How about a cup of Joe? According to a recent article in the Journal of Marketing, that’s a question you should be asking your customers! The article was based on an international study led by the University of South Florida that looked at the effects that caffeine had on shoppers and the findings were eye-opening!
In one experiment, a group of 300 shoppers were divided into two groups. Half were given a complimentary cup of coffee with about 100 mg of caffeine and half were offered water or decaf coffee before they began shopping. The group that was given caffeinated coffee spent significantly more money and purchased a higher number of items than the group with no caffeine. As in 50% more money spent and 30% more items purchased! Not only did the caffeine seem to affect how much was spent, but the items purchased under the influence of caffeine were more impulse purchases meant for enjoyment and not for practical uses. The impulse buys included items like scented candles, décor, and fragrances. Some of the things you probably sell in your store!
What causes this spending buzz in shoppers? It’s thought that 25-200 mg of caffeine enhances impulsivity. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and releases dopamine in the brain, which excites the mind and body. This physical chain reaction can decrease self-control when we shop and lead to the purchase of more non-essential items. That could mean good news for retailers!
It’s that time of year when our stores are filling up with shoppers who are eager to check names off of their Christmas lists. Given the findings of this study, maybe it would be a good idea to pull out the coffee pot and set up a complimentary java station for your holiday customers! They’ll appreciate the pick-me-up and who knows- it may have benefits for you, too!
So, drink up, buttercup!