Psychology Behind Bulk Buying

Bulk Buying Shopify
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Nowadays, more and more consumers prefer to buy products in bulk. For example, net sales of Costco, one of the largest wholesalers, increased by 10.5% compared to the same quarter in 2019. A survey conducted by Acosta Marketing group estimated that 60% of customers stocked up on a category even if it wasn’t on sale. 23% of respondents admitted making fewer grocery trips in comparison with previous years. One more test of the Supervalu grocery chain showed that shoppers would prefer 10 for $10 deals more than five for $5. 

Why do customers make certain buying decisions? What is the psychology behind bulk buying? How to entice your consumers to bulk purchase? Get the answers to all these questions in the article. 

Table of Contents

Why People Make Purchases

To understand the consumer psychology of bulk buying, let’s define why buyers make purchases and what can influence their decision-making process:

  • Emotional impulses and logical facts are the most common reasons. Firstly, purchase decisions can be made spontaneously if a customer just likes a package, a color of a product. Otherwise, it’s material. Secondly, buyers also use logical facts to know the use of an item and its worthiness.
  • When customers know what they stand to gain by buying, it makes them more comfortable and confident with their purchase decisions. 
  • Shoppers always try to flee losses even more than seek gains. Moreover, they are naturally suspicious as they think that most sales reps benefit just themselves. Thus, it’s important to establish a relationship of trust and credibility, as well as to give them the conviction that you understand that point. Then, customers are more likely to buy from you.
  • 95% of cognition happens inside our subconscious. That’s why consumers’ behavior psychology in buying is connected with visual elements and stories of past success. When customers see pictures or hear stories of previous consumers, new buyers imagine themselves at their place as if experiencing similar success.
  • Value has a decisive meaning. Psychologically, consumers adore winning the battle against a seller by getting as much value as possible. 

Attractiveness of Bulk Buying for Consumers

As it has been stated, customers make purchases if they can gain some benefits and get value. When buying something, consumers’ decision-making process is influenced by their emotional state, pictures, and stories of previous buyers. But what are the main reasons enticing them to buy in bulk?

Saving Money

Psychology Behind Bulk Buying | MageWorx Shopify Blog

The biggest benefit customers get when buying in bulk is saving money as it is always cheaper per unit. For instance, saving 10 cents on something used daily, it’s possible to save $36.50 per year. As products purchased in bulk don’t require extra packaging, they can cost up to 89% less than their packed counterparts, according to the Bulk Is Green Council. It has been also estimated that bulk buying can save customers from 20% to 83% on their purchases.


Psychology Behind Bulk Buying | MageWorx Shopify Blog

Discounts are another benefit that attracts consumers in bulk purchasing. When buying goods in bulk from wholesalers, customers have to pay an amount that is reduced after applying good discounts. The more they buy, the larger discounts they’ll get. If customers participate in your rewarding programs, they can get even more benefits for buying in large quantities.

As for your Shopify store, you can provide buyers with quantity discounts and, as a result, increase your profitability with the help of the Volume and Tiered Discounts Kit plugin for Shopify by MageWorx.

Time-Saving and Effortless

Bulk buying prevents customers from the necessity to visit a store frequently as they rarely run out of these products. In the case of brick-and-mortar stores, consumers don’t have to spend more money on fuel. It is also a decisive factor to buy in bulk. Moreover, it helps customers avoid impulse buys that usually happen with every visit to a store. 

Environmentally Friendly

Problems of environmental pollution have always been crucial. That’s why there is a tendency to reduce the garbage when it’s possible. That’s why a major advantage of bulk buying is that it’s more environmentally friendly as less packaging is used. According to Shift Your Habit, it’s possible to eliminate 1.1 million fewer garbage trailer trips to landfill per year if everyone chooses to buy in bulk. Thus, it’s not only saving money but also the environment.

Makes it Easier to Handle Emergencies

Customers prefer bulk buying as it can help handle emergencies. Consumers feel prepared for any unpredictable situation when having a large quantity of all the useful products on hand and don’t have to worry about running out of the most necessary goods in case of an emergency.

Psychological Triggers in Marketing to Make Customers Buy in Bulk

As well as for consumers, bulk buying is beneficial for retailers. It helps increase the number of sales and profits, get repeat customers, and their loyalty to the brand. To achieve all these advantages, you should take into consideration some psychological triggers.

Emphasize Value Not Price

To be ahead of competitors, emphasize the value of your products or service and their differentiation from other vendors’ ones. Focusing on price can only stimulate your buyers to shop around and compare. So, the best way to make bulk buying in your Shopify store is to highlight your product’s features compared with others.

Take Care of Restocking Time

Your buyers are more likely to make purchases somewhere else if your most popular goods are restocked just once per one or three weeks. So, it’s critical to pay attention to sales forecasting to make sure that you have the right products in the right place at the right time.

Play With Numbers

Another psychological trigger for increasing bulk buying is connected with ‘strange’ pricing:

  • It’s important not to have a price ending with a double zero. For example, when having a product sold for $100, it seems expensive for customers. But when your price tags are $99.99, it’s much more attractive for consumers, even though the difference is just 1 cent. So, psychologically, buyers perceive the price to be a bargain as prices that end 9 are always associated with good deals. 
  • The use of random numbers in prices, such as $6.74, suggests that a discount has been applied and it’s a bargain. Thus, they seem to be more attractive to customers.

Use ‘Anchoring’ Tactic

As customers don’t like to waste time comparing features of each similar item, they just look at their prices and choose the higher-priced one to be of better quality. Otherwise, they may think that the lowest-priced product is a bargain. It’s an ‘anchoring’ tactic, according to which, when giving your customers something to digest first, they will rely on this information in decision-making when shopping. 

Make Little Adjustments 

Any negative changes, such as reducing the size or increasing prices, shouldn’t be noticed by customers. At the same time, positive improvements such as larger size or smaller price should be obvious for consumers. Such adjustments are called just-noticeable differences (JND). Thus, anything that won’t be liked by customers should remain below JND. At the same time, attractive changes should become noticeable by shoppers.

Offer Products in Bundle

Offering products in a bundle with a certain discount is the surest way to entice customers to buy in bulk. It’s especially handy with time-limited or seasonal goods. Your offers should sound as simple as ‘buy four and get one free’. Thus, for consumers, it’ll be a tempting 20% discount. By the way, our Shopify Bundle app helps you set up such discounts with ease.


The psychology behind bulk buying has its reasons. When knowing them and making efforts to provide your customers with all the possible benefits, you not only improve their shopping experience but also increase their loyalty to your brand and opportunities to break your bottom line. 


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