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Impulse buying still popular in e-commerce age

27 September 2016 - 13:27 by Graham Miller

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Buying products on impulse is a process that emerged in the age of high street dominance, but has continued to retain its influence now that consumers can find a world of items shopping online without leaving their homes.

This is confirmed in a recent report from HookLogic, which showed that 28 per cent of all purchases made by Brits fall into the impulse buy category. And in general, it is the type of product itself which determines how long it takes for someone to come to a decision about whether or not to buy it.

When divided between specific categories, the types of products which are most often purchased on impulse include groceries, toys, games and items aimed at young children. This may have a lot to do with the influence that kids hold over their parents, although the low cost of many of these items is also relevant.

When asked about what made them choose to buy a specific product, almost two thirds of respondents said that they were primarily swayed by the product description. This shows that if manufacturers and retailers are able to come up with solid copy for the packaging or online listing, they may be able to win over the majority of shoppers.

Products which are designed to help people decorate their homes, or expensive electronic gadgets like TVs and computers, tend to make people think a little harder before committing to a purchase via safe shopping online. For around a tenth of consumers, this journey begins a month before the actual purchase, while almost no one takes longer than four months to come to a decision.

The amount of choice offered online has not diminished the power of impulse buying. Modern consumers simply have more tools at their disposal to find the perfect item quickly and easily.