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40% of gamers impulse buy - NPD survey

Canadian consumers cite cover art and screenshots as biggest influencers in impulse purchase decision.


Even in a recession, gamers are willing to get their game on at a moment's notice. According to an August NPD Group survey of more than 2,400 Canadian gamers, 40 percent of respondents had impulse-purchased a game at least once in the previous six months.

The lower cost of used games is a big plus for impulse shoppers.
The lower cost of used games is a big plus for impulse shoppers.

When gamers purchased on impulse, they were more likely to be on the lookout for a deal, as the average purchase price on used games was about $27, compared to $43 for planned purchases. The industry-tracking firm tied the finding partly to an increase in the used-game business, saying that about one-third of the survey group had picked up a used game in the previous six months, with just 10 percent saying they would never buy their games used.

As for what factors played into an impulse purchase, 40 percent said the game's packaging was a "very important" or "extremely important" factor in their decision. About 33 percent noted playing the game at a friend's house or getting a referral from a friend or family member as a factor, with 25 percent mentioning the selling power of an in-store demo. The recommendations of other shoppers helped out 21 percent of impulse buyers, while 19 percent credited a sales clerk with making the sale.

The immediate gratification of walking out of the store with a product in hand may also have contributed to the impulse buyers' decisions. According to the NPD Group, only 15 percent of impulse purchases were made online.

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