As an increasing number of retailers in Australia turn to online retailing, it is important to consider the benefits of holding on to a bricks and mortar store.

Impulse buys are the unplanned purchases consumers make before leaving your store, which means they are spending more money – a positive result for any retailer.

Whether online or in-store, encouraging customers to purchase more than they planned can be a simple and effective way to boost profits and improve the consumer experience.

According to data collected by independent researcher BetaBait, impulse buying can help relieve a customer’s negative emotions and may influence a more positive overall shopping experience.

Despite a growing demand for online retailing, business owners could benefit from holding on to their physical stores simply for the sustained ability to encourage impulse buying.

Consumers who shop online are significantly less likely to make an unplanned purchase, according to the Online Grocery Retailing report from market researcher Mintel.

A survey of almost 1,000 internet consumers found 34 per cent make fewer impulse buys when shopping online compared with making purchases in a supermarket. Altogether, Mintel believed approximately 25 per cent of all impulse buys are lost when consumers head online.

Similar research from global industry analysis organisation A.T. Kearney supports these findings. Just a quarter of online consumers admit to making an impulse purchase, compared with 40 per cent of those who pick up additional items in-store.

This shows there is a significant bias towards unplanned purchases in bricks and mortar stores, but how can you make the most of this important retail trend?

The single most motivating factor for an impulse buy is having an item on sale, according to 88 per cent of respondents to the BetaBait survey.

This means that retailers in Australia hoping to take advantage of unplanned purchases should display their sale items close to the checkout counter, to encourage those on their way out of the store to grab a last-minute impulse item.