Of course, it’s important to think about the space you
have to work with in an already crowded pet store and
what you want your message to be. Are you trying to
educate the customer or simply draw attention to the
“Oftentimes, the promotional strategy you use will
KEEP TUNED INTO THOSE EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS
have a direct impact on the number of impulse purchas-
es you get,” said Will Godfrey of The Godfrey Group, a
provider of creative services for trade shows and retailers.
“It’s worth spending some time thinking about what sort
of signage you want to use.”
New technology has made very effective digital sig-
nage and streaming video relatively inexpensive. This
type of signage is hard to ignore, and it greatly increases
the number of messages delivered. According to Donald
R. Lichtenstein, professor of marketing and associate dean
at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business,
getting customers to see your product is the first and most
important step in impulse buying.
You may have noticed that banks, corporations and even
government agencies are using our emotions to nudge us
into taking actions. The technique they use to accomplish
this has come to be known as behavioral economics. This
relatively new science is based on the observation that we
humans are not the objective, unemotional decision-mak-
ers we would like to believe we are. On the contrary, we
often allow our emotions to overrule any attempt at logic
to control our decision-making.
Emotions also play a big part in our shopping habits.
Arguably, there are few shopping environments that are
more subject to the power of emotions than a pet store.
That’s why it’s so important to hit the right emotional buttons in impulse sales campaigns.
One of the most compelling emotional triggers in
the sales arsenal is urgency. We all have faced moments
when taking some sort of action was urgently required.
One example would be the need to slam on the brakes in
order to avoid an automobile
collision. While the sense of urgency in a selling environment
is not that dramatic, it’s still a
deep-seated emotion waiting
to be awakened in all of us.
That’s why you see so many
limited-time and today-only
sales promotions. Consider
appealing to your customers’
sense of urgency by offering
limited-time offers in your impulse displays. Some retailers
inject a sense of urgency into
their impulse displays by putting out only a limited number
of the item, suggesting that if
consumers don’t act now, it
might be too late.
Also consider the satisfaction of obtaining a bargain.
Regardless of their financial
situation, almost everyone
gains a feeling of satisfaction
when they come away from a
sales transaction feeling that
they gained high value for
their money. The Walmart
organization has built a gigantic business based on that
simple premise. With that in
mind, consider “buy one, get
one free” or similar bargain
promotions in your impulse
However, impulse products don’t always have to offer
a financial or urgency motivation. If you’ve ever bought
something that was relatively
new or novel, you probably
took pleasure in showing it
to others. If you have new or
original products that fit the
other criteria such as small and
low cost, consider testing them
as impulse items.
If you’re looking to increase
impulse buying in your store,
it’s essential that you take the
time to implement the right
merchandising strategies, including those mentioned here.
Of course, as with any marketing strategy, implementing a
successful impulse program
will put further demands on
your already strained time.
However, if done properly, it
can add significantly to your
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