What Drives Impulse Buys at Grocery and Convenience Stores

Consumer shopping behaviors aren’t what they were just a decade ago. Grocery stores and convenience stores have to fight for every dollar they can. Even in uncertain market conditions, impulse buys of snack items have always been a reliable way to drive up the size of a market basket, but retailers must adjust their approach if they want to keep pace with current trends.

Rethinking The Traditional Check-Out Display

While candy has always been a staple of the checkout line impulse display, many consumers today want healthier options. Single-serve snacks will always be a driver of impulse buys, but store owners need to think outside the traditional chocolate-nougat-nut box.

First and foremost, snacks should not be relegated to the checkout area alone. Snacks should be showcased in more than one area of the store. Ideally, they will see the display more than once as they make their way through the shop, but strategically placing snacks in beverage areas, food service areas and other aisles can increase the chances that a customer will make an impulse grab at some point during their visit.

Get Snacks Where Your Customers Are Looking

Impulse buys are not just a compulsion that customers cannot control. Understanding the way customers move through a store, the areas of the store in which they spend the most time and the most money should influence your displays. While an impulse buy is not planned out by your customer, it can be planned out by knowledgeable merchandising teams. By studying shoppers’ in-store behavior, retailers can determine which products are most likely to be purchased and the locations where the most profitable products can and should be displayed for purchase.

Keep Impulse Items Simple

Impulse snacks should be a single serving size, inexpensive, and the label should be easy to read. For example, customers shouldn’t have to pick up a packet of trail mix and study it carefully to see what it’s made of. Labels should be crisp, easy-to-read and should tell the shopper exactly what is inside.

Displays should be bright and attention grabbing, and customers should be able to reach the product easily and hand it to the cashier in a simple movement. Complicated displays that are difficult to read or difficult to use will interrupt the motivation to buy.

What to Do When Display Space is Scarce

The problem that arises when stores attempt to offer healthier choices in impulse buying is one of logistics. Vendors pay big bucks for premium placement, and there is usually little room left to add new snack options for customers.  When evaluating potential snack vendors, always take their merchandising options under consideration. Choose a partner that has a variety of options designed to accommodate the space you do have, without detracting from the flow of the store.

Are you looking for advice on how to merchandise effectively?

At Mister Snacks, we understand the current obstacles facing grocery stores and c-stores as customers strive to make healthier food choices. We can help you merchandise your snacks effectively with displays of high-margin products that will drive impulse buys. Contact us today to learn about our options and to discuss the ways in which we can help you increase your bottom line.