The Impulse Effect

Understand Your Buyer > How People Work > The Impulse Effect

What is it?

Once a buyer decides to buy, a small add-on or upgrade to their purchase is more likely to be bought as the buyer is “primed” to buy. This is why sweets are put next to the till in supermarkets – if you are buying £50 of petrol then a 50p Twix is not only a treat, but a far easier decision to make (In for a Penny, in for a Pound).

Why does it work?

It works because once we have decided to buy, we are “primed” and thus more likely to modify that decision and buy more as this next decision is far not only less difficult to make, but it can give us a Dopamine hit and make us feel better about the larger purchase. In the case of upgrades, we might rationalise that if “I’m spending X then I may as well spend Y..”

It works best on image conscious, socially aware buyers who often buy for pleasure, for fear of missing out or because like everyone else they are governed by emotions, not logic.


What can you do about it?

What can you offer your clients at point of sale that is either complementary to their purchase or is a relatively small addition? Is there an upgrade, an accessory or even a packaged deal that could be offered at point of sale that will not only benefit your buyer but increase the value of the sale?


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