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The Impulse Buying Concept

We keep hearing about how well 1-day.co.nz is doing, and about how fast the other daily deals sites are growing. But what makes these daily deals sites so successful? I believe it comes down to the Impulse Buying concept.

My definition of an “impulse buy” is a purchase of a product that you have never really attempted to buy elsewhere previously. It was just there at the time (and usually on special) and you just decided on the spot that you had to have the product. Wikipedia states that: “An impulse purchase or impulse buy is an unplanned or otherwise spontaneous purchase.”'

Impulse Bying and Shopping

Uie.com has done some research in the field of online buying, and reports that up to 40% of all online purchases are impulse buys. And this percentage is the average figure, imagine what percentage of purchases through daily deals sites is. Because of their nature, ie No one knows what products will be for sale on a given day, I predict that up to 95% of their sales are impulse purchases.

I think these sites also get lucky when they offer an item that a person has been hunting for at a great price. This happened to me, I was in the market for a wireless keyboard and mouse. I hadn’t purchased one yet but I was ready to. Lo and behold 1-day.co.nz offered a wireless mouse and keyboard package a few days later., And at a great price. I was sold straight away!

I think also that the fact that no physical cash is changes hands, and the fact that you only have to enter a few numbers (credit card details) makes online buying so easy and therefore so easy to make an impulse buy.

Wikipedia also goes on to say that: “Impulse buying disrupts the normal decision making models in consumers’ brains. The logical sequence of the consumers’ actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self gratification. Impulse items appeal to the emotional side of consumers.” And I agree. Impulse buying is a purely emotional action. You see a great price, or a product you always wanted, and the excitement of being offered the product right there, but only until it sells out, can be a strong motivator for consumers.

And thats effectively how these daily deal sites work. You log on, you don’t know whats going to be for sale, you have no idea! But usually at least something for sale that day might take your fancy. The fact that the deals are only available for a day, or they may even sell out during the day, just makes people that more impulsed. When a product is on the verge of selling out it can almost become like the auction frenzy concept where in the last few minutes of bidding, bidders can become competitive over each other.

I remember attempting to buy several things on 1-day when they product has been close to selling out. The product will display as “All items allocated” which means that they are down to their final few items and they are sitting in the shopping carts of other users. On 1-day a user has 5 minutes to complete the purchase, and quite often people will decide against the purchase while entering their credit card details. When they close their page this gives you a chance to add the product to your cart. I remember at times spending up to 30 minutes refreshing the product page, hoping that another user pulls out of their purchase and one product becomes available for me. It can get quite exciting waiting and hoping one comes available.

So on top of the Impulse buying aspect of the site, the competition aspect of beating other users to the final few products really adds to the emotional side of daily deals sites like 1-day.co.nz and offtheback.co.nz.

Posted: Tue 01 Jun 2010


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