We’ve all been browsing before. We didn’t have anything in mind to buy but tagged along with friends to the mall, or popped into a store that looked interesting, or decided to check out a craft show.
Think about the last time you were in a shopping setting and were just browsing but ended up buying something.
What made you buy?
This article covers 4 factors that are in place when I impulse buy, and ones I believe apply to most shoppers who end up buying when they were just planning to browse.
Therefore, these are 4 factors you should consider when planning products.
It’s especially important to consider impulse buying when you sell at craft shows. Most craft show shoppers don’t head to the events with a specific product in mind to buy. They’re usually going to check things out and will buy if something catches their eye.
But impulse buying happens online too. Many people end up buying a product after seeing it in their social media feed. Or perhaps they head to Etsy just to see what’s out there and end up buying an item that shows up in the search results.
Impulse buying refers to sales that happen even though a consumer wasn’t searching for or intending to buy a product.
Here’s what a product needs to have in place to encourage more impulse buys:
Impulse Factor #1: It Catches The Eye
Whether it’s a craft show booth, a product display, or a product listing, in order for a sale to happen it must catch the eye of the consumer it was made for.
Elimination is the key here.
Especially when you’re a small business.
Trying to grab the attention of too many types of shoppers won’t attract anyone.
It would be like trying to catch someone’s eye with the use of color. If you attempt to attract people who love pink, and people who love green, and people who love blue, and people who love yellow, the use of all those colors just becomes a big mishmash and no one color stands out.
On the other hand, if you wanted to attract people who love pink and create a display using only pink, it would catch people’s eyes from across the room.
One clear message tells (certain) shoppers it will be worth their time to stop and take a closer look.
Know who you want to sell to and consider what will catch their eye.
If you can’t get someone on social media to stop scrolling or you can’t get a shopper to stop at your craft show table, you don’t have a chance to sell to them. Step up the “wow” factor and create something that stands out (here’s how to create a viral social media post and here’s how to make your craft show booth stand out)
Determining a label for your products makes it easier to understand what will attract your buyer. Learn more in this article.
Impulse Factor #2: It’s Unique
Urgency is also an important element of an impulse buy because a shopper feels they’ll miss out if they don’t buy now. And selling a product that’s unique creates a sense of urgency; if they don’t buy now, they might not find a similar item again.
When I say unique, I don’t mean that it’s one of a kind, no two designs are alike, or each product has slight variations due to being handmade.
Unique means it’s something the shopper doesn’t come across on a regular basis.
If I’m selling stud earrings made with round gemstones, chances are, shoppers have seen something similar before or would be able to find something similar at a later time if they didn’t buy that day.
But if I’m selling sports themed stud earrings (e.g. baseball bat & baseball stud earrings, hockey stick & puck stud earrings, soccer ball & cleats stud earrings, etc.), it’s less likely a shopper has seen similar earrings before and wouldn’t know where to find them if they didn’t buy that day.
Get to know your competition and what’s already out there so you can offer something different.
Put the customer first; what have they seen over and over at craft shows or on Etsy and what would be refreshing for them to see?
Choosing a good target market can really help with exploring new spaces.
For example, making jewelry out of gemstones and trying to come up with a unique design can be difficult.
But focusing on the target market first can help one come up with unique designs or angles.
>> Targeting bohemian brides could help me design a line of bohemian-style bridal jewelry out of gemstones or crystals.
>> Targeting new moms could help me design charm bracelets and necklaces made with birthstones that represent the birth month of a child.
>> Targeting people interested in astrology could help me design zodiac-themed jewelry with gemstones.
For help discovering a target market, check out: How To Find a Goldmine of Customers.
Impulse Factor #3: It’s The Right Price
Not many people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on an item they had no intentions of buying that day. When they do, it’s usually because they’ve found a bargain. And that’s not what we’re going for with handmade products. You need to price your products for profit (here’s how to price handmade products properly and why the most popular pricing formula doesn’t work).
When people impulse buy at a craft show or online, they’re typically buying products that are on the lower end of a price range.
That “lower-end” will be different for each target market and type of product.
Generally, under $50 is a safe place to be when it comes to impulse buys.
That can vary though. If someone has been casually looking for a piece of art for their home and comes across one they love, they may be prepared to spend $100+ on it.
Consider your target market and the money they would be willing to spend on an impulse buy.
Impulse Factor #4: It Appeals To A Buyer Intent
People who are browsing are not likely to buy an item that doesn’t serve much of a purpose for them. The item needs to be what they would look for if they were actually shopping for that item.
For example, if you’re not in the market for a notepad but you come across one at a craft show, are you likely to buy it? Probably not. If you don’t need one, you likely don’t know what you would use a new one for.
But if you came across a notepad that helped you make your grocery list, or plan your weekly meals to eat healthier and save money, or create a workout schedule and help you get in shape, you might feel more tempted to buy a notepad, even though you had no intentions of doing so.
To uncover what customers might buy if they were indeed shopping for your item, think about buyer intent.
Why might someone buy the item you’re selling?
When a product serves a specific purpose, a shopper is more likely to feel like they want it, even if they don’t need it.
But if they simply think the item is nice, there will be less of an urge to buy.
I have an article I’ll be sharing soon about buyer intent. I’ll post the link here and in my newsletter when it’s ready.
With craft shows starting up again, this information will come in handy. But these factors can be applied when selling your handmade products online too!
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!