Impulse Buying and Your Business

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Have you ever walked into a trade show and ended up buying some of the demoed products there? My latest trip to one big show event ended in such. I ended up spending on a thingamajig it turned I didn’t really need. And I wasn’t alone – I saw several walking out with the same contraption.

The centrifugal force in this anecdote, of course, was the person doing the sales talk. How did he manage to convince us smart shoppers to buy this thing we wouldn’t even use?

It’s the same with As Seen on TV ads. You get this TV jock telling you about this wonderful new kitchen appliance or stain remover, and before you know it, you’re dialing the number flashing on your TV screen.

Impulse buying, the secret behind instant sales.  And surely what works for the physical store and TV ads can surely work online, too. Your goal as an online marketer is to persuade people that your products are what they need to improve their lives and they need it NOW.

Strategic Placement 

Step into a mall. Have you noticed how some stores put large ‘Sale Items’ or “Up to 75% Off! signs right on their store window for everyone to see? That’s how you start impulse buys – putting advertising board in places where they can be immediately seen. On your website, that would mean the homepage. Draw attention to the sign by designing it in bright color. The color should contrast the background so that it stands out from the rest of the elements on the homepage.

Emphasize Impressive Features 

The most effective sales talk involves making people feel they need the particular item you’re offering them. Hence, you should focus on your product’s best features as a way to encourage people to buy the stuff. Think Billy Mays – there’s always an incredible feature – removes scratches on your car, remove stains in seconds, folds clothes neatly in three steps.

Think Average Spending Pie 

A study conducted by research firm Marketing Support Inc. reveals that the average impulse purchase is $30, and about 25% of impulse purchases were specialty products. You can turn this data into your baseline when pricing your items for impulse buys.

Timing It Right   

How do you know a customer is going to look for an ink or carpet stain remover or a tattoo concealer right this minute? Unfortunately, there’s no way of foretelling when a customer will look for a product or service. When it comes to setting up customers for impulse buy, you cannot rely on coincidence.

One way to ensure a perfect “timing” all the time is to offer several “themes” at once. That is, you offer complementary products or services. For instance, is someone is looking for a digital camera, they may also need offer an SD card or a camera pouch. Putting images of the complementary products in places where they can be easily seen may stimulate impulse purchase.   Add a suggestion box with images of the complementary products or services near the checkout cart or the “Purchase” button.

Convenience Matters 

People are more likely to buy from a store that offers ultra shopping convenience. Make it easy for them to order and have their purchased items to their door. For inspiration, look up Amazon’s One-Click ordering process.

Easy and quick delivery can also boost up sales. Offer overnight delivery, same day delivery, or if you have a local store, pick-up options. Consider offering free shipping, too, particularly if you’re selling small items. You can also encourage them to increase their purchases by offering free shipping if their purchase total is, say, $85.

Offer Discounts 

Make your offer seem like the best deal in town. If you look up sites of authors of toenail fungus treatment, for instance, you’ll get an offer that runs something like this: “If you buy my book, you get one month unlimited consultation for free. You also get five bonus books. All in all, you get total savings of a whopping $225. The deal will expire in 24 hours.” You’re taken in by the moment. You believe it. You will buy it now. You’re getting lots of extras for a small amount.

The way you present an offer can make the discount appealing or not. Which deal would you grab: “3 for $10” or “$3.30 each”. How about “Buy Two, Get One Free” or “ Buy Three, Get 30% Discount”.

Bundling is another way to make an offer enticing. For instance, they will get free shipping if they buy five books, or they’ll get a fifth book free.