Impulse Buying: What makes the customer bite the bait?


Contributors: Angelo Zammit & Ami Pancholi

Angelo Zammit & Ami Pancholi are regulars on the Radio Talk Show Price of Business & Co-Founders of the multi award winning marketing agency East Coast Loyalty 

Impulse Shopping: Welcome To The World Of Marketing Tactics

You ever find yourself looking online and boom, that’s when it happens! You see a product ad and make an instant purchase, yes me too. It even happens when I’m walking through a mall and see those little kiosk stands that have those annoying employees or business owners attacking you mid stride trying to sell you on the most pointless items in the world, usually a hair straightener or crystal structure of some shape with you and your loved ones faces engraved in it. Most times we just give a wave and keep it moving as if we didn’t notice their aggressive selling tactics. Still, what about when you actually stop to make a purchase? What is it that makes us impulsively buy?

Impulse Buying Facts:

Like nearly 60% of my like minded shoppers, I too have caved in to the temptation of the spontaneous purchase. A well tested and tried and proving marketing tactic, impulse buying is a strategy retailors have counted on for decades. All your biggest brands have strategically placed the very affordable candies, drinks and chips right around the checkout lane since the 1950s. Funny isn’t it? Those well-placed point-of-purchase displays are most likely when you are to remember you need a new pair of glasses.


People who shop for the fun of it are more likely to buy on impulse. Yes, some people just buy for pleasure, the simple fact that they can so they will kind of an attitude. That is another form of impulse shopping that happens more often than not. I mean, take a good look around your house right now, how much stuff is just laying around that you actually don’t even need or that is thrown in your kitchen draw never to be seen again?

I could go on forever with a strong list of facts as to what makes a customer purchase impulsively, but I just wanted to name a few without boring you or losing your attention. I can imagine by now you can see that marketing has a lot to do with it as well as the human instants and human behavior.


“Millennials were the most likely to buy on impulse for themselves, while 30-to-49-year-olds were the most likely to make an unplanned purchase for a child. Senior citizens were most likely to make an impulse purchase for their spouse or partner, the study found.”

Why Consumers purchase On Impulse:

According to statistics, 88 percent of the total impulse purchases are created primarily because the items are on sale. That’s just stating the obvious. Another well-known fact is that sports equipment along with jewelry items are purchased more on impulse as compared to footwear and body care products. You can also assume that impulse shopping will decrease if you have already planned a shopping spree. In this case, impulse shopping now drops 13%. You may also perceive that those shoppers who pay a visit to their local corner store by car rather than foot are more likely to make an unpremeditated purchase. This even clasps 44 percent of the possibility.


What’s The Bottom Line?

I guess in the end we have all been a victim at one point or another to impulse buying. And that’s ok, whether we were in dire need of what we purchased or if it were simply because we felt we needed an extra pair of socks on the way through the checkout line.

I myself just always wondered what it was that made me act as if it couldn’t wait and it had to be now; I just have to have whatever it is at that very moment. I mean, when it comes to other important things I actually do need for basic survival like food perhaps or clothing, I will always be sure to plan accordingly putting my bills ahead of my needs. Yet, I still struggle like the rest of the population with that little trigger in the back of my mind that says, BUY NOW!!!!!


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