If you have an Instagram account, you've probably made more than a few impulse purchases after stumbling upon a sponsored post. Thanks to the introduction of the Instagram Shopping feature, it's even easier for people to part with their hard-earned cash after being introduced to a product they like the look of.
Anyone with a disposable income can end up making an impulse purchase. In the United States, the average person spends more than $310 on impulse purchases, every month. Considering that inflation is at a record high, that's a pretty healthy market.
Provided you've got the funds to spare, there's nothing wrong with indulging the urge to shop with the occasional impulse buy.
The Role of Instagram on Impulse Purchases
When it first launched in 2010, Instagram was little more than a photo and video-sharing platform. For several years, it was just one more social media platform to add to our smartphones and spend hours browsing through. However, it quickly became a favorite with influencers and useful for brands looking to boost awareness.
When used properly, this content-sharing platform can help brands steer shoppers toward buying decisions. In other words, the "Instagram Made Me Do It" excuse actually holds some water. Until fairly recently, Instagram was poorly utilized by big businesses. However, more major brands are waking up to the marketing potential of this platform. It's easy to understand why. As of 2023, Instagram has 1.35 billion active users and more than 2.3 billion registered accounts, with an average user spending just short of 30 minutes on the platform every day.
So how is Instagram driving consumer behavior? For starters, shoppers tend to view brands that are represented on Instagram more favorably than those that aren't. Brands that are active on Instagram are generally considered more current and relevant. Although most businesses use it to stir up interest, this engagement goes down well with shoppers.
Instagram also makes products more discoverable to untapped markets. In many cases, the first mention shoppers see of products is a trending hashtag. Many brands partner with influencers with legions of followers. However, using an influencer isn't cheap. An influencer with around a million followers can comfortably demand $20,000 for a single sponsored post.
However, it's not just brand awareness and influencer marketing that contributes to impulse buys. While in the past, users would have to follow links to external sites to make a purchase, now Instagram Shopping bridges the gap. Creators and brands can now directly tag products featured in their posts. With a single click, a potential customer becomes a paying one. Every month, more than 130 million people purchase Instagram Shopping. It's particularly popular with younger audiences, with more than 38% of online consumers aged 16-24 using it.
For many Instagram users, the urge to buy is irresistible. It's not the fact that it's easier than ever to shop on this platform. The perceived popularity of products and the fear of missing out are key driving factors behind the recent surge in impulse buys.
The Algorithm Knows Your Shopping Habits Better Than You Do
Ever get the feeling that Instagram is reading your mind? We've all spent an afternoon browsing for a new backpack or piece of tech, only to find the perfect product crop up in our social feeds the next day. This isn't just a case of serendipity. Instead, you can thank Instagram's advanced algorithms.
A lot of people are a bit uncomfortable about how algorithms are used by websites and social media platforms. While there are some privacy concerns, Instagram algorithms are pretty innocuous. They use a massive variety of factors like your user history on the site, current location, device type, and more to decide what crops up in your feeds.
One major benefit of Instagram's algorithms is that they generally provide you with great recommendations. Most of us flit freely between product pages and retail websites when searching for products online. In fact, many of us rarely start the buying journey with a clear idea of what we're looking to purchase. By delving deep into your browsing history, Instagram builds a fairly accurate consumer profile. You'll be introduced to products you've never even considered before, but which line up perfectly with your tastes and preferences.
Fashion lovers are well served by Instagram and its algorithms. Generally speaking, you'll encounter more high-quality brands than second-rate ones here. While it's always sensible to do your homework before committing to a purchase, you're unlikely to find yourself duped by disreputable retailers and substandard goods when shopping via Instagram.
The Algorithm isn't Perfect
While better than algorithms used elsewhere, Instagram isn't always perfect when it comes to predicting consumer preferences. While your profile information can be used to inform the algorithm, it may get the wrong impression based on your interactions with the platform and other accounts. If it misidentifies your gender or age, you'll certainly find your feeds stuffed with products that are far removed from what you're into.
What's Popular on Instagram?
If you're reading this, you've probably already made at least one impulse buy on Instagram. However, there are thousands more brilliant buys to be had. We've picked out some of the most popular impulse buys that shoppers have been raving about recently. If you haven't ordered one yet, now might be the time to consider doing so.
The Hulken Tote Bag
If you're after an impulse buy you'll never regret, think about spending your money on the Hulken Tote Bag. This versatile bag has been designed to make schlepping around easier than ever before. It's incredibly durable, with hard-wearing materials and a sturdy baseboard ensuring it will cope well with heavy loads, every day.
Available in three sizes, you'll find a Hulken for every occasion. Choose a small Hulken if you're looking to travel light, or opt for the largest size if you need a solid carry-on bag for last-minute escapes.
Unbreakable handles make the Hulken one of the most durable totes on the market. What's more, this rolling tote comes with stainless steel wheels that will glide effortlessly along all types of surfaces. When you're not and about, the Hulken can be repurposed for all types of tasks around the house. Use it to help with laundry or turn to it as a convenient storage solution. It also folds flat, meaning you can hide it away at the back of a closet when you're not using it.
Universal Volumizing Mascara
If you're after full-looking lashes, this Universal Volumizing Mascara from Rare Beauty is an essential addition to your cosmetic collection. Perfect for those who love an intense black look, this mascara adds volume and gives your lashes a little extra length. Unlike similar products, you don't have to worry about unsightly clumping, while two different bristle lengths allow you to perfect a look that works for you.
This mascara is enriched with castor oil which works to soften and condition your lashes. This also makes it easier to separate lashes, resulting in a more striking finish. It's also incredibly long-lasting. Once applied, your lashes will look their best throughout the day, even if you're caught in the rain.
It's a more expensive option than other mascaras, but you get what you pay for. The unique brush design alone more than justifies the price.
Forever Eye Mask
Do you suffer from puffy eyes in the morning? You've probably tried dozens of different eye masks in your time. If you've failed to see any noticeable results, don't despair. The Forever Eye Mask from Dieux Skin might give you pause for thought.
The Forever Eye Mask is squarely geared toward those looking for a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to disposable cosmetics. While you'll need to fill the eye mask itself with your preferred serums, gels, or creams, the overall design ensures better absorption that will leave your skin feeling hydrated and looking its best.
If you're tired of staring at a network of fine lines, the Forever Eye Mask will help plump up your skin and leave your face looking nourished. What's more, it slowly hydrates the skin, making it ideal for applying night creams and moisturizers.
Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint
Even megastars like Rihanna need a little helping hand promoting their products. While she's best known as a recording artist, the singer is making a killing in the cosmetics industry with her Fenty Beauty. One of the best new products added to the range is Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint.
If you use Instagram regularly, you're probably caught up on the blurred skin beauty trend. This skin tint product lets you achieve that blurry look with minimal effort. It's a little pricey, but you only need a few drops of this lightly-tinted moisturizer to even out your complexion. If you struggle to find the right shade for your skin type, Eaze Drop is something to think about. With no less than 25 shades to choose from, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect match for your skin tone.
You don't even need to be particularly good at applying makeup to pull off the blurred skin look. This skin tint can be applied with a brush or with the fingers. It's also smoother than many other products, offering excellent coverage. It's a good choice for those who favor a less-is-more approach. Fans of a barely-there finish will love this stuff. However, it plays nicely with other cosmetics, being you're free to work in your go-to foundation or primer. What's more, it lasts for a long time after application. Perfect for warmer days, a little sweat isn't going to ruin that blurred complexion.
Multiple Device Charging Stand
Some impulse buys are more practical than others. Take this Multiple Device Charging Stand from Hercules Tuff as an example. If you're forever struggling to find a free iPhone charger or are constantly dealing with a dead tablet battery, this charging unit will change your life. It features an array of USB ports, meaning you can connect all manner of device models to it. In total, there are six charging ports on offer here. Although it won't perform as well as some fast charging units, it's still more powerful than many basic charging adaptors.
If you live in a busy household where everyone owns more than one device, this 6-port charging dock is going to prevent a lot of arguments about who gets first dibs with iPhone cable. It's also a great idea for offices. Although you can charge up half a dozen devices simultaneously, it's a low-profile addition to any desk. The slotted design means you can store devices discreetly on their side as they charge.
Need more convincing? This charging stand comes complete with six US cables. They're all short in length, meaning you won't have to deal with a mess of cables if you're pushing this charging unit to maximum capacity. It also comes with an overvoltage and overcharge protection guarantee for peace of mind.
The Pink Stuff
Need some help getting your house looking its best? The Pink Stuff by Stardrops will make a welcome addition to your cleaning cupboard. This product range is loved by customers across the globe and has been getting some well-deserved attention on Instagram in recent years.
You have a full range of cleaning products to choose from here, but The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste is the star of the show. It's a mildly abrasive paste cleaner that can be put to work on stubborn stains like grubby ovens and stovetops. Need to tackle rust and blemished chrome in a kitchen or bathroom? The Pink Stuff will deliver glistening results in no time.
Need some help getting your clothes looking like new? The Pink Stuff has a huge range of laundry detergents and fabric softeners you can think about trying. Their Oxi Powder Stain Remover is another premium product that's putting more established brands to shame. Despite being incredibly effective, there's no secret formula at work here. The Pink Stuff uses a tried and tested combination of cleaning staples like soap, baking soda, and sodium silicate that cuts through grime and grease with ease.
Time to Indulge in Some Retail Therapy?
There's no reason to feel guilty about spending your money on the occasional impulse buy. It's your money after all. However, some impulse buys are better investments than others. While it's all well and good to add yet another mascara to your makeup case, it makes sense to spend on something you'll use every day.
Take the Hulken Tote as one example. The perfect replacement for a work bag or grocery shopper that's seen better days, this durable tote will make a welcome addition to any accessory collection. When it comes to storage capacity, few other bags come close. What's more, those unbreakable grab handles and ultra-reliable stainless steel wheels mean you'll have no trouble getting to where you need to be.