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In this post, we'll uncover the statistical facts & trends about impulse buying, and more importantly, four simple but effective ways to increase impulse buying in your e-commerce store💡.

When I was a kid, I clearly remember going to the supermarket with my mum. I always felt super happy when I managed to convince her to get me a treat. Since then, I have been fascinated by those little impulse purchases 😍. I later learned that much of the convincing power was actually not in my hands but was already pre-determined by the design of the checkout aisles. In brick and mortar shops, it's pretty straightforward that they're simply the so-called "guilt-lanes." They are close to the counter, conveniently in view, and they won't break the bank 🛒 😉.

Let’s dive right in!

Impulse buying stats and trends

On the surface, point-of-sale impulse purchases seem like irrelevant sales, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Instead, impulse buying is a significant sales driver 💰, since statistically speaking, 84% of shoppers tend to succumb to impulse buying!

For a while, impulse buying was the exclusive domain of retail stores. As they were the first to study customer buying behaviors and implement tactics to trigger impulse buying. Yet, that is not true anymore. E-tailers have moved into the personal selling market and conquered impulse buying online. In fact, 40% of all the money spent on e-commerce comes from impulse purchases. And this tendency shows no sign of slowing down 🚀.

The global COVID-19 outbreak and continuous lockdowns contribute to the rise of impulse online shopping, as people have been spending more time surfing on the Internet at home. According to the latest study, Americans increased impulse spending by 18% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, nearly one in five American consumers impulsively purchased a new video game console, with 22% spending on clothing and 18% buying home improvement.

So, it's clear that cracking the puzzle of impulse buying can considerably increase the average basket size and sales on your e-commerce site. To help you with that, we'll uncover four ways of driving impulse buying on your webshop in the following sessions.

1. Add-to-basket suggestions

One of the most overlooked steps in a customer's shopping journey is what happens when they add an item to the basket. At that point, the customer tends to get lost in limbo, either redirected to their basket or left on the product page 😵.

Instead, you can add a transitional power step where your customers can find the confirmation of their selection, plus a list of personalized product suggestions to help continue their shopping. Doing so can easily increase the likelihood of shoppers converting as well as increasing their basket size and sales. That simple implementation can become a sales booster, as it directly targets impulse decision-making 💪.  

Realizing that, Vitarock decides to optimize its add-to-basket page with Clerk’s power step. For instance, after a customer adds an Orange Naturals essential oil into their basket, Vitarock uses Clerk’s power step to recommend this customer a few other products from the same brand that are often purchased together:

Clerk power step

As very few online stores practice this strategy, Clerk’s power step gives Vitarock a unique, competitive edge. With Clerk’s hyper-personalized recommendations, the brand sees approximately 2 more products being added to each order 🛍!

Learn more on how Vitarok utilizes Clerk to increase average basket size by 32% and conversion rate by 803%.

2. Merchandising on-sale products

Recent research from User Interface Engineering found that running sales and offering conditional free shipping are two of the most effective motivators of online impulse buying.

As we all know, special pricing and incentives can easily arouse consumer's buying interests and further drive impulse buying. Therefore, we suggest you use Clerk’s Merchandising to automatically boost your products that are on sale 🚀.

Here is an example of how Pilgrim, a Danish jewelry design brand, utilizes Clerk’s Merchandising functionality to run sales on their e-commerce store. As the figure below displays, when customers search for "necklace," Pilgrim gives a boost to sale items by highlighting them in the search results.

merchandising on-sale products

Clerk’s merchandising allows you to boost products that are currently on sale anywhere across your e-commerce site (both in search results and in recommendation banners), and furthermore, effortlessly increases your customers’ impulse purchases.

3. Conditional Free Shipping

Did you know that 9 out of 10 consumers claim that free shipping is the topmost incentive to shop online more 😱?!

As mentioned above, offering conditional free shipping can significantly encourage consumers to impulsively purchase more. Comparatively, the orders with free shipping are average around 30% higher in value. And if free shipping options are available, 93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products!

This simple impulse buying tactic has been implemented by online retailers and brought success to many of them. Zalando, a leading multi-national e-commerce company in Europe, is one of them. The example below exhibits how Zalando encourages shoppers to buy more by clearly stating the remaining amount to meet the free shipping threshold:

zalando free shipping

4. Counter Items Online

When a customer has decided on their purchase and is about to pay, there's a perfect window to offer the equivalent to chocolates at the counter. How can you do that? Offering checkout product recommendations to encourage your customers to continue exploring more items before completing their purchase 🤩!

Below is an example of how Munk Store utilizes Clerk’s personalized recommendation banners to present more cross-selling products on its checkout page:

checkout recommendations

Munk Store's customers love Clerk's highly personalized recommendations since 58.9% of them buy products via recommendations! Right here, you can see the power of combining personalization and impulse buying 🙌. Instead of the general chocolate at the counter hoping to attract some customers, you can suggest relevant, personalized items that your customers are going to completely love 🥰.

📖Check out our customer success story to learn more about how Munk Store utilizes Clerk to drive sales and improve customers’ on-site shopping experience.

Now you've learned about the magic of impulse purchases and 4 ways of increasing them on your e-commerce site. To find out how Clerk can help you implement these tactics, schedule a meeting with one of our specialists today.

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