Impulse Purchase in E-commerce - 5 Secret Strategies

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It is a fact that many purchases are unplanned and even unexpected for buyers, as the decision-making process may only be based on feelings and emotions. In ordinary offline shopping, this can happen when a person sees something interesting in a shop window and then, at one moment, decides to buy this thing.  This is called an impulse purchase.

Could the same happen in e-commerce?

Yes, of course. Online shopping can be even more dangerous for shopaholics than a usual shop.

Types of Products That Can Be Sold as an Impulse Purchase

Inexpensive and Simple Products

As a rule, if the product is not expensive, the decision to buy it is made more easily. Very often, people forget about petty details of life and when they see them, there is a momentary flash in their mind: “Yes, I wanted to buy this for a long time!”.

In e-commerce, this works with cross-selling.

You can recommend related products to the visitors of your online store according to their history of sales and searches. It is possible to show some products on the block “You might also like”.

If you have limited information about your visitor, it is the right time to advertise simple and not so expensive products which are more likely to be purchased as impulse buying.

img_impulse_perchase_cross_sales The example of cross-selling

New and Unusual Impulse Purchases

The information about new arrivals can stimulate potential customers to make a purchase. The new collection of dresses and shoes, new models of popular devices - such a message in communication can work as a call to action.

You are lucky if you have loyal customers who like to visit your online store from time to time just to see what new offers you have. Otherwise, your CRM system and the clients’ database can help you to deliver information. The personal e-mails or SMS for each client are very good ways to increase your sales.

If you offer some rare and extraordinary products they can also work perfectly for impulse purchase buying, due to the fact that people did not even know about the existence of such products or about them being available for online purchases.

img_impulse_perchase_unusual_product The example of unusual products

Read more CRM and Cross Selling Tips here.

Products with Discounts

If you do not have any new arrivals in your online store you can create other news to attract your customers. Information about discounts is also a reason to send an email. Just be creative and try to deliver your message as a unique opportunity.

All methods of sales promotion can be used in this case: discount coupons, special conditions for re-purchase, the lottery with valuable prizes, presents and so on. Sometimes it happens that the main purchase is made just to get a gift - interesting trinket. You can use not only the discounts but also a price raising.

For example, it is a fact that winter items such as skis, sleds, and skates can be bought at a lower price in summer, so the information about the prices being increased soon can also encourage the customer to buy.

"Last Items in Stock"

We can’t say that there is absolutely no planned purchase. This method might work when a customer wanted to buy something for a long time, but could not afford it or had some other reason not to buy that product, and the information that there are last items in stock available may stimulate the buyer.

This variant can be used in a standard way when each product page contains information about stock balance. But you can also use your browsing history and send e-mails to customers who viewed this product. Even if the customer does not buy anything, properly formulated and friendly text of an e-mail will show them your customer care.

"Never again"

This method is often used by online fashion and beauty supply stores. The information that a particular product will never be available because it is being removed from production is a great call to action.

If it is a product that has been offered by the company for a long time, loyal customers will definitely buy it. Thus, women buy perfume or cosmetic products which they like to use, and even can be upset that some product will not be produced anymore. It is very important to create proper communication explaining that the existing product will give place to a new one which is better, more effective and so on. But at the same time, they should not miss the opportunity to buy their favorite item while it is still available.

Where to Inform

Just a few words about how you can inform the customer. Certainly, in the case of e-commerce, we can’t use the effect of shop windows as usual stores can. If a buyer does not visit the online store, you can deliver the information via:

  • Social networks
  • Online advertising, Remarketing
  • E-mailing
  • Sending catalogs by usual postal service with information about the products
  • SMS, MMS
  • Outdoor advertising, for online stores that work on a local market

Don’t Lose Customers at the Last Step

An impulse purchase is made on emotions, so the customer can easily change their decision. All processes of an online store should work without glitches. It is extremely important for checkout because most of the abandoned carts appear on this step. All payment and delivery methods should be simple and understandable.

There should not be any hidden information or changes in the total price of the product. We recommend all our clients to implement GoMage LightCheckout: One Page Checkout for Magento ®. This extension allows combining all final steps before payment on one page which is very comfortable for your visitors.

Ethics of Sales

Each online store strives to increase its sales. But you should always keep in mind that all methods of sales promotion should be used fairly and humanely. If you try to sell no matter what, you can achieve your goal, but the customer’s impression about your company may be unpleasant after the purchase is made.

Such customers may never come back.