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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, shopper’s 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 store’s 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 individual’s 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 consumer‘s 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 person’s 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 individual’s 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 consumer’s 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(Gąsiorowska, 2003).
3)Culture: Kacen and Lee (2002) argued that in a cultural context, the theory of individualism and collectivism gives important insights about consumer’s impulsive behaviour. Cultural aspect’s 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 Gon¸calves, 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).