What Causes Customers to Buy on Impulse?

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E-Commerce White Paper

What Causes Customers to Buy on Impulse?

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Impulse purchases represent almost 40% of all the money spent on e-commerce sites, according to recent tests we conducted at User Interface Engineering. What drives shoppers to make these impulse purchases? It isn’t price, but rather it’s tied to design elements of the site itself.

This is just a small sample of what our research uncovered. Get the full story about how you can convert browsers into buyers at our latest course, Designing for Dollars: Discover How People Buy Online on February 4-5, 2002. See www.uie.com for details and to register.

User Interface Engineering

What Causes Customers To Buy on Impulse? Impulse?

What Causes Customers to Buy on Impulse?

Learn the truths about e-commerce sites as User Interface Engineering shares its findings from recent research on how people shop online.

The Common Wisdom Says It’s Price

We define an impulse purchase as a spontaneous purchase – an item that a shopper hadn’t planned to buy when they began their shopping task. Both The Yankee Group and Ernst & Young conducted surveys where they asked people why they would make impulse purchases on the web. According to The Yankee Group (November, 2000), 75% of survey respondents indicated that a “special sale price” would motivate them to make a spontaneous purchase. The second most influential factor was free shipping (49% of respondents). Ernst & Young (January, 2000) reported that 88% of impulse purchases were because shoppers found products that were offered at good price [or] on sale. According to these surveys the common wisdom is clear: impulse buys are price-related and not due to any specific design or architecture of the web site.

Watching Buyers Buy

We took a different approach than The Yankee Group and Ernst & Young, and we found different results....