Impulse Sales Basics: Eye-Catching Displays

Dec. 1, 2014
Stocking, displaying and selling impulse items like decorative key blanks, key chains and key tags can significantly boost the retail lock shop's bottom line.

Impulse sales items are those relatively inexpensive items that unexpectedly catch a customers’ eyes when they enter any retail shop. For example, a market or convenience store commonly places impulse items in the short aisle leading to or close to the cash register. These items can be magazines, DVDs, pharmaceutics including aspirin and analgesics, candy, lottery tickets, etc. They are usually high profit items.

The most common locksmith impulse sales items are probably novelty key rings, tags and chains, and customized key blanks including decorative head, painted and color embedded.

Place less expensive items near the entry and display more expensive items secured to a display, gondola or countertop. Display product-specific impulse item near that particular product category.  In a safe display area, the impulse item should relate to safes, such as dehumidifiers, lights, pouches, safe alarms and handgun safes. Because these items are larger and more expensive, do not overpack the area.

The counter, especially near the cash register, is where customers will spend the longest amount of time in the store. Place more expensive novelty items near the cash register. If there is a wall behind the cash register, use the wall area for impulse items as well as printed information (i.e. flyers saying “We deliver safes”) that can be beneficial for your customers. Place the impulse items at eye level against the wall.

The most important way to encourage an impulse purchase is to create the right display. Do not crowd too items together that compete for attention. Do not offer so many displays that the customer will have difficulty making a choice. Impulse items cause an immediate need to purchase. The longer a customer thinks about the sale, the less likely he or she will make the purchase.

It is important to keep impulse items fresh. Having smaller impulse item displays makes it easier and less expensive to rotate your impulse items. Leaving the same impulse items on display in the same place is a waste because they will lose their impact.

Group impulse items by color for effect. For example, rotate stock of decorated key blanks. Having hundreds of painted key blanks on display can overwhelm your customers. Having a limited amount will make it much easier to choose. If a customer looks at the key blanks and does not take any, ask if there is a design or image they are looking for.

You or your employees can easily increase impulse purchases by pointing out a product.

Taking advantage of opportunities to point out and sell impulse items can have a significant effect on your bottom line. Employee/boss initiated customer interactions can include "Have you seen these new ---" or "A number of customers have purchased ---."

Talk with impulse item manufacturers or your locksmith distributor for suggestions and recommendation to better merchandise impulse items.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor or:

  • Howard Keys:
  • Jet Hardware:
  • Kaba Ilco Corp.:
  • Klassy Keys:
  • Klinky Keys:
  • Key Craze, Inc.:
  • Lucky Line:
  • Pro-Lok:
  • Stat Key Company: