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Online shopping frenzy reduces sales of impulse buy items

29 November 2013 - 13:24 by Graham Miller

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According to Reuters, the retail industry is undergoing a number of shifts as a result of the popularity of safe shopping online, with items that are usually put right next to the checkouts at bricks and mortar stores, to get people to buy them on impulse, no longer achieving the same success as in the past.

Impulse buying is still rife in the world of e-commerce, but things like chocolate bars and magazines, which might have been picked up in-store, are not the kinds of items that consumers buy on a whim when browsing the web.

Analysts have pointed out that people actually spend more when they visit a physical store than if they carry out their grocery shopping online, which says a lot about the power of in-store advertising and promotions, as well as the usual impulse buys.

Shopping online seems to offer those on a budget a way of actually sticking to it, because the lure of deals and apparent bargains is not as strong and retailers cannot shove these promotions in the consumer's face, to the same degree when they are using a PC or tablet to pick their purchases.

One method which retailers are adopting to bring the online shopping experience more in line with traditional high street buying is through the streamlining of the checkout process.

Impulse buy items are easy to sell because they sit right next to the checkout and adding them to your basket at the last minute just before you pay is no problem.

There are still several obstacles in the way of smooth online transactions of a similar nature, but once these have been dismantled, the impulse buy market could well be saved, both in the UK and elsewhere.