase to even take in the items available for sale. Again, a person needs to see and consider a product and connect it with a preexisting determination to purchase in order to an impulse sale to be concluded.
Rotate Impulse Inventory Frequently
Another key to successfully marketing to impulse buyers is a regular rotation of products displayed for these types of sales. While there is no set time frame per se for rotating impulse products displayed for sale, moving them around and in and out of displays is an effective way of drawing ongoing attention to these items. Of course, rate of sales plays a role in the rotation of impulse products. However, alternating items on display every couple of weeks tends to enhance the rate of sales of impulse items