What I’ve Got: Impulse purchases


I’m eternally fascinated by the tools that stores use to encourage impulse buying as customers approach the cashier (mostly because I find myself giving in to them all the time…) CVS and Sephora immediately come to mind as having perfected this tactic. I’d be very curious to learn more about the behavioral science behind this phenomenon. This short anthology of essays by David Foster Wallace is the perfect example of an impulse buy. All of the essays are easily available elsewhere (online or in other collections), and yet I found myself compelled by the attractive cover design and the niche theme. I’ve noticed that publishers have begun churning out books like these for precisely this purpose. Other equally flagrant examples of this strategy include pocket-sized reprints of classic novels, copies of famous speeches or TED talks (e.g., Chimamanda Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists), etc.

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