E-commerce: how localisation can encourage impulse buying?

E-commerce: how localisation can encourage impulse buying?

When it comes to in-store promotions, articles on sale are usually placed in areas conducive to impulse buying, such as at checkout or on end-of-aisle displays. Online, things become a little more challenging, with website layout (as opposed to store layout) a central factor in influencing this type of purchasing behavior. That said, e-retailers can still tempt customers with targeted, personalised and relevant offers – your business included!
With impulse buys responsible for a considerable amount of sales – up to an astonishing 70% in certain sectors -, there can no longer be any doubt that the future of e-retailing is firmly tied to developing localisation solutions. Let’s take a closer look at localisation’s potential when encouraging consumers to complete their purchases.

Rational purchasing vs. impulse buying: two different profiles, two different sales

The ‘rational purchaser’ (i.e. a customer who doesn’t immediately need the product or service in question) tends to spend more time researching their chosen item, comparing prices, reviews and competitor models. The more expensive the product, the more information the customer is likely to seek out before making their purchase.
On the other hand, the impulse buyer is generally in a hurry to obtain the item in question, whether as a result of a malfunction, a breakdown or an important or unplanned event. This customer tends to purchase quickly, without comparing or analysing the chosen article’s key characteristics (price, composition, country of manufacture, etc.) The impulse buyer is also more likely to be willing to pay for express delivery, in order to have their article delivered ASAP.

Stock levels and availability: key information for the time-strapped buyer

With comprehensive localisation data, the customer has access to precise, up-to-date information regarding stock levels in their local point of sale – information that will be decisive in encouraging the consumer to make an informed decision about their purchase.
If the customer can’t afford to wait, or is unwilling to take the chance that their chosen item becomes unavailable, they can then visit their nearest point of sale to collect their purchase after having paid online. In the case of an impulse or emergency buy, the customer is highly likely to accept the displayed price without taking the time (or risk) of looking elsewhere. As a result, impulse buys become extremely profitable transactions that take place almost immediately – all with the help of localisation.

When essential household items break down, customers turn to impulse buying

As an example, when a washing machine supposedly built for a family of five finally breaks down for good, it’s extremely likely that the replacement will be the result of an impulse buy. Such purchases aren’t just unplanned, but extremely urgent – particularly if our family is looking to avoid daily visits to the laundrette, or doing the washing at a friend’s house! In situations like this, where the customer is seeking a practical, immediate solution to a specific or urgent problem, availability is far more important than price when influencing their purchase decision. This is doubly true when we remember that budget or lower-priced options tend to sell out sooner than their more expensive counterparts – meaning the customer is faced with a potentially lengthy wait before their chosen article is back in stock.

A step-by-step guide to the process for e-retailers:
Repérage de la position de l’internaute a priori intéressé par un produit d’électroménager,

  1. As soon as a user indicates an interest in a particular type of household good, localise their position
  2. The website then displays products likely to match the customer’s expectations, prioritising articles that are immediately available or available for express delivery.
  3. The user then selects the item that meets their delivery needs before opting for a local delivery solution (i.e. Click & Collect.
  4. Finally, the user pays for their item before collection, securing their purchase for a fast, reliable solution to their problem.
  5. The high added value localisation can offer your e-retail business operates on three distinct levels:

    • Impulse buying is encouraged, leading to…
    • a significant increase in profits: as a result of stress, urgency or lack of available options, customers are likely to purchase more expensive items
    • Finally, increased customer satisfaction: users are able complete their purchase safe in the knowledge that they’ve found an immediate solution to their problem – leading to improved brand perception.

To summarise, localisation is an incredibly powerful tool for e-retailers, particularly when it comes to impulse buying. In situations like those outlined above, local services and immediate availability of a given item are significant factors in influencing a customer’s decision to buy. Furthermore, differentiated pricing is unlikely to be an issue for the impulse buyer, whose main priority is to guarantee the availability of their chosen item – whether they’re making an impulse purchase or simply looking for an urgent replacement in the case of a malfunction or breakdown. Precise information about stock levels in the user’s local area is therefore crucial when looking to attract new customers and build customer loyalty, without resorting to DoubleClick or other automatic search tools.