11 August 2015
More and more impulse purchases are made online everyday as B2B and B2C ecommerce expands. In the second part of our series, we take a closer look at ecommerce site design and its effect on impulsive buying, and we will explore the user experience principles that increase unplanned purchases made on your site.
Anatomy of an Impulse Buy
Before we dive into user experience best practices, it is important to know that all unplanned purchases follow a two-step mental process:
Studies show that the more urges a customer experiences, the higher the chance of ultimately buying something unplanned. So in order to increase impulse-based conversions, a website must entice customers with products, and often.
Website Quality Matters to Impulse Buyers
Just as brick-and-mortar retailers adjust store atmospherics like lighting, music, and floorplan to encourage impulse buying, ecommerce websites can take steps to optimize their site design for this kind of purchasing.
One case study showed that higher perceived website quality increased the urge to impulse buy. In particular, when the site demonstrated higher perceived security, ease of navigation, and visual appeal, all resulted in a stronger temptation to buy. Additionally, the study found that the effect of website quality was even stronger for inherently impulsive customers. If you want to attract likely impulse buyers, the best way to do that is by improving your website quality.
Site Design Practices That Lead to Impulse Purchases
Here are a few practical solutions to improve website quality for likely impulse buyers:
Customers will only buy from your site if they feel secure with it in the first place. Display visual cueslike lock icons near credit card information and security software credentials on your site to make users feel more at ease.
An example of category links on sainttropez.com
Make the Most of Post-Purchase Impulse Buys
To top off a great user experience, you should think about generating impulse sales after a purchase is completed. It’s not like online shoppers leave the store after they check out, so reach out to customers with product suggestions on the sales confirmation page and in their confirmation email. These are great spaces to display suggested and complementary products.
If your company has both an ecommerce and an in-store presence, in-store pick-ups and returns are a great way to immerse your online customers in physical product displays and encourage already paying customers to add unplanned purchases to their shopping cart.
To recap what we’ve covered in the series so far,
In the third and final installment of our series, we’ll take a look at m-commerce and how to harness impulse buys with mobile technology.