What is an Impulse Buy?

Definition: An impulse buy is a purchase transaction that is mostly driven by emotions. It is a situation where there’s little rationality to explain the reason why the purchase is being made.

What Does Impulse Buy Mean?

This kind of purchases are normally promoted by an attractive display, an advertising campaign or a sales promotion. These strategies serve as a stimulus that press the buyer towards making the acquisition. The decision making process in such scenarios goes straight from being aware of the need to completing the purchase, with no rational analysis in between.

Such purchases don’t normally consider financial consequences or budgets and, therefore, from a customer’s perspective, they should be avoided in order to maintain a healthy expense budget. There are many different elements that can be manipulated to promote impulse purchases, one of those elements is product placement, which is a strategy that consists in positioning the product in a way that is clearly visible for the consumer and it can be easily accessible.

Display designs are another technique that promotes impulse buys, by creating attractive exhibitions that highlight the best attributes and appealing of the product. Along with other strategies, companies will normally create incentives to put pressure on the customer to buy the product or service without putting much thought to it.

Example

Roland & Co. is a women luggage brand that operates many stores across the country. They are widely recognized for their store displays, since one of their main marketing strategy is to attract customers through high-fashion exhibitions. The company started developing this strategy after identifying that 75% of women luggage purchases are impulse buys.

This is the reason why they put so much effort to design very attractive displays that create a stimulus for potential customers passing by the shop’s window to come in and get a new luggage. This strategy has worked extremely well and the company has experienced a sales growth of more than 120% in the last 2 years.