Impulse buying is an interesting phenomenon; it grossly violates the assumptions represented by the notion of homo economics( or economic human, is the symbolic human being characterized by the infinite ability to make rational decisions)
Impulse buying is defined as "a purchase that is unplanned, the result of an exposure to a stimulus, and decided on the spot" (Piron,1991). the decision is made just before the purchase, and it does not focus on the actual needs (Stern 1962).
Impulse buying refers to making unplanned and sudden purchases (Rook, 1987). Impulse buying behavior is frequently based on the presence of an immediate stimulus object and is often accompanied by feelings of excitement and pleasure and a powerful urge to buy (Rook, 1987). Similar to other types of self-indulgent behavior such as alcohol consumption, impulse buying at low to moderate levels can be an enjoyable pastime driven by the pursuit of hedonistic goals. However, high levels of these behaviors can be harmful and are potentially self-destructive. These behaviors can be caused by avoiding negative psychological states such as low self-esteem and dispositional negative effect (Verplanken et al., 2005). This potential "dark side" of impulse buying makes it a fascinating phenomenon that is worthy of further investigation (Hirschman, 1991).
Unfortunately, impulse buying does not fit neatly into existing behavior models (Verplanken et al., 2005). Impulse buying is inconsistent with rational choice models and is challenging to work within frameworks based on subjective expected utility models such as the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). Impulse buying is also difficult to classify according to prevalent dichotomies in consumer behavior such as analytic versus heuristic processing (Sujan, 1985) and high versus low involvement purchases (Zaichkowsky, 1985). Impulse buying is neither a high involvement behavior nor an analytic process. In addition, the presence and power of emotional responses that are often associated with impulse buying are inconsistent with heuristic-based or low involvement purchases (Verplanken and Herabadi, 2001).
It is evident from the past literature that impulse buying has a significant share in the companies' total sales, which vary from 40 percent to almost 80 percent in some cases. Crosby, 2007). In the US, about 110000 dollars are being spent by individuals in their lifetime. However, researchers have investigated the impulse behavior of the consumers in brick and mortar stores from different perspectives.
Impulsive buying has long been identified as a significant behavior in retail business (e.g., Stern 1962). Impulsive buying is a universal phenomenon, although it may be manifested in different ways subject to individual differences such as gender (e.g., Dittmar et al. 1995, 1996; Verplanken and Herabadi 2001) or culture (Kacen and Lee 2002). Impulse buying is an interesting psychological phenomenon, and this was unequivocally put forward by Rook (1987), who described impulse buying as a psychologically driven urge to buy. Since this seminal article, impulse buying has been approached from very different psychological perspectives. Each highlights other constructs or mechanisms that might explain this behavior, such as personality, emotions, identity concerns, cognitive processes, self-control, or psychopathology.
But with the digitalization happening all around rapidly, where being local, social and mobile are the new characteristics of the modern consumer ( Hollebeek,2011), it has changed the way people shop and behaves. New technology engages customers in a much more interactive, vivid, and novel way (Javornik, 2016; Mclean,2019). Various platforms like social media, brand communities, and mobile apps have brought immense possibilities to engage customers in the digital realm.
( Hollebeek,2011,2014, Brodie et al. 2013; Tatute,2017, Lara stoochi,2018).
There is an increasing shift in the study of online impulse buying, but a few of the studies have majorly contributed to the literature.
So in this paper, we will look at several factors influencing online impulse buying.
Factors influencing Impulse Buying-
Both consumers and marketers can benefit from understanding the psychological drivers of this behavior and the potential implications. Here I will discuss two leading platforms that influence impulsive buying behavior (online marketplace, offline marketplace, i.e., store environment) to understand these underlying forces better.
Online Market Place:
The market is a network of interactions and relationships exchanged between information, products, services, and payments. When many people have favored the online marketplace, the business center is no longer a physical building but rather a specific site or platform on a network where business interactions occur, which is more familiar with electronic marketing. E-Marketing (Electronic Marketing) is one part of E-commerce. Today, EMarketing itself is increasingly becoming a Mobile Marketing (M-Marketing) because of consumer demands that prioritize convenience and personalization. Mobile-Marketing or cellular marketing uses mobile devices, such as cellphones, smartphones, and tablets. Initially, buying and selling activities on the internet, especially in the mobile context, are expected to shape consumer behavior to make rational purchases. That is because mobile internet has efficient characteristics and has a variety of information to compare prices and information about a product or service more efficiently. From there, consumers are expected to use logic and reasoning when making a purchase. But the fact is that not all consumers act rationally and logically when making online purchases. So from that comes a phenomenon, namely impulse buying (Koski, 2004: 23). Impulse buying or impulsive buying generally occurs without any preparation or planning in advance and occurs spontaneously (Tinne, 2010: 66). Besides being influenced by the ease of transaction element, which is part of service stimuli, another factor that can encourage impulsive buying is marketing stimuli in the form of promotional activities. One form of sales promotion is to provide discounts (discounts).
Offline Marketplace-Stores Environment
Worldwide, stores spend exorbitantly on visual merchandising, interior design, and other factors contributing to the overall retail environment. But do these things influence what people buy? One study that compared consumer behavior in small stores such as The Body Shop versus large stores like Ikea found that independent of store size: a) highly stimulating environments, b) perceived crowding, and c) frequency of visits to the store all increase the frequency of impulse buying. Furthermore, what ends up triggering impulsive buying varies depending on the size of the store (Gupta, as cited in Muruganantham and Bhakat 2013). In small stores, the price has the primary influence. A shopper's (non-conscious) reasoning might go something like, "I can see everything, know my options, have no real preference, and so I will go with the cheapest thing." In large stores, product displays have the primary influence. Shoppers perhaps think, "There are too many products actually to comb through, so I will just go for what I can see."
Other store factors, such as background music, fragrance, and store layout, also affect impulsive buying. There are two ways this effect could be operating. The first is that specific characteristics trigger impulsive tendencies in the shopper directly. The second is that these same characteristics start changes in the mood or state of the shopper, and this new mood or state makes the shopper more likely to buy impulsively. A study by Chang et al. (2011) found that shoppers who react more positively to the store environment are more likely to buy something they weren't planning on, which lends credence to the latter of these potential pathways. Here, variety and the environment help break, and Monotony plays a significant role.
Impulse Buying-A Behavioral Trait:
We've all been victims of impulsive buying. Maybe you went shopping with a friend, swearing you wouldn't spend any money, and then *poof* you own a new shirt. Or perhaps a new kitchen appliance caught your eye, and you had to have it. Or maybe you had planned on going shopping for, let's say, groceries, and you end up buying a few items that weren't on your list. Whatever the context may have been or what degree of planning you might have done before shopping, if you have ever bought something you did not plan on ahead of time (whether or not you can justify the purchase after the fact), you have participated in the culture of impulse buying. Countless factors influence an individual's rash decision to buy impulsively, and much research has been done to understand this behavior better. Furthermore, marketers often use this knowledge to promote impulse buying in the hopes of increasing their bottom line. But while impulse buying does indeed mean more products bought, it can also lead consumers to harbor negative post-shopping feelings about the producer and retailer (Zhang and Wang 2010).
Another piece of research let us discuss conducted by Gibson et al. to study the effect of implicit priming on decision making. They recruited participants with no strong preferences and implicitly primed them to have positive associations with Pepsi or Coke. The participants were then told they could choose a prize for their time spent at the lab and were then presented with images of a Coke can and a Pepsi can. Before making this choice, some participants were told to memorize and remember an 8-digit number and make their final Coke vs. Pepsi choices while under this cognitive load. There was no significant difference in selection in the group under any cognitive load: roughly half chose Pepsi and half decided on Coke in both the Pepsi-primed and the Coke-primed group. However, in the distracted group (i.e., asked to remember the number), the Coke-primed participants were more likely to select Coke, and the Pepsi-primed were more likely to choose Pepsi. The study implies that implicit primes can be especially effective when a shopper is distracted or not thinking thoroughly about the act of shopping, as is the case with impulse buying. It could help explain why so many instances of impulse buying occur at the checkout counter when the consumer is distracted by the process of checking out. The fact that the countless items near the registers, such as gum, magazines, candy, and other knick-knacks, are readily available and easy to grab makes it that much more likely that a distracted customer will indulge their impulse to buy.
The psychology and driving forces behind impulsive shopping behavior are plentiful -- it almost seems as though everything has some impact on consumer behavior! It is valid to a certain extent since individuals are constantly interacting with and being influenced by their environment (whether they're shopping or not). Still, the takeaway here is that numerous factors consistently lead to predictable increases in impulsive buying behavior. Researchers and marketers alike will surely tease apart the nuances of these factors in the future. But before immediately capitalizing upon the effects they have on consumer behavior, one should remember that there are two sides to this story: yes, more items sold means more money coming in, but this could come at a cost to brand loyalty and image. Further research still needs to be done to figure out these implications, but it is essential to be aware.
Difference between Impulsive and Compulsive Buyer-
The terms compulsive and impulsive are often used interchangeably in everyday speech, but they are, in fact, pretty different. Compulsive behavior is behavior that the individual feels needs to be done, and they cannot help it, perhaps due to a mental disorder of some sort. For example, individuals diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder may feel the need to wash their hands over and over again. On the other hand, impulsive behavior is behavior that one probably would not do if one were to stop and think thoroughly through it. For example, a generally risk-averse individual might impulsively dare to jump off a footbridge into the water below. If they had stopped and thoughtfully thought about this action and its consequences, they might not have jumped. This blog post will focus on the psychology behind impulsive buying -- that is, buying something that one did not plan to purchase -- and not the psychiatry/biology behind compulsive buying. For an excellent review of the latter, see Lejoyeux and Weinstein 2010.
Clover,1950 first conceptualized the term impulse buying during his study when he found that most of the sales were sudden and unplanned for a company. Another stern,1962 categories impulse buying into four categories 1. Planned impulse, 2. Reminder impulse, and 3. Suggestion impulse, 4. Pure impulse. Rook in 1995 was defined as a spontaneous and immediate purchase.
In a study, Kim( 2009) found that in both online and offline contexts, price discounts play a significant role in inducing customers to buy impulse. Due to the greater variety available in an online setting, it also causes customers to buy inspiration.
Most impulsively made purchases are offline; despite having online access to buy products, they prefer going out, experiencing something new from their daily routine, and removing Monotony. (Varma, Agarwal, 2014 )
In online impulse buying, personal factors such as convenience discounts are more dominating over other external factors (Aragoncillo, Orus, 2018)
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND RESEARCH HYPOTHESES-
H1: Monotony or Boredom has a positive and significant effect on the Impulse buying behavior of consumers.
H2: Discount has a positive and significant effect on the Impulse buying behavior of consumers.
H3: Variety has a positive and significant effect on the Impulse buying behavior of consumers.
H4 Monotony or Boredom, Discount, and Variety have a positive and significant effect on the impulse buying behavior of consumers.