Study: Most shoppers make impulse purchases

Denver -- Research results released Tuesday by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research found that, despite a shopping list being a tool to stay on budget and eliminate unnecessary purchases, nine out of 10 shoppers still buy items not on their list.

The shopper behavior study, called The Checkout, showed that 66% of those who purchase off-list items were motivated by a sale or promotion. Thirty percent said they found a coupon, and 23% wanted to pamper themselves.

"Our data shows that 61% of off-list shoppers purchase an additional one to three items," said Craig Elston, senior VP, Integer. "This shows that if you reach a particular shopper at the right moment with the right message, for example — using in-store signage to play into their desire to pamper themselves — it can end with that item being added to their basket."

When it comes to list-making, 61% of shoppers are influenced primarily by the brand of product they currently use, 57% report that coupons influence their list, and 56% say store ads or circulars influence their list.

However, when shoppers are making lists, they typically do not write down brand names of a product, but rather write the product type. This means that although they may have their brand of choice in mind, there are factors that can influence a shopper to select one brand of a product over the other, telling marketers they need not worry that a shopping list excludes certain brands or creates a barrier to purchase.