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Nielsen is out with an omnichannel study in which it concludes that "while many might assume that impulse purchases happen more often in physical stores than online, there are several categories where online impulse shopping outpaces those in brick-and-mortar environments."

The study goes on: "Specifically, consumers make more online impulse purchases across the grocery, household care, snack and personal care categories than they do at brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, U.S. consumers are 5% more likely to make an impulse purchase in the grocery category online than in a physical store. This doesn’t mean, however, that online shopping is a breeding ground for impulse shopping. There are many categories where impulse shopping is more common at physical stores, including frozen food, which consumers are 9.4% more likely to buy on impulse in-store than online."

The Nielsen study concludes that consumers are five percent more likely to make impulse purchases online than in physical stores, 4.6 percent more likely to make household care purchases, 4.4 percent more likely to make snack purchases, and 1.9 percent more likely to make personal care purchases.
KC's View:
I've always argued that retailers worrying about losing candy impulse sales when people buy online are making a short-term calculation, that online actually allows them to prompt much bigger impulse purchases because data allows for a greater degree of suggestive selling.

But for the record ... if Amazon suggested every time that I make a purchase that I might like to add a bag of Twizzlers to that shopping cart, I'd probably do it. Because Twizzlers are like heroin to me, I'm really glad Amazon doesn't do that ... but if they offered the bait, I'd probably take it.