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    October 22, 2018
    5 minute read

    How to drive digital impulse sales | Salsify

    by: Salsify

    Impulse sales. The little grab-n-go goodies that flank brick and mortar checkout counters are more powerful than they seem. The average American shopper spends $5,400 on spontaneous buying each year, according to a 2018 Slickdeals.net survey. That’s over $324,000 in a lifetime.

    The good news is there’s a strong uptick of digital impulse sales. CreditCards.com reported that a third of impulse buys were made using a computer, tablet, or phone—up from 1 in 5 last year.

    Consumers welcome helpful tools to complete their gift lists, so here’s how to adjust your product strategy to maximize this shopper spontaneity.

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    Choose uncomplicated and useful products

    Don’t make the consumer think. The rule of thumb for impulse products is to tap into the consumers’ desires for products that will unexpectedly enrich their lives. The best impulse purchases – and ones consumers don’t regret – are exciting, easy, and fairly universal. 

    For the holidays, this means gifts shoppers can bestow to teachers, babysitters, neighbors, and mail deliverers. Or maybe it’s a gift perfect for all boys under 12 in the consumer’s life. Or maybe it’s a makeup palette with shades that look good on many skin tones. Either way, make sure the product answers a need.

    Tell consumers how much they will save

    Shoppers bite at the chance to save time or money—especially while gift shopping. Such behavior dates back thousands of years, when storing up food and necessities was essential to survival. 

    Today, 85% of respondents confessed to taking advantage of a value or deal when impulse buying, according to the Slickdeals.net survey. 

    How to translate this to the digital front? Product copy should mention any seasonal pricing, special gifts with purchase, or free shipping. Give consumers the details they need front and center, of course, but also slide in a mention of value to seal the deal.

    Also mention rarity and urgency

    Holiday shoppers want to give the best gifts. This includes rare gifts. Holiday shoppers also need the gifts quickly. Use your product page to talk up both these attributes.

    Within the description and titles, test phrases that indicate elusiveness, such as ‘Exclusive to this site,” or “Can’t find this anywhere else.” Similarly, emphasize speed and time-sensitivity with phrases like, “Fastest shipping options,” or “Get this in time for the holidays.”

    Think like the consumer and customize the experience accordingly

    From the Slickdeals.net research, included in the top five spur-of-the-moment categories are: clothing, household goods, and shoes. (The other two are food and takeout.) 

    The recent CreditCards.com poll found shoppers under 25 are five times more likely to impulse buy gifts for friends, men are three times more likely to impulse buy for their spouse, 33% of women impulse buy for their children, and half of shoppers are impulse buying for themselves.

    What does this mean? When building the product selection or pairing items, use the shoppers’ profiles to benefit and tailor the experience to such behaviors.

    Keep the buying process simple

    This refers to the technology (one-click), fulfillment (free shipping), returns (convenience), and especially the product content. Impulse items should require little consideration, so the product copy should be clear and transparent, ratings and reviews should be stellar, and the consumer should feel no need to ask a product question. Everything should be right there.

    Increase visibility by diversifying platforms

    Most times the impulse is met on the first exposure. But because in digital, you never really know where you’re catching the consumer in the course of their day, repetition is needed. 

    Retail Dive, when reporting on unplanned purchases, cited, “21 percent of respondents say they make more unplanned purchases because of shopping apps, 20 percent do the same because of retailer texts and 22 percent for retailer social media.” 

    Show products across various platforms and devices. Also lean on banner ads and “since you viewed” algorithms to feature adjacent products, not alternative products.

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