Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Review of Impulse Buying Behavior

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Review of Impulse Buying Behavior

Article excerpt


Researchers and Practitioners have been interested in the field of impulse buying for the past sixty years (Clover, 1950; Stern, 1962; Rook, 1987; Peck and Childers, 2006; Chang, 2011). The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed account of the impulse buying behavior by compiling the various research works literature in the field of Retailing and Consumer Behavior. It gives a broad overview of the impulse buying construct and the various behavior related aspects. A wide range of journal databases and books were referred to review the works of various researchers. The content analysis of the various research works led to the classification of literature into different factors influencing impulse buying and further development of research framework. The multiple aspects of the subject are categorized for future research works in the area of impulse buying with the suggestions. The paper will be useful for marketing practitioners and researchers towards comprehensive understanding of the consumer's impulsiveness.

Keywords: impulse buying, impulsiveness, online impulse, consumer behavior, hedonic motivation, retailing

1. Introduction

Hypermarkets, Multiplex malls, Mega marts are the new faces of modern retailing environment in major cities of India. The retail industry in India has emerged as one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing industries with several domestic and foreign players entering into the market. India is rated fifth among the developing countries based upon global retail development index of thirty developing countries drawn up by AT Kearney 2012 reports. The organized retailing in India is expected to grow multifold in the next five years, which is mainly driven by changing lifestyles, increasing disposable income and favorable demographic segmentation. Indian consumers have diametrically changed in terms of their shopping behavior and impulse buying is emerging as a highly noticeable behavior. In this context, the role of impulse buying plays a significant role for modern retailers and hence for researchers. In this paper, we have reviewed the literature on the impulse buying behavior and proposed a comprehensive outline of impulse buying behavior to be explored and empirically tested in future research endeavors. At the end of this paper, we have outlined a set of suggestions related to the impulse buying behavior of consumers to be investigated in the subsequent research works.

2. Literature Review

Research scholars have taken a very keen interest in impulse buying for the past sixty years (Clover, 1950; Stern, 1962; Rook, 1987; Peck and Childers, 2006). Abratt and Goodey (1990) found that the examination of impulse buying in supermarkets could be of much interest to the manufacturers as well as retailers worldwide. Piron (1991) attempted to define the impulse buying by reviewing the past research works and found that the earlier studies revealed impulse buying to be very similar to unplanned purchasing (Clover 1950, West 1951), and forwarded his findings with managerial interests in mind. The managerial interest mainly refers to the focus on the product sales. Therefore in the earlier studies only the purchases were investigated and not the consumers traits. The researchers have suggested that impulse purchases can be further classified depending on the consumer's experiencing emotional and / or cognitive reactions.

2.1 Definitions and Types of Impulse Buying

The descriptions of impulse buying before the study of Rook (1987) were focused on the product while determining an impulse purchase. The earlier studies did not include the consumer and his personal traits as the factor influencing impulse purchases. The later year's researchers aimed on the personal impulsiveness by investigating the various behavioral aspects of impulse buying. Rook (1987) argued that during impulse buying, the consumer experiences an instantaneous, overpowering and persistent desire. …

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