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Psychological Factors Work Behind Impulsive Buying

Paco Underhill, who authored the book “Why We Buy”, claimed in his book that two-thirds of the shopping in malls is actually impulse buying. It is true that most of the products we add to our carts are unplanned purchases. Purposeful buying, on the flip side, is when you realize you really need something and you just go visit the nearest mall or departmental store to buy it. When you realize that you are actually out of your shaving cream and you drive up to a shopping mall to buy one, that’s your ‘actual state of affairs’.

Impulse buying starts with exposure to products

The impulse buying process starts when you get exposed to a product. In a mall setting, it actually works as the X-factor. This is the reason why you see a wall of impulse items in every shopping mall or mass market. The quick-grab goodies you find near the checkout section of a shopping mall are in fact strategically placed.

You see a pack of something and right at that moment, you realize that your kitchen doesn’t have that item as yet. This is what market experts and analysts term as ‘problem recognition’. The moment you decide to buy the item, you actually move from ‘actual state of affairs’ to ‘desired state of affairs’.

From pain to pleasure

Most impulsive shoppers add items they chance upon in a shopping mall setting to their carts because they want to avoid the pain of not having those items and also they want to experience pleasure. Companies that sell consumer durables and dispensable products always keep this psychological factor in mind. These companies in fact invest big money in understanding consumer psyche and sales and marketing efforts are shaped by these little findings.

Seeing is almost buying

Buying in a retail setting is mostly about seeing the product. Specialty retailers reap this advantage of incredible visibility and they sell more than, say, the small nondescript shop just around the corner. These kiosk and car operators have the definitive edge over traditional stores as they are more exposed to their customers and vice versa.

Intelligent markets go a step ahead and demonstrate their products to their customers, which actually helps the customers in knowing the product aside from seeing it. Another reason why kiosk owners beat traditional stores in competition is that kiosks easily catch the attention of the shoppers.

Colors play a great role


Colors indeed play a pivotal in drawing in more customers. Bright yellow, for example, is considered the most visible color. No wonder why you can see a lot of products wrapped in bright yellow in shopping malls. Humans easily interact with bright colors. Also, when you see high contrast color combinations, you get attracted to it.

If you are a shopaholic and you planned a big purchase ahead, you need to know first what factors are at play when you end up dishing out a lot of money in shopping malls and elsewhere. Buy what you need.

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