What Is Impulsive Buy: Definition, Examples & Strategies

What Is Impulsive Buy: Definition, Examples & Strategies

Some of my friends told me that they used to spend a lot of money on things without thinking. And of course, they just said that they felt excited while seeing that product and wanted to purchase it immediately. That is an impulsive buy! In this post, I will tell you the secret behind this buying phenomenon as well as how a company can take advantage of it to increase sales.

Introduction to Impulsive Buy

Impulse buying is when a customer buys something without thinking about it. This case will happen if a product is well advertised. Impulse consumers buy things on the spur of the moment, relying on feelings that make them feel compelled to buy.

Why Clients Do Impulsive Buy

A study in America demonstrated that 88,6% of its citizens can not get over impulsive purchases. What are the causes of this phenomenon? In this part, I will share with you the reasons with 2 tables.

Psychological Causes


Many shoppers tend to buy what they don’t need to overcome stressed feelings. In contrast, they can make an impulsive buying for their pleasure.

Past Experience

A good experience is also a common cause that leads customers to buy a product without thinking. For instance, a client tries your item and likes it. Then, they will purchase that product many times. 


An addicted person feels hard to control themselves not to buy goods. In detail, addicted individuals are compulsive spenders on branded shoes, bags, gadgets, and other high-end products since they feel important and valued when they do so.

External Cause

Special Discounts

It is difficult to ignore a product that has an attractive discount. That is why new companies always try to give clients many offers with a powerful call to action in order to arouse customers’ curiosity.

Attractive Products

Attractive products (impulsive items) are products with an eye appeal appearance that makes it hard for people to resist buying them. Those items are snacks, chocolate bars, or even perfume, cosmetics, etc. Producers often place them near the checkout to entice customers to unconsciously put them as extra items on their shopping carts.

Good Decoration and Customer Service's Store

A store with nice decoration always attracts customers to visit and see its items. Moreover, people also tend to come back to the store if they are satisfied with its customer service. 

Product Placement

Go along with the store’s decoration, product placement is a common reason that leads customers to buy on the spot. As you know, many stores often show their best-selling items with catchy packaging in front of their store where clients can easily see and make an impulsive buying. 

4 Impressive Examples Of Impulsive Buy

After learning the actual causes of impulsive purchases, we should figure out how to be successful with this shopping phenomenon. Keep reading to see four outstanding instances and get more inspiration!


Nike - DSers

Nike is a well-known shoe brand in the world. This brand does a great job of understanding the buying psychology of customers and entices them to make an impulsive purchases. They give clients not only 30%–50% discounts but also 60-day free returns in any store. This return policy is also a smart strategy to help them confirm the quality of products combined with special offers.


KFC - DSers

KFC expands its business by providing its food delivery service. You may not know that 63% of customers prefer having food delivered to their house rather than hanging out to eat. This company is also known for its upselling and cross-selling strategies.


Sephora - DSers

If you are looking for a tactic to encourage customers to buy more items, you should look over at Sephora. Sephora is one of the most competitive retailers of beauty products. This company uses an impressive method, which is "buy more, get more". For example, if you spend more than $75 on certain items on its website, you will receive 5 samples.


Another must-have example of impulsive buying is AliExpress, a popular online retailer in many areas. AliExpress also combines with DSers to create a dropshipping foundation that helps people earn money without much investment.

AliExpress - DSers

When customers first go to the website, they can easily see a special offer and get it after registering. Moreover, this website also urges clients to buy products by showing the flash sale category next to the discount for newbies.

Best Tactics for Getting Customers to Buy on the Spot

Whether you are running an online or offline store, impulsive buying is beneficial for boosting sales and increasing the number of potential customers. How to encourage customers to make impulsive purchases in your store? I am going to show you eight tactics below!

Grab Customers' Attention with Store Layout

Grab Customers' Attention with Store Layout - DSers

Shoppers tend to look around before deciding what to buy. Even if they know the type of goods they need, they might not decide on a certain brand to buy their items. According to Finder, 95% of Americans are impulsive buyers in-store, and 86% buy impulsively online. That is why making them impressed with your store’s layout is an ideal strategy to increase sales through impulsive buying. In detail, you can focus on the design of your signage, or prepare attractive lights to attract the attention of buyers.

Set up Products at Their Eye Level

Combining with the store’s layout, it is much better to optimize the product arrangement in your store. It means you should set up your products so that shoppers can see them and want to make impulsive purchases with them. Here are some tips for you:

  • Analyze customers’ behavior to understand what product they care about most. Then, try to show that product in an easily seen place.
  • Place best-selling items in some positions, such as in the front of the store, near the cashier counter, etc.
  • Create a smart setup for your products. For example, you would display phone cases near the best-selling smartphones.

Offer “Lucrative” Deals to Clients

Who can skip special offers? No, it is hard to reject a product with a "lucrative" deal. A survey shows that 80% of customers will make their first purchase from a new brand due to the attractive discounts. So, think about discounts if you want to increase sales and store traffic.

Offer “Lucrative” Deals to Clients - DSers

Besides that, you should set the price at an affordable level that customers are willing to pay and try, especially for new products. In almost all supermarkets, you can easily see the producers' set their items, which are common and cheap, near the cashier counter. It will help them attract buyers because of its price and special offers.

Provide Suggestions about Additional Products

After customers choose a product, you can apply upselling and cross-selling strategies to boost revenue. Upselling and cross-selling are methods to help store owners sell more items and increase their revenue.

Provide Suggestions about Additional Products - DSers

Therefore, suggest your customers buy extra items that will create a perfect combo with their initial goods. Moreover, honestly talking with customers will help you build a good relationship with them. Let’s take an example. If your clients want to buy lipstick, you should recommend they use more lip balm or lip scrub to protect their lips and help make the lipstick more beautiful.

Think about FOMO Psychological Strategy

Impulsive buying is a customer’s behavior that is related to psychology. So, why don’t you combine it with another emotional method to urge customers to buy? Preferably, use FOMO (fear of missing out) with your clients!

In detail, you can set a limited time for your discounts and link them to the best-selling items. As a result, it will create a sense of urgency for customers and lead them to spend money on those items immediately because they don’t want to miss special offers. Pairing FOMO with impulsive buying is also great in order to push sales in online and dropshipping stores.

Give Customers Product Samples

The common psychology of customers is that they are afraid to spend money to try a product from an unfamiliar brand. If you are selling cosmetics or packaged foods, consider sending customers a sample to experiment with.

You might be surprised to know that 73% of customers suppose that they tend to purchase a product after trying it. Other benefits of giving samples are not only to foster relationships with clients but also to increase the conversion rate. Therefore, don’t hesitate to give them a try and take advantage of that chance to talk to them.

Keep in Contact with Customers

A good way to keep loyal customers is to interact with them frequently. When you often talk to them by phone or email, they will feel that you always remember and respect them. Also, for an e-commerce store, it is better to keep in touch with customers and entice them to access your store on that platform. There are two ways to stay in contact with clients:

  • Use email marketing strategies: You will send emails that have discounts, special offers, or simply an introduction of a new product. Remember to write a catchy call to action that already contains a link directly to your website.
  • Choose Facebook or Google Advertisement: You have to pay a fee with this method. You can serve your ads when they are browsing the internet. It might trigger many impulsive purchases.


To sum up, you can see that many shoppers will never stop buying unplanned goods. So, why don’t you apply one of the best strategies for impulsive buy above to your store? As a result, your business will thrive and reach more potential customers. I hope you succeed!

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