Using visual merchandising to boost impulse purchases


A great source of revenue can come from impulse purchases made at the checkout line or on the end caps of store aisles. If your business doesn't have an impulse tower within easy reach of either of these places, then it's worth considering.

The best impulse items are small, and they can be added to any store – not just groceries. For example, wine and liquor retailers can sell small bottles of aperitifs, which often come in attractive packaging and don't cost very much on a per unit basis. By charging a few dollars, retailers can make money by joining them with another purchase, such as an expensive wine or beer. Because consumers won't see the extra three dollars as a major hike in the price, they might buy a novelty aperitif just for the sake of trying something different.

Toy stores can also sell toys in dump bins. For example, discounted products and items like rubber balls  could be sold easily this way. The main consideration is the novelty of the item. Old-fashioned toys like tops or stuffed bears might attract children if they are brightly colored or otherwise interesting to look at. Parents might also consider buying a retro model toy or something else that reminds them of their own childhood.

Grocery stores
Grocers have been taking advantage of impulse buys for years. For example, using counter racks to sell magazines or basket stands to sell chips or candy are great ways to get a few more purchases out of a customer. Depending on what a grocery is selling – gourmet food or freshly prepared items, for example – it may help to offer more interesting or unusual candies and foods for shoppers, such as pretzels or items in packages from foreign countries written in other scripts than the usual alphabet. Japanese or Chinese candy would interest the average customer, who wouldn't have familiar with such products.

Putting up grid floor racks at the end caps of aisles can also be a way to tie products with other items in the store. For example, if pasta sauce is on sale, then put the dried pasta on a floor rack at the end of an aisle, with novelty pastas that come in bags. People will be encouraged to take the cross-sell. This could also be a way of making available items that the owner wants to sell off. The end caps are great places to put merchandise within view of everyone at the store.


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