Consumer impulse purchases jump in April

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Consumer impulse purchases jump in April

By Marianne Wilson - 05/08/2020

Americans spent more on impulse purchases post-pandemic than before the outbreak.

Consumer spending on impulse purchases increased 18% in April from January, according to Slickdeals, which reported that cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and toilet paper were the most purchased products. (See end of article for top 10 impulse purchases.).  The average American spent $182.98 on impulse buys in April, up from $155.03 in January. (The research was based on a survey of 2,000 consumers commissioned by crowdsourced shopping platform Slickdeals and conducted by OnePoll.)

Along with the top items such as cleaning items, consumers also report impulsively buying other goods, with nearly one in four saying they bought themselves a treat that they had their eye on for a while. Nearly one in five have impulsively purchased a new video game console, with 22% purchasing clothing and 18% spending on home improvement.

The study noted that impulse buying does not mean just buying random, unneeded items. More than half of the respondents surveyed credited impulse buying with saving them money in the long run. When impulsively shopping, 52% said they typically take advantage of a deal rather than buying at retail price.

In other findings:

• While the majority of impulse buys tend to be for oneself, getting things for their children was also a top response, with gifts for friends, and their partner scoring high marks as well. Nearly one in five say they impulse spend on their pet.

• Since the pandemic began, 46% said they have ordered online groceries for the first time, with 47% trying a new streaming service and 35% being a first-time customer with a restaurant delivery app.

• Nearly three in four (71%) said that they plan to continue the increased rate of online shopping even after the stay-at-home order is lifted.

"In these uncertain times, consumers are looking to stretch their dollars even further, and impulse purchasing can actually serve as a tool to do so," said Slickdeals CEO Josh Meyers. "While someone may not plan to buy laundry detergent or groceries on a given day, stocking up on these everyday items when there's a great deal available can help your budget.  

Here are Slickdeal’s top pandemic impulse buys:
Cleaning supplies, 42%;
Hand sanitizer, 38%;
Toilet paper, 35%;
Hand soap, 32%;
Canned food, 31%;
Dish detergent, 30%;
Clothing, 22%;
A treat you've had your eye on for a while, 21%;
Video games, 20%;
Home improvement, 18%;
Headphones, 18%;
Video game console, 17%;
Books; 17%;
Shoes; 17%; and
School supplies, 16%

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