Brits spending £3.1bn on impulse purchases each month 

Crazy…

The British economy is benefitting from Brits’ lack of will power when it comes to piling up their baskets and straying from their shopping list, new research reveals.

From adding to their wardrobe to filling up their fridge, the average person spends £47.84 on spontaneous buys every single month meaning as a nation we’re spending up to £37bn on these types of purchases over the course of a year.

A study conducted by delivery management company, Whistl, has delved into the impulse buying habits of the British public and revealed that a huge 91 per cent of the nation make impulse purchases every month.

Top five items that are bought on impulse each month include:

  1. Clothes (56 per cent)
  2. Food and drink (49 per cent)
  3. Home accessories (34 per cent)
  4. Shoes (27 per cent)
  5. Jewellery (22 per cent)

However, some shoppers are making more unusual purchases, as some of the weirdest impulse buys revealed in the research included, a furry rabbit, £120 worth of cheese, a castle for a pet cat, and 100 condoms. 

Looking at where Brits are going to splash their cash, supermarket trips seem to be their Achilles heel, as over half (59 per cent) admitted that this is where they are adding the most extras to their baskets. Online retailers including Amazon and eBay were named as the next best places to go to indulge.

Insomnia and a pint appear to be the backbone of the British retail economy, with over a third (39 per cent) of Brits admitting late night browsing online leads them to these types of purchases and 24 per cent said having a drink got them pressing buy now. Others claimed a special offer makes them more likely to buy on impulse.

When it comes to the delivery time, some impulse buyers aren’t as eager as they first appear with over a quarter (28 per cent) of those surveyed saying they are happy to wait a week for their impulse buys. However, a third are not so patient and are only willing to wait two to three days to receive their purchases.

The research also found the following on Londoners:

  • Londoners are the most tech savvy buyers, with 16 per cent stating they use social media for purchases
  • 57 per cent impulse buy on Amazon/eBay but the highest area for impulse buying for Londoners is the supermarket (60 per cent)
  • 59 per cent admitted to buying clothes on impulse in the past 12 months closely followed by food & drink (48 per cent)
  • The scenarios which make Londoners make impulse purchases the most are late night internet browsing (46 per cent), special offers (41 per cent), being on their phone on their commute or lunch break (33 per cent) and after drinking alcohol (25 per cent)

Melanie Darvall, Director of Marketing & Communications at Whistl said: “Today, more and more Brits are used to being able to get hold of anything they want or need at the touch of a button. From adding an extra bottle of wine to your basket at the supermarket to splashing out on a new pair of heels that are 30% off ‘just because’. These types of purchases can soon add up but it’s great to see so many shoppers being savvy when it comes to getting the best prices and quickest delivery.

“Impulse buying has always played a key role in the retail mix and with the rise of online shopping, retailers must offer a seamless experience with easy navigation, fast payment and a choice of delivery options.”

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