Shopper Engagement: To Touch Is To Buy

Shopping-Instore-A2While consumers are spending less time in grocery stores, and more time researching purchases before putting their lists together, impulse buying is alive and well: A new study from the Point of Purchase Advertising International reveals that 76% of all grocery purchasing decisions are being made in stores. That represents an all-time high, the trade group says. 

What’s more, the study, which added EEG and eye-tracking technology to attitudinal findings and consumer interviews, found that when shoppers engaged with an in-store display and touched a product, 66% of those grabs resulted in a purchase. And overall, shoppers are still lousy at projecting how much they will spend, with the average person misjudging the amount by 35%, either high or low.

The study reports that 24% of purchases are specifically planned before the consumer starts wheeling the grocery cart. The rest of the shopping decisions fall into generally planned purchases, substitutes, or unplanned buys. Even when accounting for those impulse buys, the trade group says, 57% of shoppers still spend more than they planned. 

And while unplanned purchases, naturally, drive spending up, the surprise was by how much: Those who overspend on impulse items typically do so by 200%.

Plastic leads to even greater sloppiness. Those shopping with either a debit or credit card are even less accurate in their calculations, buying larger quantities of goods and making more unplanned purchases than those paying cash.

Overall, one in six of the observed purchases were made when a display with that brand is present in store, with toaster pastries, pickles/relish, dishwashing soap, and pet supplies getting the biggest boost.

POPAI says the data, based on 2,400 shoppers in four broad geographic regions, suggests that in-store displays work best when aimed at a “core group of loyal, female stock-up shoppers” -- even those who are more likely to plan purchases before shopping, using lists and circulars.

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2 comments about "Shopper Engagement: To Touch Is To Buy ".
  1. Cory Grassell from Alta Resources , May 10, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.
    Seventy-six percent of all grocery-purchasing decisions are being made in stores: Is this really that surprising? Unless you use an online service like Peapod (and I suspect most people do not), you have to visit a brick-and-mortar grocery store. And once you enter its doors, the purchase decisions begin. Even if people make lists (planned purchases), they're wheeling their carts down the aisles, where they're being introduced to new products, in-store displays, and brands. My list often includes terms like "macaroni and cheese," not "Kraft Mac 'n Cheese." Most often, grocery consumers aren't brand loyal and will shop by price. All of this facilitates "impulse buying" at grocery stores, as well as cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
  2. Maruchi Santana from Parham Santana , May 17, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
    Completely agree! One of Parham Santana's In-Store Truths is: Truth #10: Aisles Walked = Products Bought When you entice consumers to walk the aisles, you drive that great booster of sales: the impulse buy. Aisles are hunting grounds. Alluring signs and packaging can trigger more impulse buys than price cuts. According to a study by Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, price promotion alone is a factor in only half of impulse buys True Fact: Every week, nearly 1/3 of shoppers buy something they didn’t expect to, at a median purchase price of $30. Want to read more truths? http://parhamsantana.com/10-in-store-truths