Retail alert! Businessweek reports that impulse shopping is on the decline. The screen is displacing the store, more people are doing their research online (the Zero Moment of Truth) before leaving home, rather than browsing the shelves to find what they want. Less time spent browsing means those unplanned purchases are less likely to happen. Shoppers are hitting the stores like laser-guided bombs, trained on their targets, nothing more, nothing less.

It’s time to turn up the heat in retail land. If you haven’t already, it’s time to reshape the shopping experience, making the store a place where consumers want to be, inviting, embracing, alluring – somewhere to linger and maybe make those additional purchases after all. This runs counter to the mindset that says the more difficult you make it for the consumer to find what they really want, the more they’ll buy of the other stuff. Swap distraction for attraction, discount aisles for dreamwalks, pressure for pampering.

This is also a fresh call for brands to make the leap to Lovemarks. Impulse buyers are fair-weather friends, and the forecast is pretty stormy right now. You need to be the one that the consumer is fixed on; fire up the emotion, become irresistible, make love your tractor beam.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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