The new face of impulse purchases

I’ve taken a little hiatus from blogging while on maternity leave.  More on that in a future post but the TL;DR version is that it’s a lot of diapers, figuring out strategic times and places to sleep, and too much laundry.  MiniDivo is doing great – and babyDiva is an attentive big sister.

But I did notice something about online purchases (of which we make quite a few) that seemed worthy of comment.

Impulse purchases used to be made in stores.  You went into Target or Whole Foods or somewhere else for a few items, but something caught your eye and suddenly you were pushing a full shopping cart out to the car.  Maybe your favorite sports drink was on sale or maybe you saw some throw pillows you had to have or maybe it was just that you realized you were short on toilet paper.

But impulse purchasing is done differently now.  When I need something at home – and that might be diapers, shout wipes, an Abby Cadabby doll, granola bars, face soap, ziploc bags, dog food, or vitamins (for example) – I open my Amazon app and order it.  Two days later it arrives.

I don’t keep a shopping list for the week and then on the way to Target think through which items I “really” need.

I don’t exhaustively search the places in our house where we store things and ensure that we “really” are out of said item.

And I don’t wait for things to be on sale or comparison shop.

I have the impulse to buy it and so I do.  So the game for the retailer of how to increase impulse sales is no longer about what merchandise to put on endcaps or in the checkout lane.  That’s good news for my wallet.  Rarely with online purchases do I actually buy a “suggested for you” item or have something catch my eye like it would in a brick and mortar store.

But the bad news for my wallet is that the retailer has made it as easy as possible for me to order: a simply navigable app, one-click purchasing, 2-day shipping, good return policy.  My credit card is saved so I barely even notice when I spend money.  That’s all bad news for my wallet.

Impulse purchases occur at home these days.  And for a sleep-deprived parent of an infant, they are quite common.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *