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The Difference Between Impulse and Planned Purchasing: What Drives Our Buying Decisions?

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Have you ever wondered what drives our buying decisions? Is it impulse, or is it something that we’ve planned for? In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between impulse and planned purchasing, and see which one has a bigger impact on our buying habits. We’ll also take a look at some of the factors that influence our impulse and planned purchases e.g. encountering a branded usherette tray full of tempting products or free samples in a sampling tray. And finally, we’ll discuss how businesses can use this information to increase their sales.

What is impulse buying and what causes it?

Impulse buying is the purchase of an item without any plan or thought about it. It is often caused by a sudden desire or need for something. This can be due to emotions such as boredom, happiness, or anger, or to external factors such as marketing or peer pressure.

Promotions can create an impulse buy by making the product more appealing and available and by creating a sense of urgency or excitement around a product. For example, if a store is running a promotion where products are discounted, then it may be more likely for a customer to purchase the product on impulse. Additionally, if a product is placed in an easily visible location in the store, then it may be more likely for the customer to purchase it on impulse. A person carrying a branded usherette tray with shoulder straps full of free product samples, for example, could prompt a person to make an impulse purchase if they enjoyed the sample. This could reinforced by the person holding the usherette tray who could explain the product’s benefits.

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What is planned purchasing?

Planned purchasing by consumers is when they know what they want and plan to buy it before they go to a store. This could be a particular product or a particular brand of product. There are a number of factors that influence a person’s plans to purchase a product. These can include the perceived need for the product, the availability of the product, the price of the product, and the quality of the product – all of these can be established and strengthened with with marketing. For example, advertising can establish a need and desire and explain the USPs and benefits of a a product and brand. A person holding an usherette tray or sampling tray containing that product and brand can then remind the buyer of the advertising and their liking for a product which can in turn lead to a sale.

A person may be loyal to a brand which is in their preferred set when they’re planning or are ready to buy. Consumer confidence and economic conditions may also play a role in consumers’ purchasing plans but in the context of this article it’s the marketing aspects we’re focusing on.

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How does trial of a product influence purchasing?

One factor that can influence purchasing is a trial of a product. If someone has a positive experience with a product or brand after trying it, they are more likely to purchase it in the future as part of their planned purchasing behaviour. This is because they trust that the product will work well for them and they have had a good experience (positive reinforcement) with it. For example, using a branded usherette tray for product samples and encouraging consumers to tray it can lead to satisfaction and the decision to buy that product or brand in future. Conversely, if someone has a negative experience with a product after trying it, they are less likely to purchase it in the future. This is because they do not trust that the product will work well for them and they have had a bad experience with it.

What is Gestalt in marketing?

Gestalt is a term used in marketing to describe the whole that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. In other words, gestalt is about how the whole impacts people’s perceptions of the individual parts. Gestalt principles can be used to create cohesive brand identities and marketing campaigns that are memorable and engaging. A branded usherette tray containing products from that brand benefits from the Gestalt of all the marketing efforts and this can lead to purchasing items from the tray.

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