We can’t live without products, but we can’t also live without experience. That’s why shopping now has become much more than a simple chore we do on the weekend. Retailers are looking for better ways to make their stores more attractive and brands are fighting to get the attention of shoppers.

However, finally, it all comes down to the decision to purchase. While we go to the store for window shopping from time to time, we usually enter with our mind set out to buy a product or more. But there are two different types of purchases and each one of them has its particularities.

In this article, we are going to discuss those two types of purchases — impulse purchases and planned purchases- and we are going to show you how to promote your products in such a way that customers will keep coming back for more!

Since there two types of purchases are different and shoppers have different triggers to make each one of them, we will compare them and see which promotional tactics work best in each scenario.

Impulse purchases vs planned purchases

What are impulse purchases and planned purchases? What do they have in common and what is different for each one of them?



  • Pure impulse purchasing

These ones are the ones that are based solely on a spur of the moment emotion. The magazines that are placed strategically right next to the counter and those small, bite-size cookies with the perfect wrappers are bought just because they make the shopper feel something.

  • Suggestion impulse purchasing

No, you are not actually suggesting to people to buy a product, but you are placing it conveniently and making shoppers believe that they need that item. For example, a granola bar. Shoppers will see it and immediately think: “Well, I am kind of hungry and this granola bar is definitely healthier than a chocolate bar.”

This type of impulse purchase makes people think that they bought a product they need, instead of a product they want.

  • Reminder impulse purchasing

These are those “it’s better to have some in the house” kinds of purchases. Batteries, wipes, and matches are some of the products that usually enter in the reminder impulse purchase category.

  • “Planned” impulse purchasing

It sounds counter-intuitive but it’s true. People come to the store to purchase a bag of chips, but they see an offer that states: Buy three bags of chips and get a free soda. They think to themselves: “I’m gonna eat those chips eventually and I also planned to buy a soda.” In this scenario, shoppers wanted to purchase both the chips and the soda, but you made them impulsively buy more than they intended.

Now that we’ve established the most important things about impulse buying, let’s dig deeper into the planned purchases!


Planned purchases can also be bigger investments like a car or electronics. These are not products that you want to waste money on and that’s why shoppers almost never purchase a piece of electronics in the spur of the moment.

Even for planned purchases, there is a decision that is made in-store, in most cases: which brand to select? While some shoppers are loyal customers and stick to one brand, most customers know they want oil, but they don’t really have a brand in mind. That’s where your in-store marketing efforts come in.

Make your impulse purchase products stand out

However, you don’t just want people to buy your chocolate bar out of impulse, you also want to stand out from the crowd. The only way you can do this is to think outside the box and promote your products in a unique way.


In-store promotional robot that brings products to life in supermarkets by using a unique combination of motion, light and sound. #retailtech #instoremarketing