A few days ago, my latest issue of Wired Magazine arrived (yes, I still subscribe to print magazine). While scanning through the magazine like I always do, I saw an ad that caught my attention. It was a full-page ad for a cologne with a small flip over strip where I could take a sniff of the cologne. The scent was amazing – I had to have it. The ad said the cologne was available on Macy’s and macys.com. I immediately went onto macys.com to check the price and then I visited Amazon and The Perfume Spot to compare prices. The prices were all close. The next day, I drove to Macy’s and picked up a bottle – avoiding any shipping cost or the two day wait to try my new sweet scent.

As I drove back from the store satisfied with my new purchase, I found myself wondering if I would ever have discovered this great cologne if I was subscribed exclusively to the digital version of Wired. Granted, I might have seen the ad but I wouldn’t have had the same incentive to pick it. I might have done some research online, gone through reviews and then purchased it, and then again, I probably wouldn’t have. I would have decided to look it up some other time and then completely forgotten about it until I decided I really needed a new cologne which wouldn’t have been for another couple of months.

Even though the buyers journey has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, the way we spend hasn’t changed much since the invention of money; people no matter how frugal will always make an impulsive purchase every now and then. Traditional advertising thrived on this but the digital marketer is at a disadvantage here because his consumer is more powerful than ever before. His consumer has the internet and social media to do research, his consumer has ad blocker software and can completely avoid ads on most devices. But for any business to truly thrive even in digital, it has to have a strategy to capture the impulsive buyer.

While my recent cologne purchase is a great example of an impulsive buy in an omnichannel strategy, a social strategy example of an impulsive purchase I made recently will be a subscription to busywithseo.com. As a Content Marketing Executive, I’m allowed a little wiggle room to make purchases on tools I feel will enhance my productivity. I wasn’t looking for an SEO tool but I bumped into busywithseo because they started following @weblandvisionz on Twitter. We currently use a few SEO tools but my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked their website link to check out what they offered. They offered a decent SEO platform that gave quick straight forward results. I checked the price, they have a free plan, a $10 a month plan and a $50 for 6 months plan – no harm in giving it a try.

Lots of people go into stores looking for one thing and eventually come out with something else just the same way people go online looking for one thing and instead finding something else. To benefit from the impulsive buyer, you must ensure your strategy isn’t text book Inbound, you have to think outside the box. First you have to understand your buyer persona and know where to find them, then when you can, offer a taste or a sample of your product or service for free. Leverage services that compliment yours when available and use data to continue to enhance your strategy so that you can tell what’s working and what’s not.