Impulsive Buying: What Influences Consumer Buying Habits?

Consumer Buying HabitsHave you ever been on a shopping trip and ended up buying something you didn’t need? Did you ever buy a pair of shoes during a sale even though you already have five similar-looking pairs you seldom use? If you can relate to these scenarios, then you are one of many shoppers that have fallen victim to impulse purchasing.

Impulsive buying accounts for 27-62 per cent of department store purchases in the U.S. Given the frequency of unplanned purchases, suggests that consumers understand the psychology of impulsive buying to make better buying decisions in the future.

Love of Shopping

Studies have proven that retail therapy exists, so it’s no wonder that going to the mall on a weekend and seeing the entire store on display is an enjoyable experience. There is an enormous pleasure that comes out of buying something new, especially if it’s something that you’ve always wanted. Buyers should take care not to go overboard and spend above their means. Part of retail therapy, after all, is restoring control over a part of your life and being able to say “no” to a purchase.

The Loss Aversion Motive

Ever seen a limited-time offer in a department store? Sometimes, seeing a one-time deal can trigger a shopper’s loss aversion switch. You don’t want to risk feeling guilty later so you buy an item on sale right away because you’re afraid of missing out on a chance of money well spent. The next time you come across such a display, think hard about whether or not you really need the item. If you aren’t going to gain anything useful from the purchase, then the urge to spend your hard-earned money is probably just your fear of losing out talking.

Bulk Buying and “Free Extras”

Some retailers bundle items together as bulk buys to create an impression that buying more of one thing will make the cheapest item free. This motive entices people to buy more than they actually need, and you could end up making snap judgments before cross-checking the price and quality of other products in the market. When you are tempted to spend because of a freebie, take a minute and try to work out the math. You might be surprised at how much (or little) you are saving by agreeing to buy more.

Impulsive buying is a common phenomenon. There may be little you can do to change retailer tactics in the market, but you try to be more mindful of your spending habits. There is nothing bad about buying a product that turns out to be a good buy, but prioritising the purchase of things that you really need is still a more practical option.