Impulse Shopping is Becoming a Thing of the Past


By: Alejandro Martinez, Market Intelligence Strategist | December 19, 2014

Today’s shopper is a smarter shopper. Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, consumers are becoming experts in finding great deals, getting reviews, and comparing prices. Add the fact that most consumers went through a crash-course in budgeting and saving during the last recession and you get a more focused shopper as a result. The desire for buying new things is still present, but the planning process to acquire them has changed. Smart shoppers wait for the right time to buy according to their budget and deal-finding skills & tools.

How are retailers adapting? Most of them are increasing their digital efforts to capture consumers at the research phase prior to the shopping trip. They are also re-thinking old store layouts where you have to cross the entire store to get to the staple items you need (ex: milk). Newer layouts include Walmart’s “better together” strategy, where they pair popular items that sell well together (ex: Corona beer and limes). Some convenience stores are even testing models that maximize the “get in-and-out” experience for time-constrained shoppers. Overall, impulse-buy strategies are becoming a thing of the past. Retailers need to focus on smarter, time-constrained shoppers who know how to plan ahead to get the best deal possible.