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FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE IMPULSE

BUYING

Consumers are affected by both the internal and external factors of impulse
buying (Wansink, 1994). Impulse buying is influenced by a variety of
factors, these factors not only vary among different shoppers making
purchase of the same item, but also for the same shopper buying the same
item but under a different buying situation( Hawkins 1962).
Impulse buying of the shopper is influenced by number of factors which could
be either related to the shopping environment, shoppers personal traits,
product itself and the diverse demographic and socio-cultural aspects(G
Muruganantham 2013).
Following are the different factors that influence impulse buying behavior as
supported by literature :

External factors
External factors of impulse buying refers to marketing cues or stimuli that are
placed and controlled by the marketer in attempt to lure consumers into
purchase behavior (Youn and Faber,2000). They involve marketercontrolled environmental and sensory factors.

1)Store Enviorment and layout:


The store environment that includes the special displays, floor
merchandising, window display, attractive shelves, use of graphics or special
promotional activities help in triggering impulse buying(Abratt and Goodey,
1990).
Zimmer and Golden (1988) suggested that the stores image is an
aggregate construct representing its attributes, overall impression, business
type, business typicality, product relevance, and behavioural relevance.Under
certain environmental conditions, people tend to lose their control. Highly
stimulating and pleasant store environments lead to enhanced impulse

buying (Hoyer and Macinner, 1999). For example, when fast paced songs
are played in stores, it is observed that many people shop faster and take
their purchase decisions without much thought. This in turn leads to higher
chances of impulse buying.( Ankit Chaubal 2013)
Marketers should promote a good store layout to maximize the convenience
of the consumer (Crawford and Melewar, 2003).

2)Sales promotion/Low prices/Coupons


It has been found that sales promotion has one of the strongest influence on
impulse buying behavior.Consumers can experience an urge to buy
impulsively when visually encountering cues such as promotional incentives
(Dholakia, 2000).
Marketing research studies estimate that 88 percent of impulse buys are
affected by the perception of lower prices.When they encounter
unanticipated savings, a positive emotional response takes place consumer
experiences psychological income. The unanticipated windfall has created
additional income in the mind of the consumer that can then be spent on
other unplanned purchases so for this stores use sales and clearance
promotions.These leads to impulsive buying and generating more revenue.
They also use coupons within the store that are intended to be used as part
of that particular shopping visit.( Robert M. Brecht, 2012).
Harmanciouglu (2009) suggested that to promote the impulse buying urge
and behavior of new products,marketing managers may emphasise
excitement; fun and variety in their promotional activities.The effect of
unexpected cheaper prices on impulse
buying is almost similar to the effect of instant couponssince they also
present a windfall gain to the consumer.( Mariri Tendai* and Chipunza
Crispen 2009).
3)Employee or attendents:
Another important role that can be played to lead to impulse buying is the
behavior of employees, salespersons or attendants.Well-trained salesperson

can decrease frustration by guiding and aiding the consumer in the purchase
process and activate impulse buying behavior(Crawford and Melewar,
2003).Consumers tend to enjoy a shopping experience with supportive and
friendly shop assistants. Salespeople canPersuasive and friendly
salesperson triggers impulse purchases among consumers (Grewal et al.,
1998; Dittmar, 2000; Crawford and Melewar, 2003; Parboteeah, 2005;
Tendai and Crispen, 2009).
really make the shopping experience fun and enjoyable by providing
extraordinary service.

4)Crowding/Shop congestion:
Crowding is generally perceived as an unpleasant experience in shopping
situations (Bateson and Hui, 1987) as cited by Michon et al. (2005).Shop
crowding usually develops psychological pressure and amplified arousal in
consumers who sense a loss of personal space (Stokols, 1972). High shop
densities make consumers reduce shopping time, postpone purchases,
reduce interpersonal skills and rely more on shopping lists (Michon et al.,
2005) which
limits impulse purchases. However, Tendai and Crispen (2009) found no
significant relationship between shop crowding and impulse buying behavior
among consumers.

5)Store Type:
The type of the store also determines the impulse purchasing behavior,
consumers tend to be impulsive in different stores. For example, ithas been
shown that many impulse purchases result in grocery shops (Ahlawat and
Iyer, 1987).

Internal Factors:
Internal factors of impulse buying denote the individuals internal cues and

characteristics that make him / her engage in impulse buying.Several


researchers have suggested that consumers personality traits can exemplify
impulsive behavior more than other traits(Beatty and Ferrell, 1998; Rook
and Fisher, 1995; Weun et al., 1998):
1)Shopping enjoyment:
Some people enjoy shopping while others shop on base of purpose so is
another variable, whereby individuals consider shopping as a form of
recreation, do not stick to a buying list, and therefore, tend to make many
impulsive purchases (Beatty and Ferrell, 1998).
2)Hedonic motives:
Hausman (2000), "essential hedonic motives of impulsive purchasing are
pleasure, novelty, surprise, fun and emotional exaltation". Piron (1991),
Rook (1987) and Thompson (1990) link impulsive purchase behaviour
with consumers hedonic needs satisfaction. Consumers more likely to buy
impulsively when they are motivated by hedonic needs. Cobb and Hoyer
(1986) and Rook (1987) found, that consumers feel high and take on new
energy following after purchase process.
3)Involvement into fashion:
One factor that influences impulse buyinf behavior is the degree to which
conumer has some involvement in fashion.So the ones following the latest
fashion trends are impulsive purchasers as well. Han (1991) determined that
high degree of involvement into fashion stimulates to buy impulsively
because of existing experience and sensual signals. To fashion oriented
impulsive purchase is often related with hedonic consuming tendencies and
positive emotions. The findings of Chang et al., (2004), Park et al.,
(2006), and Han et al., (1991) said that fashion involvement has a strong
relationship with hedonic consumption, positive emotion, and impulse buying.
4) IMPULSE BUYING TENDENCY AND INVOLVEMENT:
Rook and Fisher (1995) introduced the concept of buying impulsiveness

trait which shows a persons tendency to involve in impulsive shopping.IBT is


defined as the degree to which an individual is likely to make unintended,
immediate, and unreflective purchases (Jones et al., 2003). .Several
researchers have tested and found support for
the relationship between this consumer trait and impulse buying (Beatty and
Ferrell, 1998).
According to Jones et al. (2003), impulse buying is result of product
involvement and impulse buying tendencies of the shopper.Involvement was
found to be an important variable impacting consumers' tendencies to
purchase products of a particular product category on impulse.(2003
Michael A;Kristy E. Reynoldsb; Seungoog Weunc ;Sharon E. Beattyd)

5)Mood and materialism:


An individuals affective state or mood has been found to be an important
determinant of impulse buying, in that if an individual is in a good mood, he
or she tends to reward himself or herself more generously and therefore, tend
to be more impulsive (Beatty and Ferrell, 1998).But another view also
suggests, negative and positive moods particularly negative moods influence
the consumers impulse purchasing behaviour. So impulse purchasing can
help customers to change their mood from negative to positive(Faber, R.J.,
and Christensen, G.A. (1996).
The notion of materialism indicates that individuals who use product
acquisition as a self-completion strategy tend to be more impulsive(Dawson
and Richins, 1992).

7) Self-discrepancy:
Sef discrepancy is basically the gap between what the person thinks about
himself and what the person actually is. It has been found that the people
who perceive self-discrepancy try to use material goods to compensate the
discrepancy, have impulse buying tendencies (Dittmaret al., 1996) and
thery they lead to impulse buying behavior.

Demographic or sociocultural factors:

1) Age:
Young generation is more impulsive than others, age of buyers from 18 to 40
are generally impulsive (Mai et al., 2003). Among the demographic factors,
impulsive buying were positively correlated with the people of medium in age
are more likely to display impulsive buying behaviors.(Abu bashar 2012)
It has been found to be an important determinant in predicting impulse
buying. Younger people face fewer risks when spending money. Impulse
purchase is at a higher level between age 18 to 39 and at a lower level
thereafter (Wood, 1998). Young consumers are more involved in impulses
buying than the old consumers. This finding is consistent with findings of
several other studies where a similar relationship has been found.(D. N.
Bellenger, D. H. Robertson and E. C. Hirschman 1978);( D. Rawlings,
J. Boldero and F. Wiseman 1995);( N.T.T Mai, K. Jung, G. Lantz and
S.G. Loeb 2003)

2)Gender:
Research findings are inconsistent.It has specific influence on impulse buying
such as women tend to be more impulsive than men (Giraud, 2001
;Kollatand Willett 1967). These results were insignificant in another study
by Bellenger, Robertson, and Hirschman 1978). Cobband Hoyer
(1986) find the opposite i.e. Women are more likely to exhibit some element
of planning before entering the store, whereas men are more likely to be
impulse shoppers.Dittmar et.al, (1996) observed that gender, as a social
category, affects impulse buying.
For men, impulsive buying tendency is more of instrumental character. They
want to find what they need with a minimal level of engagement and finish it
fast, so impulsive buying for them means quick decision with not too much
thinking(Gsiorowska, 2003).

3)Culture:
Kacen and Lee (2002) argued that in a cultural context, the theory of
individualism and collectivism gives important insights about consumers
impulsive behaviour. Cultural aspects study can further assist both
academics and practitioners in developing a better understanding of the
impulsive buying phenomenon.Individuals who are more independent engage
themselves in greater impulse-purchase behaviour than those who are
interdependent in self-concept. In the similar lines, the collectivist consumers
are found to engage themselves in less impulse purchase behaviour than the
individualist consumers(Mai et al., 2003).

4)Income:
Dramatic increases in personal disposable incomes and credit availability
have made impulse buying in retail environments prevalent consumer
behaviour (Dittmar et al., 1996). From a socioeconomic point of
view,individuals with relatively low levels of household income tend to enjoy
immediate indulgence (such as day-to-day savings and sensory stimulation)
as opposed to delay-of-gratification.

5)Educations:
It has been found that educational experience influences the act of impulse
buying (Wood, 1998).There is not much scholarly research on this
relationship.

Situational factors
Parboteeah (2005) basing on Dholakia (2000), states that situation
factors are environmental and individual factors that have influence on
impulsive behavior.
1) Availability of Money and time:
The availability of money is a facilitator in the impulse buying process (Mai

et al., 2003), since it increases the purchasing power of the individual. If the
individual does not have enough money, he or she will avoid the shopping
environment altogether.
Consumer's decision with respect to the product or brand is influenced by the
amount of economic resources (income and wealth) they have so, to be
consumers they need money, which is the amount to be paid by a consumer
to buy a product or service (Engel, Blackwell, and Miniard, 1994, Peter
and Olson, 1999). Furthermore, individuals who have the availability of
money will affect or enhance their positive emotions and impulse buying
behavior (Foroughi et al.,2012).
The more time an individual has, the longer time he or she spends browsing
the shopping environment (Beatty and Ferrell, 1998).Consumers when
shopping, not bound by time, will spend more time to look at items in the
store (Jamal, et al., 2006, in Rohman, 2009). Therefore, the time spent by
consumers when shopping in the store will affect their hedonic shopping
value (Babin et al., 1994).Furthermore, the availability of time perceived by
consumers will affect or increase their positive emotions and purchasing
decisions to buy products that are not planned (Foroughi et al., 2012, Park
et al., 1989).
Situational variables (time and money available was found to influence a set
of endogenous variables, including positive and negative affect, browing
activity, felt urge to buy impulsively, and ultimately, whether or not an
impulse purchase occurred( Sharon E. Beatty ;M. Elizabeth Ferrell 1998)
2) Presence of peers and family:
Presence of others increases the likelihood of impulse purchase. For example,
when individuals are in a group, they tend to eat more (Luo, 2004).

Product characteristics
Pires Goncalves, Ricardo (2008) worked on product Characteristics and
Quality Perception,according to him When they choose among competing
products consumers are faced with quality and product performance
uncertainty, hence, they rely on cues as extrinsic attributes, for instance

brand, price, package and warranty, as signals of perceived quality.


Product Price:
Products which are purchased on impulse are generally inexpensive( Stern
1962).It is an important determinant of impulse buying (Wong and Zhou,
2003). More specifically, consumers tend to be more impulsive when there
are sales or product discounts, low marginal need for the item, short product
life, smaller sizes, and ease of storage.
Product Category: The marketing literature has proposed two categories of
products: hedonic products or functional products. Hedonic products are
mainly
consumed for their hedonic benefits, while functional products are consumed
for
their utilitarian benefits (Babin et al., 1994). It has been found that
impulsebuying occurs more in the case of hedonic products because of the
symbolic
meaning they convey.
1) Packaging:
There are many factors that influence how and what consumers buy.
However, a great deal is decided by visual cues the product appeal and the
type of packaging being the strongest one.
Packaging elements like Packaging color. Background Image, Packaging
Material, Font Style, Design of wrapper, Printed Information and Innovation is
taken as predictors. (Mr. Mitul M. Deliya & Mr. Bhavesh J. Parmar 2012)
Due to increasing self-service and changing consumers lifestyle the interest
in package as a tool of sales promotion and stimulator of impulsive buying
behavior is growing increasingly.Several studies have investigated issues
such as packages as a means of attracting the attention of consumers
(Underwood et al., 2001; Garber et al., 2000;
Goldberg et al, 1999; Schoormans & Robben, 1997).

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