Impulse Buying: Positioning Digital Display Systems for Maximum Impact

Impulse Buying: Positioning Digital Display Systems for Maximum Impact

Impulse Buying: Positioning Digital Display Systems for Maximum Impact

  • On December 6, 2023

Impulse buying: We’ve all done it and either regretted our spontaneous shopping trip or reveled in the success of an unplanned purchase. Impulse buying is the act of suddenly purchasing a product on a whim, driven by an instinctual reaction. So, what causes these unexpected decisions? More often than not, the strategic ad placement or positioning of digital display systems captivates consumers almost instantly, resulting in a successful conversion based on enticing advertisements. 

Digital signage is inherently eye-catching and easier to digest than a static sign, as digital allows for changing designs and headlines in a matter of seconds. Whether advertising for new cars, a menu item, or a tropical vacation, employing digital marketing tactics to encourage consumers to make unplanned purchases is an impactful and effective way to help your business reach new heights.  

This blog will discuss how to position digital signage displays to expedite the buyer’s journey and create a lasting impact on sales for your business.

The psychology of impulse buying

Impulse purchases result from uncontrolled consumer behavior ignited by an emotional reaction. The response is based on low cognitive control, resulting in a spontaneous decision to react instantly. According to Shopify, impulse buying accounts for 40 to 80% of purchases, with consumers spending an average of over 300 U.S. dollars on impulse purchases each month. 

Feeling instant gratification after a purchase is rewarding; even minor victories can impact a person’s mental well-being. For example, you may drive down the street in the early morning hours and suddenly find yourself turning into the Starbucks drive-through to treat yourself to an unexpected yet must-needed coffee. Or perhaps you throw a few extra items in your grocery cart on a whim, steering away from your pre-written list. These small acts of impulse ignite a positive reaction, evoking happiness and leaving us in a state of bliss after a purchase. 

Factors That Drive Impulse Purchases

Businesses are becoming increasingly more aware of consumer buying habits to determine key factors that drive impulse purchases. As a complex shopping behavior, some factors that drive unplanned  purchases include the following:

Sense of Urgency: Limited-time offers, and temporary sales entice consumers to make impulse purchases out of fear of missing out on a good deal.

Inviting Atmosphere: When shops create a welcoming environment, it encourages consumers to stick around and, ultimately, make a purchase based on the serotonin they feel from the location and the idea of a new item.

Emotional Appeal: A consumer’s current emotional state is a common factor in impulse buying. Evoking specific emotions in consumers through advertising helps ignite the urge to make a purchase without consideration. 

Visual Stimuli: Captivating digital displays using enticing graphics creates prime opportunities to catch the eye of a consumer. 

With the right strategy and eye-catching display, businesses can take advantage of the many factors that drive impulse purchases. 

In-Store vs. Online: Where are Impulse Purchases Made?

A 2014 Popai Mass Merchant Shopper Engagement study found that 82% of shopping decisions are made in-store, with unplanned purchases ranking the highest for consumer decisions. When consumers can view and touch a product in person, it motivates them to act on impulse and buy the item that has grasped their attention. It also allows sales associates to educate the customer on the product and promote upselling opportunities. 

Today, the bulk of consumer spending is completed online, as the advancement of online eCommerce marketplaces makes online purchases a part of everyday life. If there’s one thing modern technology has made simple, it’s the ability to make nearly any purchase in one click. 

While impulse spending has decreased since 2020 as consumers have become more financially responsible and do not revel in the idea of returning items purchased online, 85% of USA retail sales still occur at brick-and-mortar locations. The same can be said for other industries capitalizing on in-person sales.

In-store advertising can also influence online decisions. For example, a customer may impulsively decide to purchase an expensive leather coat when shopping in person, but that decision can cannonball into other purchases, such as pants to coordinate with the leather jacket or perhaps a bag sold exclusively from that retail store’s online inventory. 

Leveraging digital display systems: creating a strategy that works

Businesses can take advantage of impulse purchasing habits by leveraging digital display systems. It only takes one captivating image or headline to influence an instant reaction. But before implementing your digital signage, it’s essential to determine the strategy, content, and placement of your digital signs to achieve success. Consider the following:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are the top-selling advertisements that drive impulsive purchases?
  • Where do these purchases most often take place?

 Ever wonder why you can never spend less than $100 at Target? It’s because Target strategically places their items based on consumer buying habits. The first thing shoppers see when entering a Target location is the dollar spot section. The items are catered to adults and children, creating an alluring and affordable appeal to customers through toys, household essentials, and seasonal decor.

The same can be said for Walmart, whose marketing tactic remarkably resembles Targets, but instead, they offer items in large bins throughout the store aisles for easier access. A new 50-inch LED TV on sale for $150; there’s a stack of them right there for consumers to grab without having to step foot in the electronics section. 

Grocery stores capitalize on impulse buying, too, by placing everyday household essentials, such as milk and butter, in the back of the store and sugary cereals and snacks on the bottom shelving to appeal to younger customers. This tactic forces shoppers to walk down other aisles, encouraging the purchase of items they may not need but want now that they’ve seen them.

So, what have these examples taught us? Impulse buying is a crucial driver in sales, and implementing advertising tactics like digital displays raises brand awareness and entices consumers with captivating imagery and eye-catching content designs to promote additional purchasing opportunities.

Implementing digital signage for maximum impact

The evolution of display technology in recent years is substantial, allowing businesses to make a profound impact on their customers using high-quality, high-resolution digital displays. From interactive LCD screens to digital menu boards, businesses can instantly update their signage, easily accommodating changes in offerings, pricing, and special promotions. 

While there’s no shortage of benefits when it comes to digital advertising displays, how and where you implement your digital display system will play a key role in the effectiveness of your strategy. Consider the following: 

Strategic Placement of Digital Displays

Positioning a digital sign to display engaging imagery and graphics is only as effective if you find the right location to market your visual content. As discussed above, larger corporations like Target and Walmart succeeded in their product placement, but now imagine incorporating digital signage to drive more sales home. Consider high-traffic areas such as malls, elevators, or waiting rooms. The more consumers, the more exposure. Implementing digital signage, such as touchscreen kiosks, wayfinding signs, and informational displays, provides consumers with valuable information in an interactive way that drives more purchases. 

The best marketing opportunities to encourage impulse decisions come at the point of purchase. Placing digital displays near checkout counters or aisle displays boosts quick decision-making. As each customer passes through the checkout line, it puts pressure on the corresponding customer to decide on the pack of gum or chapstick they were eyeing. 

Digital displays can also encourage upselling opportunities, such as utilizing digital menu boards to display a delicious dessert for consumers to view as they order their entree or showing two-for-one deals, enticing them to pick up an extra product regardless of whether they need it.

The Power of Visual Content 

Our brains naturally process images much quicker than text, making engaging imagery and dynamic video displays and animations a must in your digital signage strategy. Thanks to emerging technological advances, there are many digital signage solutions to choose from. For example, liquid crystal display (LCD) video walls are large wall displays generated by numerous light-emitting diodes (LEDs) working together to create the perfect pixel amount with high brightness for clear and coherent displays. This method is often seen in retail stores or larger commercial buildings to advertise the latest product lines using massive visual imagery to stop customers in their path to view the eye-catching images. LED displays are controlled through an internal operating system or media player, allowing for continuously updated content, editing graphics, and ever-changing marketing campaigns. 

Content Personalization

The technological evolution of digital signage has improved content management efficiency, enabling businesses to connect with customers on a personalized level by delivering tailored content that aligns with individual preferences. Today’s customers are seeking engaging, customizable, and informative experiences. While one can simply communicate a message using innovative modern displays, businesses must tailor their content to stay relevant in a fast-paced, customer-centric world.

When approaching content personalization for electronic displays, consider using a content management system (CMS) to create, edit, and manage existing content. A CMS lets you personalize content using digital signage software to target your messaging, promotions, and offers in real time. 

While once effective, static displays take time and effort to change to showcase relevant information constantly. With an updated digital signage system, you can use templates, schedule content updates in advance, and change graphics for indoor or outdoor digital displays at a moment’s notice. While each system will differ, many platforms allow users to manage content from an Android or Apple device by connecting to Wifi or using an HDMI cord with a relevant system. 

Partnering with a digital signage company

By utilizing digital signage to create impactful messaging that resonates with consumers, businesses can create effective, eye-catching displays that encourage unplanned purchases and convey their unique brand identity to increase profits. 

At Keyser, our team of skilled experts have years of installation experience and content management expertise to curate captivating digital signage content and layouts that align seamlessly with your specific business objectives. From determining the perfect strategy and location to installing equipment and implementing cutting-edge software, we can help you navigate the complex process, offering invaluable advantages for businesses looking to enhance their visual communications. 

Unlocking your potential with digital signage solutions

Understanding what drives consumer buying habits can empower businesses to maximize the potential of their digital signage investments, resulting in enriched customer experiences, increased brand awareness, and accelerated profit margins. 

When you partner with Keyser, we’ll help with everything from the installation of LED video screens and outdoor displays to technical and maintenance support to offering the best pricing and warranty options on the market. 

If you are eager to implement digital signage to encourage impulse buying, contact Keyser today.


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