Aug 24, 2017
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Brits spend £3.1bn on impulse buys a month, fashion benefits

Aug 24, 2017

UK consumers spend £3.1 billion on impulse buys every month. That’s the eye-watering figure from a new report by delivery company Whistl, which said that shoppers blame the internet with the fact that they can now shop late at night when stores are closed for many of their previously-unplanned purchases.

Impulse buys often happen in bed when people can't sleep

But they also cite “irresistible” deals as being a reason for buying items they hadn’t previously been thinking about and they spend arond £48 on such purchases per person each month.

Some 91% of Britons says they impulse-buy on a monthly basis and while the Whistl survey showed such purchases can include quirky items such as a furry rabbit, a castle for a pet cat, or £120 worth of cheese, the fashion sector is the main beneficiary of this kind of shopping.

UK impulse buys add up to  £37 billion annually of the top five items bought each month, 56% of impulse purchasers buy clothing. Food and drink is next on 49%. Meanwhile home accessories are bought by 34% of people on impulse, with shoes being bought by 27% and jewellery by 22%.

Amazon and eBay are the favourite online destinations for those who impulse-buy.

The company said that Insomnia and being drunk appear to be driving many purchases with 39% of Britons admitting late night browsing online leads them to make impulse purchases and 24% saying that having a drink is what leads to them them pressing ‘buy now’. Others claimed a special offer makes them more likely to buy on impulse.


However, despite making quick decisions to buy something online, some shoppers appear to be fairly happy to wait a while for their purchases to arrive. The survey showed that 28% will wait for a week for their goods to get to them, although one-third of consumers expect a wait of no more than two or three days.

Not that all impulse buys are restricted to the internet. Many Britons (59%) add unplanned extra to their baskets when grocery shopping in supermarkets as such stores increasingly focus on deals and now stock a wider variety of non-food products.

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