How to influence retail buying behaviour

Discover easy steps to increase impulse purchases, both in-store and online!

Posted: 27th September 2022
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How to influence retail buying behaviour

As a toy retailer, how can you maximize impulse toy sales and generate more unplanned purchasing either in-store or online?

There are tried and tested retail tricks that every toy retailer should find easy to put into practice! Here are the top tactics to influence shoppers' behaviour.


Impulse price points - The number one tactic for creating impulse toy purchases is offering colourful, novelty toys at low price points. These won’t break the bank, making it easy to purchase for instant gratification without much thought about the cost. Refresh your impulse toy stock regularly to keep tempting repeat customers. For premium price points, use limited time only discount offers to increase urgency. Colourful signage that promotes impulse pricing will help.

Optimize store layout - Top sellers should go in feature displays at the front of house, drawing people into the store. This is when the desire to pick up an item is at its highest! Avoid empty shelves at the front of the store, and regularly check for neatness. Attractive displays boost impulse appeal. Position impulse products next to these premium product displays where customers spend the most time. Intersperse premium and impulse product displays around your shop floor with a clear foot-traffic flow. Research also shows that slow music subconsciously influences people to take their time when perusing stores, staying longer.

Cross-merchandising and bundling - Display related items beside each other. That could be toys with the same theme, such as unicorns, collectible items within the same brand, or complimentary products that can be used together. Try offering a small discount when more than one related item is purchased together to increase sales volume.

Display impulse products at the till - People are already committed to making a purchase, so it’s easy and tempting for them to pick up another couple of small items while they queue and pay. This is a common tactic for good reason! Keep items small and low cost to maximize impulse appeal.

Increase visibility and accessibility - Sounds simple, but do you have adequate shelving and display stands that allow products enough space to be well organized and clearly seen? And are all items within easy reaching distance for either children or adults? Don’t create displays that might fall down if someone tries to pick something up. If you have large boxed items stored on top of shelving racks, aim to have an open demo product available at floor height for shoppers to look at and try out.

Strategic heights - Eye level is buy level. Put the toys that kids can’t resist at their height. The premium quality, eco-friendly options, educational or retro toys that adults usually prefer should be at their height.


As the graph below demonstrates, online impulse purchases can be triggered for a number of reasons, from recommendations based on previous purchases as the most likely reason, to seeing discounts or qualifying for free shipping.

Product recommendations - On product pages, feature similar toys or complementary products underneath the main product information. You can either choose these recommended items manually for each page (which is a time-consuming route), or invest in a product recommendation engine.

Bundling - Bundling is simply offering different but related products to consumers in one package at a special discount price. Or you could call one of the bundled items a ‘free gift’. It’s proven as an effective means to get website visitors to buy or spend more than they initially planned, increasing Average Order Value. This can work very well for toys given that kids like to collect many items for a theme they are highly interested in.

Great website design - There is a strong correlation between impulse purchasing and the quality of eCommerce website design. The higher the perceived quality of website design, the more likely a shopper is to make an impulse buy. Don’t forget to create a mobile-optimized version of your site, which is particularly important given the amount of online time now spent on phones!

Email marketing - Keep in touch with previous customers via email to share promotions, deals, limited time offers, new product offerings or seasonal stock, and so on. You can ask subscribers to select which genders and age groups of toys you’re interested in to make email content highly personalized and more effective (use these interests to create segmented email lists). Provide links directly to the relevant product pages for subscribers to easily click through and buy. Fear of missing out, limited time offers and urgency all help drive impulse buys.

Retargeting adverts - Use visual display advertising, such as on Facebook or Google’s Campaign Manager 360, to remarket to previous website visitors when they’re online. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70% compared with 5–20% for a new customer. You already know these people are interested in purchasing toys, so visual reminders can keep your store top of mind and trigger more impulse buys.

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