An impulse purchase is a purchase that is made on impulse, when it wasn’t initially planned.
In this situation, the consumer is confronted with a product that they hadn’t thought of buying previously.
It’s at the sight of this product that they suddenly decide to buy it. In this sense, it’s as if the commercial enterprise was anticipating their needs, even their expectations.
Impulse purchases can be of significant added value for the merchant. They allow the average cart value to increase and the company's revenue to grow exponentially.
In this sense, merchandising plays a very important role in this marketing process. Its purpose is to highlight certain products at the right time so that they’re noticed and attract potential buyers.
In fact, this product placement is present in almost all traditional stores. What do you think those rows of packages of candy are doing near the supermarket checkouts? They’re there to encourage impulse purchases and get people shopping at the store to spend more money!
Because impulse buying is a matter of emotion, the salesperson tries to suggest as much pleasure as possible with certain products rather than to push real, useful purchases.
In impulse buying, buyers don't just buy a product. They purchase an emotion they feel when they see the product and when they imagine using it.
In order to make an impulse purchase, the consumer must be in a certain state of mind, i.e., ready to be guided by their emotions.
Therefore, the temptation generated by merchandising captures their desire and makes them want to buy. In the same way, the brand's role is to minimize the obstacles linked to purchasing.
This is why impulse purchases are often made just before payment. Thus, the brand leaves little time for the consumer to think before finalizing the purchase.
In order for impulse purchases to be renewed, especially among the most loyal customers, it is preferable to regularly change the products offered. Novelty is indeed also a trigger for impulse buying.
Finally, note that this often concerns purchases at low prices. Logically, high prices require more time to think about them. They’re therefore much less affected by this buying process.
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