9 Power Ways to Trigger Impulse Buying in Your eCommerce Customers

Understanding impulse sales psychology is a heavenly secret weapon that most eCommerce business owners completely neglect. To gain a secret edge over your competitors, mastering impulse sales tactics is much easier than compared to focusing on numbers and technical features.

Getting to the point, impulse shopping is nothing but unplanned buying – All those last-minute purchases that one does which weren’t expected to happen.

When you analyze what drives shoppers to buy those things that they really didn’t think of buying earlier or ones that they don’t need, you’ll find that there’s proven psychology behind it.

The psychology behind impulse buying clearly states that it is a combination of basic evolutionary traits and tactics retailers put in place to make customers more susceptible to spontaneously spending their money.

This proves that “impulse shopping triggers” can do get customers to convert at higher rates and make them spend more money the moment they visit your site.

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In this blog, you will learn all about 9 impulse shopping triggers that can apply to all types of customers.

TRIGGER 1: Take Advantage Of Reciprocity

Incite shoppers to make purchases from you by offering something for free. Remember only 2% of visitors come to your site to buy from you. “FREE” is the magic word that can crack any kind of shopper.

People love free stuff. Freebies and combos grab attention. It makes the scrollers stop and buy.


Your free gifts can be of any form – Free complimentary products, simple gifts on every purchase, sweepstakes, coupons, or free shipping.

Every time you offer something for free to your customers,

  • You stimulate the social norm of reciprocity, making them feel obligated to return the favor.
  • You help customers discover new or less popular products that they may like or need.
  • You intrigue customers to try new products.
  • They are encouraged to add more items to the cart than what they have planned.
  • You give your customers a sense of satisfaction with their spending.
  • And, tempt them to repeat purchases for the sake of the free bonus.

TRIGGER 2: Drive Curiosity in Your Favor

Most people who buy on impulse are the ones who shop for fun and thrill. They do shopping for pleasure. As an eCommerce business owner if you could address this by enhancing the shopping experience with more suspense and fun, then customers are sure to continue shopping with you again and again.

The regular decision-making process is broken when there is a rush of emotions, such as suspense, anxiety, and excitement.


Spin-to-win, pop-up coupons, lotteries, and scratch cards are the few amazing ways by which you can create curiosity and engagement on your website. The thrill of suspense and the irresistible joy of winning propels the shopping spree of an individual.

Most customers buy products just to make use of the offer they have won while few others buy products to participate and try their luck. Either way, you get a sale.

TRIGGER 3: Price Anchoring is the Hook

Say you’re given two similar options, one priced $1000 while the other at $250. Which one would you pick?

Price anchoring is all about it – placing 2 or more products side by side with different prices. The 3 pricing tiers work best as most of the customers choose the middle one as it looks cheaper as well as better when compared to the other two.


Customers always depend on the first piece of information they receive to make the following decisions. In price anchoring, by assigning a value to compare, all further arguments are based on price. This is why when premium and standard products or services are offered for comparison to potential customers, the less expensive is always seen as a better bargain.

Keep in mind that eCommerce success depends on the stable business that repeats and leverages memberships and subscriptions.

Thus for better results with price anchoring, link your membership pricing with shorter time frames to make seem cheap while pinning your credits to a longer time frame to make it look big.

This way customers make comfortable compromises as well as are happy and satisfied in accepting the deal.

TRIGGER 4: Play with Words

Words drive the decision-making process of any customer – they can make or break a deal. Thus, take full advantage and make use of the right phrases at the right places.

Use positive power words that capture attention, tempt shoppers, and convince them that the product/service is what they need right away. Give all your products a brief catchy name that is attractive as well as easy to search.


Describe the positive attributes of the product, its benefits and suggest multiple ways to use it. Don’t forget to emphasize the value proposition while being precise and concise. Spice it up with some interesting visuals, a pinch of humor, and irresistible CTAs.

Next, when it comes to CTA, always remember no one likes to be sold to. So better avoid words like “Buy”, “Shop” or “Purchase”. However, use welcoming words such as “Browse more”, “Add to cart”, “Try it out” or “Explore”. These words help customers have a positive experience and sense of satisfaction that they weren’t pushed into buying that specific product.

TRIGGER 5: Live the Rush

FOMO is the trending marketing strategy that is converting like crazy – Around 60% of sales is driven by FOMO marketing.


As the present generation is taken over by social media, the fear of missing out is spreading like wildfire. eCommerce stores are cashing this power drive of impulse buying with the phrases “You’re running out of time”, “Few seats left”, “Last minute of offer”, “Final chance to buy”, “You’re friend bought it. Have you?” and more.

FOMO is all about making the customers strongly feel that they need to ‘buy now’ or will ‘regret later’.

You can spark the fear of missing out by,

  • Setting a time limit or countdown on the offer or promotion.
  • Using social proof by sharing testimonials on social media.
  • Quoting influential people, celebrities, or social media influencers.
  • Discounts on product bundles for a specific category of customers.
  • Leveraging FOMO on multiple channels.
  • Sending customized messages to your customers through various channels.
  • Highlighting the opportunities that specific customer has missed, as well as how other customers have made use of it.

No matter what strategy you pick to create FOMO, make sure to place it on a prominent spot on your website and send constant reminders to your registered customers about it.

TRIGGER 6: Unleash Periodical Special Discounts

When was the last time you ordered beyond what you had planned just for free delivery or because there was a discount after a specific shopping limit? – Not so long back right?

Conditional discounts accelerate sales without affecting your profit margin or cart value. By structuring it to the advantage of your online store, you can skyrocket impulsive conversions.


Conditional offers are also a great booster to make customers check your store and add products to the cart.

When it comes to discounts, a tempting price drop is a perfect way to lure shoppers to make a purchase. It seduces shoppers to impulsively try a new brand or buy something for the first time.

Combo discounts give customers the itch to buy something right now, that they have postponed or planned to buy later. It also urges shoppers to buy products that they don’t intend to buy at all.

Limited time discount coupons bring in repeat purchases. You can also pair it up with the classic conditional discounts such as,

  • Buy 1, Get 1 free (BOGO), or Buy 2 Get 1
  • Buy 3 @ $999
  • Buy and earn loyalty discount
  • Buy and save offers

TRIGGER 7: Cash Through Inexpensive Upsells

When you shop at physical stores have you noticed those small, low-priced items placed near the billing line? They are placed there to be grabbed just like that while you move towards billing.

The checkout page of online stores is similar to those waiting queues in traditional stores. The idea is to recommend some cheap relevant items. It is one of the easiest ways to trigger impulse buying in customers.

Suggesting low-priced items that complement the products added to the cart on the check-out page have higher chances of impulse buy.


In most cases, a clock is placed along with the upsell to avoid customers from delaying the purchase. Adding this sense of urgency reduces the time to think and act. Often, the lower the price of upselling, the higher are the chances of impulse buying.

Other than the clock, you can also combine one or more promotions with your upsell strategy to make it more attractive and successful.

TRIGGER 8: Employ Visual Stimuli

Other than all these offers and promotions, the key factor that drives impulse shopping is the visual stimuli.

If a shopper feels relaxed and engaged in your website, he/she is sure to spend more time in it exploring products. A pleasant design and web layout encourage shoppers to go around and do some unplanned shopping.

The positive feeling that a customer gets while visiting your online store is directly proportional to the chances of impulse buy.


Create a determined path for your customers to move in a flow with the right mix of products and their placements. The intriguing art direction, flow, and navigation of your eCommerce website impact emotions and impulse buying behavior.

When your online store resonates with the emotions and psychological factors of your customer, it stimulates them to spend more or give it a try.

Researches show that good web design and visual presentation enhance user experience, resulting in more buying of products.

TRIGGER 9: Top Up the Visibility

At the end of the day, it’s all about grasping the attention of the shoppers. To captivate your audience while they scroll through, you need to give extra attention to details.

Besides offers, to draw attention to impulse buys, there are 3 main components that you need to focus on.

Signs: As mentioned earlier play with words to put your customers in a whirl of emotions. Use signs and language of urgency.


Highlight: Well, in physical stores you may use a spotlight to set the product apart from the rest of the store. In online stores, you can include an exclusive promotion page for new launches, put it in a unique design or background, or include pop-ups.

Color: Bold, highlighting bright colors draw the attention of all types of customers. If you want to give a subtle push to the product, you can just alter its background color. Make sure the colors merge well to create a positive impact along with impulse buying.


Impulsive shopping has started to be a much common practice now.

Shoppers buy it if it’s on sale right then and there. even if they’re not sure if they want it. The fear that one may need to pay more later is driving shoppers wild.

The driving forces of “impulse buy” are time and money – when shoppers see a sign mentioning words like “Limited time sale”, they are made to feel that they need to take advantage of that deal.

Today, people shop not just because they need products but also because it’s one among the few activities that make them feel good. They are shopping when they feel low, need some entertainment, or sometimes even when they don’t feel like sleeping.

Studies have also revealed that children and young adults of this generation no more shop with specific products in mind.

Now, that’s why “Impulse buying” is one of the best ways to capitalize.

For more on hooking strategies in marketing for your eCommerce store, check out The Commerce Shop.