Have you ever made a purchase without really thinking about it? Why do you think retail stores place all those items just before you get to the checkout register? They know this is the last opportunity they have to get you to spend more money!
Because It's On Sale!
88% of all impulse buying is because the items is “on sale”. Let's be honest folks, not all “sales” are sales. Retailers create the impression that you are getting a good value by inflating retail prices so that mark-downs create the intended perception of value. Retailers also employ loss aversion which means that individuals want to avoid feeling bad in the future. Have you ever made a purchase because you didn't want to pass up such a good deal? Bingo! That's exactly why the retailer placed the sale tag on the item in the first place. They know that most customers won't pay the retail price and will only buy when they feel they are getting a good value.
Please! Please! Please!
Guilt is one of the most powerful human emotions and retailers are very skilled at using it to get you to spend money. Commercials and advertisements in general are designed to tie their product or service to a potential customers emotional needs. If they are successful, you are much more likely to identify with their product over a competitor's product and buy their product come decision time. The holiday shopping season is the most profitable time of the year for most retailers because many shoppers will spend more than originally budgeted for friends and family due to the emotional need for humans to please others and be accepted.
If 2 is Good 3 is Even Better!
Purchasing in bulk is a phenomenon that has grown over the years and is very popular with Americans. Retailers like Costco and Sam's Club have made packaging items in bulk and selling them for bigger profits a science. Again, these retailers create the perception of value to convince their customers to buy. Do you really need a gallon of ketchup or can you buy a smaller amount and avoid wasting food with a bulk purchase?
You Have Saved Blah..Blah Today!
I secretly laugh inside each time a cashier hands me my receipt and tells me how much money I saved by shopping with them today. We all want to feel good about ourselves and that goes for our purchasing decisions as well. The grocery store manager wants you to leave their store feeling good about your purchase today so that shop there again.
The Science of Feeling Good
Starbucks has perfected the concept of buying an experience and has parleyed that into one of the most successful businesses around. Starbucks creates powerful emotional feelings via interior design and customer interactions. How else can you explain paying $4.50 for a cup of coffee?
By understanding what influences your purchasing decision and how retailers try to influence those decisions, you can avoid making impulsive purchases.
Readers: What goes into your decision to buy something? Have you ever bought something on impulse?