Americans are shopping more impulsively online
People confined to their homes during a time of pandemic react in many different ways. Recently released research shows that many people who stay at home for extended periods of time increase the amount of money they spend on impulse purchases online.
A poll conducted in January by OnePoll for Slickdeals, a crowdsourced shopping platform, found that the 2,000 Americans it surveyed spent an average of $155.03 on impulse purchases. In a new poll taken last month, the average spent on impulse purchases rose to $182.98, an 18 percent gain.
For 72 percent of those surveyed, impulse purchases are a form of retail therapy that helps lift their moods at a time when many are concerned about what the future holds for themselves and those they love.
While it’s common to think of impulse purchasing as adding a sweet treat to a shopping cart at a store’s checkout or buying clothing or shoes for a future unknown event, many are spending extra money on everyday items that have been in short supply since the novel coronavirus outbreak began in the U.S., according to the research.
Cleaning supplies are the number one category of goods being purchased on impulse (42 percent), according to the survey. Hand sanitizer (38 percent), toilet paper (35 percent), hand soap (32 percent), canned food (31 percent) and dish detergent (30 percent) follow.
Treats are not completely off the table, however, with 21 percent buying items that they’ve been thinking about purchasing for a while and have put off until now. Twenty-two percent report having bought clothing, 18 percent have spent money on home improvement and 17 percent having impulsively purchased a new video game console.
Buying impulsively does not mean that consumers are spending indiscriminately. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said that they take advantage of special deals when making impulse purchases.
“While someone may not plan to buy laundry detergent or groceries on a given day, stocking up on these everyday items when there’s a great deal available can help your budget,” said Slickdeals CEO Josh Meyers in a statement. “As such, impulse spending can be associated with saving money in the long-run as opposed to being wasteful.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Have you seen in your professional and/or personal life evidence that impulse buying is on the rise since the coronavirus outbreak began? Do you expect that the type of impulse buying described in the article will increase, level off or decrease as restrictions are lifted?