Have you ever walked into a big box retailer like Wal-Mart, Costco or Target to buy a few household items and walked out with lots of stuff you didn’t plan on buying? So have I.
The impulse purchase is a “tried and true” retail strategy. Get the consumer in the door with a good price on detergent, and work really hard to make sure they walk out with a $350 propane patio heater.
But this strategy is showing some weakness in today’s economy. Why? Because consumers are getting smarter. They are going to the store with a list in hand and avoiding the temptation to buy items they don’t need. To see an example of this trend, look no further than Costco’s April sales numbers. According to this report by American Public Media, Costco’s sales dropped more than expected in April for this very reason. If this trend continues, it represents a pretty big threat to the impulse purchase retail model.
At Alice, we’re working to help consumers avoid the store trip altogether, making it much easier to plan spending and avoid impulse buys. We’ve been beta-testing Alice with a small group and many of them have highlighted this as one of the reasons they love Alice. (“I’m amazed how much less I spend by not walking into the store.”). We’re going to be expanding the Alice beta very soon and we are excited to help lots of other consumers avoid the temptation to buy that patio heater, espresso maker, and the hundreds of other products we buy and never really use.