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The Psychology of Impulse Buying and how it can apply to your business

The psychology of impulse buying is something that you can consider when building your website, planing your marketing and running your business day-to-day to generate more sales and higher average cart values.

3 minute read

Introduction

Have you ever been online, come across an item and hit the "Thank You For Your Purchase" page before you even remember why you bought it, and if you can afford it? I'm sure we all have at least once, and this is what is referred to as Impulse Buying. Our culture of consumption leads us to temptation and therefore to purchase something without considering the consequences of the action. Some people possess a personality trait called an impulse buying tendency. There are a number of behaviours that go along with this trait that reflect its detrimental influence.




Implusive Behaviours

First, impulse buyers are more social, status-conscious, and image-concerned. The impulse buyer may therefore buy as a way to look good in the eyes of others. Second, impulse buyers tend to experience difficulty in controlling their emotions, which may make it harder to resist emotional urges to impulsively spend money. Knowing what motivates impulse buying can help with demographic selection on Facebook ads and promotions as well as influencer selection and emotional branding.


The concept of vicarious ownership is another buying motivator, which is essentially the connection between a consumer and a product. Connection changes the perception, to the point where we start acting like we already own it and it consequently becomes harder to imagine life without it.


How is this practical?

Well, with a physical product, this connection can simply be formed by touching it, however, with e-commerce based products, it becomes slightly harder. This is where influencer marketing is so effective. A social media influencer is defined as: “An individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.”


When the consumer sees your product on their favourite influencer, this vicarious ownership is formed because they coincide their views with that of the influencer and if the influencer is wearing this item, then they want to as well! You see big fitness-fashion brands such as Gymshark, Pursue Fitness etc all use this to market their products. Learn from the bigger brands in the market, as their budgets are a lot larger than yours but the principle remains the same.



So, what's the trick?

Impulse buying has gone up and up as more shops start going online to sell their products. As this has gone up, so has the amount of brand advertising towards those products. This advertising is the best way to draw in those impulse buyers. You need to have a good advertising campaign to be able to sell your products to the masses. There are a few ways to be able to do this, as stated below.


  • Celebrity/influencers - Having celebrities or influencers advertise your products can boost sales more than most ways of advertising. As previously mentioned, fans seeing their favorite celebrities wearing/using your products will make them want to buy them to be more like the celebrity.
  • Put some money into it - If you are going to advertise, do it right. You want your advertising to be as good as possible and the best way to do that is to be serious with it. Do not scrimp or try to save money on it. To be really serious when selling your product, you want it to be professional and not look cheap.
  • Learn how to post - So now you have an influencer, an expensive ad campaign and now you need to get it to as many people as possible. The best way to do this is to learn how to properly post your advert. Take a course or learn by yourself and become a master of how to make your advertising posts look good and time them right.

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