Five ways to Drive Impulse Buying in Your Store

Five out of six Americans have made an impulse purchase at least once, with 77% saying they made one in the past six months and 79% making the purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. So what are some tips to take advantage of these opportunities?


1. Appeal to Emotions Snagging an impulse purchase is all about physical connection and emotion. Try to trigger an emotional response; items like candy and gift & novelty are more likely to make you feel emotions like desire and curiosity.

2. Know Thy Selfish Impulse purchases are most often made to fulfill a selfish desire; 47% of survey respondents make impulse purchases for themselves. The 18-29 age bracket is the most guilty of this, with 71% saying they make impulse purchases for themselves.

3. Think Past Age Younger consumers are more likely to make an impulse purchase, people aged 30-49 are most likely to impulse purchase for a child, and age 65 and older are more likely to buy for a spouse or significant other.

4. Encourage mobile chatter In-store experiences and product discussions are drivers for posts on social media. Encourage your customers to use their mobile phone to access your website, app, or take pictures of themselves holding your products or having fun inside your store.

5. Extra dollars matter People’s perception of their own financial wealth and security influence what they buy, and if they will make an impulse purchase. Lower gas prices have a positive effect on impulse buying, especially in c-stores.

Impulse Purchases

The best locations for impulse items are in high-traffic and clearly visible spaces. Countertops are ideal for impulse items, as every buying customer must visit them. Focus on lower cost, higher margin items that don’t take up a lot of space.

If you don’t have the counter space (or have already filled it up with other impulse items) your next focus should be end-caps. Look at each of your displays to ensure you are taking advantage of all endcap space, especially those endcaps near the register. If possible, break your aisles into smaller sections (or pods), end-capping each break. This will allow for freer movement throughout your store while catching your customers’ eye.

Be creative! What is another spot in your store many customers visit? If you said bathroom, you are on track; 17% of c-stores customers came in to the store to use the ATM or bathroom, or purchase tobacco. Place impulse items, most efficiently in shippers, on the path from your door to your bathroom. The same goes for the path to the ATM. To be even more effective, place your ATM at the back of your store so that customers must walk through your store to get their cash; and hopefully grab an impulse item on their way.

When placing items in your store, or designing your layout, think like a consumer to make decisions on where product will be placed.


Source: The Key to Driving C-store Impulse Buys. Feb 26. NACS How Convenience Stores Work and Their Contributions to Communities Oct. 2016
Source: CSP Daily News 5 Ways to Drive Impulse Buying By Angel Abcede Oct. 7, 2016.

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