British consumers spend £21.7b on impulse buys each year, and more than half spend impulsively every time they shop

Courtney Goldsmith
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Woman buys a few more items than planned.
54 per cent of respondents said they take home impulse buys every time they go shopping. (Source: Getty)

If you can't resist picking up a few more items to add to your shopping bag while standing in the checkout queue, you're not alone. British consumers were found to spend an estimated £21.7b on impulse purchases each year.

The average consumer spends an estimated £416 every year on irresistible items that they don't actually need, according to the study by, a point of sale company.

All respondents admitted to making impulse purchases while shopping, but when asked how often they shop for items that aren't on their list, 54 per cent said they did so every time they went shopping.

Of the respondents, 62 per cent said their impulse purchases were items they "wanted not needed", 21 per cent said they were not needed but "might come in handy" and 16 per cent said their impulse purchases were always necessities.

When considering what persuades them to make the purchase, most said monetary offers or deals (92 per cent), persuasive displays (64 per cent) and recommendations from friends and family (57 per cent).

The factors that were least likely to persuade them were the item itself (48 per cent) and a convincing salesperson (17 per cent).

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