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Average consumer spending on impulse items jumped 18 percent in April from January, according to data from Slickdeals, which noted that cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer garnered the top spots of the most purchased products.

On average, U.S. consumers doled out $182.98 on monthly impulse buys, which is up from $155.03 in January. The research was based on a survey of 2,000 consumers conducted by OnePoll. The survey also revealed an emotional response to these purchases.

Slickdeals said in their report today that “nearly three in four (72 percent) said buying something impulsively during the pandemic has positively affected their mood.” The company said the top items purchased were cleaning supplies, “followed closely by hand sanitizer and toilet paper. However, consumers also report impulsively buying other goods, with nearly one in four saying they’ve bought themselves a treat that they’ve had their eye on for a while.”

This included home improvement purchases as well as apparel. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they impulsively bought apparel while 18 percent bought home improvement products. Slickdeals said it is important to know that “impulse spending does not mean just buying random, unneeded items.”

“According to the results, more than half of Americans polled credit impulse buying with actually saving them money in the long run,” the company said in its report. “When impulsively shopping, 52 percent of respondents said they typically take advantage of a deal rather than buying at retail price.”

Josh Meyers, chief executive officer of Slickdeals, said in these “uncertain times, consumers are looking to stretch their dollars even further, and impulse purchasing can actually serve as a tool to do so.”

Meyers said while consumers may not plan to “buy laundry detergent or groceries on a given day, stocking up on these everyday items when there’s a great deal available can help your budget. As such, impulse spending can be associated with saving money in the long-run as opposed to being wasteful.”

Other findings revealed by the survey include that since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, 46 percent of those polled “say they’ve ordered online groceries for the first time, with 47 percent trying a new streaming service and 35 percent being a first-time customer with a restaurant delivery app.”

Top Pandemic Impulse Buys

  1. Cleaning supplies:    42%
  2. Hand sanitizer:     38%
  3. Toilet paper:     35%
  4. Hand soap:     32%
  5. Canned food:     31%
  6. Dish detergent:     30%
  7. Clothing:     22%
  8. A treat you’ve had your eye on for a while:     21%
  9. Video games:     20%
  10. Home improvement:     18%
  11. Headphones:     18%
  12. Video game console: 17%

Source: Slickdeals

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