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3 Ways For Retailers To Track Buying Habits And Boost Impulse Purchases

Customer carrying shopping bags - tracking buying habits

Can retailers strategically predict impulse purchases? It requires setting up store displays based on consumer buying habits and inventory trends. A blog post on the Resource Nation website shares three product placement tips that motivate shopping spontaneity and, consequently, can increase store sales.

  1. Discover ideal product placement by analyzing shopping trends: When customers purchase a product, the retailer needs to identify them and know their demographics. Some retailers do this by asking customers for their phone number at checkout. A less obtrusive way to gather this information is through loyalty programs. In that case, customers provide some information about themselves and in return receive a loyalty card that entitles them to discounts and deals.

    Citing data from an article on, the Resource Nation blog post highlights how one store discovered that men between the ages of 25 and 35 are buying beer and diapers together on Friday afternoons. How, you may ask, did they figure that out? Data. Retailers need data to analyze shopping trends. In this example, after the retailer put beer and diapers close together, the sales for each product drastically increased.

  2. Place products in the right place at the right time: Retailers would rather have customers shopping in the store than online. As they walk through the aisles looking at products, they’re often open to buying other items if they’re in the right place at the right time. Store layout is a big part of successful retailing. Customers won’t buy what they can’t see. The more products you can get in front of them, the better. That’s why customers usually must walk to the back of the grocery store for staples such as milk and eggs.
  3. Use an inventory management system to avoid stock outs, or out-of-stock situations, and stay on top of trends: Retailers need great visibility into their inventory. If you don’t know that something is out of stock until it’s gone, and it takes two weeks to order the product, you’ll lose sales revenue on that product for two weeks. If your POS can accumulate data on how inventory is selling and what type of customer is creating that demand, you can track trends and customer buying habits. To analyze these trends of certain customer demographics, you must be able to attach a customer to the sale.

With all three of the above tips, data is the key. To take advantage of analytics and maximize profits through tracking buying habits, retailers need to know who their customers are and what they are buying.

Source: Resource Nation, May 2013