Candies. Home goods. Car chargers. Toiletries. We’ve all been tempted by those little extra items at the checkout aisle. But how many customers actually act on the impulse to buy these things? A study surveying over 3,000 shoppers found that 82% of their purchase decisions were made while in store, according to Marketing Dive. Bricks-and-mortars have a special advantage here: if customers don’t know exactly what they want when they walk into your store, then they’re more likely to be influenced by products. And research even proves this – Invesp found that 84% of shoppers – and 52% of millennials! – admitted to making impulse buys. But as online and mobile retailers step up their efforts to inspire impulsive spending, stores need to make sure they can entice more customers to purchase products they didn’t come looking for. Here are our top five ways you can encourage impulse buys in your store.
1. Make sure your products are easy to find
Most shoppers come into the store with an open mind about what to buy, even when they know what type of product they want. In fact, Invesp reports that the average impulse buyer will purchase three unplanned products in 4 out of every 10 store visits. Here’s what you can do to engage shoppers who are ready to spend:
Optimize the store layout to make it easy for them to find the categories they want.
Analyze shopper behavior to understand which parts of the store customers spend the most time in and display impulse items there.
Display relevant items and accessories close to top-sellers – for example, cosmetic purses next to best-selling cosmetics, or phone cases beside the smartphone display.
Use prominent displays and signage to draw attention to deals and product categories across the store.
2. Have employees suggest items at the POS
Store staff are powerful ambassadors for impulse buys, but they need to suggest the right products for each customer’s needs and interests. Consumers expect a highly personalized experience, whether they’re buying online or in the store. Having technology that can help staff members suggest products that are relevant to individual customers can dramatically enhance the shopping experience. Here’s how your staff can recommend the right products at the right time:
Offer up accessories that are relevant to the items in the customer’s basket, like socks for a customer buying new shoes or a pack of ribbons for a customer buying giftwrap. As well as encouraging impulse buys, you might also jog their memory about items they may have forgotten to ask for.
Implement a product recommendation engine that analyzes shopping behavior, customer data and order history, and that delivers predictive insights and product recommendations to your sales team at the POS.
3. Know what your customers frequently purchase
Shopper behavior varies between different neighborhoods, so knowing your customers and keeping an eye on local events is essential if you want to encourage impulse buys across the chain. By monitoring what types of products your customers are buying most in a particular branch, you can also figure out which impulse products they’re most likely to pick up. To maximize impulse buys throughout your stores:
Monitor inventory across the chain to see what type of products are selling at which branch, then choose impulse products that complement those patterns.
Make sure you can transfer stock to local branches in response to new trends and shopper behavior.
Promote items and create offers valid only at specific branches based on local events – hats and flags during a carnival, candy and snacks when the local team is playing, or raincoats and umbrellas during a spell of dreary weather.
4. Give them an offer they can’t refuse
Impulse buys are snap decisions, so presenting shoppers with an offer that feels too good to miss is a great way to increase their urge to purchase. Promotions don’t have to mean huge discounts, but they should make the shopper feel that they’re getting great value. To create impulse-buying opportunities that tug on shoppers’ purse strings:
Promote new and exclusive products that are affordable and easy to grab to entice shoppers to try something new.
Run limited-time discounts and offers on impulse items to create a sense of urgency about purchases.
Emphasize value-for-money Offers like ‘three for two’ or ‘buy one, get one half-price’ can do a lot to increase shoppers’ basket size.
Create add-on offers such as a small discount on an impulse item when it’s bought alongside a larger purchase. A discounted pack of dog treats, for example, when shoppers buy a certain brand of dog food.
5. Harness the power of digital channels
Retail apps have proved extremely useful in getting customers to complete purchases – in fact, app customers spend 37% more than non-app customers with the same retailer, buy 33% more frequently, and buy 34% more items. Social media is also a big contributor, with over two-thirds of shoppers using social media as a part of their shopping strategy, according to Forbes. In a digital-first world, many consumers are happy to engage with retailers and share data about their interests, preferences and shopping habits. This provides a rich seam of insights that you can use to attract them into the store. Here are a few ways to encourage digitally connected customers:
Analyze online and mobile customer data to target shoppers with in-store offers tailored to their interests.
Use location-based tools to recognize app users close to the store – and draw them in with an on-the-spot in-store offer. It could be a discount voucher, bonus loyalty points or a free coffee – whatever hits the spot for your customer.
Organize an exclusive event, such as a sale preview for app and social media users, to engage with them personally as they explore the store.
By using data-driven shopper insights and providing personalized offers and recommendations, you can engage with customers and boost their desire to make unplanned purchases in your store. Want to know how the right technology can help you increase basket sizes? Contact us today.
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