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Exploring Proven Ways To Influence Customers' Impulse Purchase Habits

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retail display ideas

Between six and 10 purchases in a store can be classified as impulse purchases. If you've ever made a quick, last minute decision to buy a candy bar as you were checking out at the grocery store, you've made an impulse purchase. You aren't alone: There's a good reason most retail stores cram the checkout aisle with as many goods as their shelves will hold.

It may sound surprising, but there's actually a very subtle science when it comes to getting customers to make impulse purchases. If carried out correctly, brick and mortar stores can easily maximize sales and impulse purchases of their customers. Here are just a few fascinating ways to boost your customers' chances of making an impulse purchase.

Use Appealing Signage

We already know that signs increase purchases: several studies, including one from Brigham Young University, showed that merchandise with a sign outsold merchandise without a sign by 20%. This is true even in the case of full price merchandise -- full priced merchandise still performs 18% better with signage than without. However, to effectively increase impulse buys, you'll have to take your creative retail display ideas one step further and invest in specialized signs and flyer stands designed to maximize aesthetic appeal and subconscious decision making. Look for signs that use bold colors, large numbers, and generally increase visibility.

Maximize POS Potential

Many times, impulse buying decisions are made at the point of sale, AKA the checkout counter. Keep this in mind when coordinating where and how to arrange the merchandise you're most interested in displaying to impulse shoppers.


"Placing products at the checkout zone is a common and highly effective tactic. Shoppers who are at the point-of-sale area are likely already in the mood to buy, so the chances of them making additional purchases are relatively higher. You generally have two options when it comes to having impulse items near your POS. The first is putting them on or in front of your checkout counter...Another option is to have those items near the checkout queue," writes Francesca Nicasio on VendHQ.

Strategically Place Signs and Product Displays Throughout the Store

There's a reason many grocery stores create special displays around the store. Colorful displays combined with creative retail signage can attract customers' attention while they shop. Likewise, store owners should put some thought into ways they can cross promote certain products. For instance, consider creating a display of pretzels, chips, and other salty foods near the beer and wine section. By displaying products outside of their usual shelf space, you can appeal to impulse buyers on the go.


According to a 2014 Mass Merchant Study, 16% of unplanned purchases were due to a display noticed while shopping. Understanding these simple ways to maximize impulse purchase sales can help you get one step closer to retail success. For more information about product stands, metal sign stands, and creative retail display ideas, contact The Global Display Solution.


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