Consumer Impulse Buying Habit Online


Impulse buying is a huge market though it already exists for about 40 years which is increasingly important and is the main element determinant for a company to reach your goals. Impulse buying behaviour can be defined as an unplanned purchasing method due to the emotional effect. With this research marketers and dealer will be able to reposition their strategy.

Specifically, the research evaluates the value of impulse buying behavior in online and offline environment. This research explores the factors that effect the Malaysian consumers in impulse buying behavior. The variable consists of: price change, merchandising methods, public impact and new product knowledge. The importance and implications of every variable are mentioned.

Key Words: purchasing behavior, impulse buying, effect consumers.


This section will be covering the introduction of the study, the study objective, justification of analysis, opportunity and key assumption. Moreover, research problem, technique, organization of the whole research study, and summary which cover in this section.


Shopping can be followed back again to many civilizations ever sold (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Shopping#History_of_modern_shopping). Predicated on the same article, shopping is the examining of goods or services from retailers with the intention to purchasing in those days. In this modern era, with the growth of information communication technology (ICT), computer and internet had permit consumers to do shopping through the web shop.

When a consumer is doing their shopping, no matter its online shopping or offline shopping, themselves will create a behaviour which we called impulse purchasing behavior or impulse buying behavior. What is impulse purchasing behavior or impulse buying behavior? "Impulse purchase" or "impulse buying" summarize any purchase which a shopper makes but hasn't designed in advanced (Baumeister, 2002; Stern, 1962). Virtual store structure and atmospheric will encourage consumers to improve their shopping behaviors towards engaging more deeply with online route (Burke, 2002; Dailey, 2004; Eroglu et al. , 2001; Vrechopoulos et al. , 2002). This could induce the impulse buying behavior when the average person is doing online shopping. According to Annie Seeley, a Food Commission rate Nutritionist explained that "70 % of confectionary products are bought on impulse" (Marketing Week, 2003, p23). This affirmation shows that the value of the impulse buying into the merchants and the confectionary industry.

Through the affirmation mention by Annie Seeley, the marketers begin to realise the importance of triggering the impulse buying behavior and start positioning the confectionary product nearby the counters. This is the reason just why there are lots of candies and chocolates were located on the counter or beside the passage way of your exit to trigger the impulse buying behavior. Even a few of the fast food string and cafes in Malaysia will ask question such as "Do you want to add-on any desert such as ice-cream or top-up the size of the package food?" after the customers acquired made an order.

As for online shoppers, marketers will generate some pop-ups or advertising campaign when the web purchasers are about the make a deal. At some of the time, there will be some advertisement portraying the complementary products the gain the attention of the consumers and cause their impulse buying behaviour.

These days, with the growth of the technology and the introduction of the World Wide Web (WWW), the retailers and business marketers have the ability to communicate and socialize directly with the customers through online network or vice-versa. By 2005, the internet is likely to grow by a factor of 20; to 200 million sites (Palmer, 2002). A good giant home and furniture manufacturer, IKEA, are employing the bricks and mortar theory. In their website, if a person intended to buy a sofa from the internet, the pictures of the sofas can look at the top, as the page has been scroll down, the picture of the complementary product such as pillow and cushion can look. The purpose of putting the pictures of pillow and cushion in underneath of the webpage isn't only act as a complementary products, it is use to activate the impulse buying behavior. Even in their wall socket, they put cabinets of plants near to the counter to result in the impulse buying behavior.

In this highly competitive business world, many companies understand the value of impulse purchasing and they're producing ideas and technique to result in the impulse buying behaviour to be able to increase their market share and raise the growth of the company's profit.

In this research, we will understand what factors that'll be influencing the impulse purchasing or impulse buying in offline and online environment. The result of this research will help the online and offline merchants and marketers to comprehend more about how to induce the impulse buying in order to gain more income.

1. 2 Problem statement

The problem declaration in this research is to get and describe what factors that will influence the impulse purchasing behavior.

Below will be the statements that I am going to determine in this research:

Will the rates strategy effect the impulse buying behaviour

Will merchandising technique effect the impulse buying behaviour

Will new product effect the impulse buying behaviour

Will social impact influence the impulse buying behaviour

1. 3 Objective of the study

The main purpose of this research is to recognize the main factors that will induce the impulse buying in online and offline purchase. Here are the factors that I will examine.

To define the effectiveness of the costs strategy that may impact the impulse buying behaviour

To define the effectiveness of the merchandising technique that could effect the impulse buying behaviour

To define the effectiveness of the new product that can impact the impulse buying behaviour

To define the potency of the social effect that could impact the impulse buying behaviour

1. 4 Justification of study

This research is conduct on the purpose of it might bring significant advantages to the Malaysian suppliers and marketers. As we know, impulse buying behaviour is nothing at all new any further. But there continues to be some room for improvement in the strategy of making increased sales and income through triggering the impulse buying behaviour.

This research is beneficial because the consequence of this research could assist the marketers and vendors in creating more ideas and creating more strategies about how to cause the impulse buying behaviour. Furthermore, it could provide tips to the marketers how to reposition their products.

1. 5 Organisation of Research Project

This study contains five chapters. The outline of the research is really as following:

Chapter 1: Introduction

The section 1 which can be an introduction commences with a synopsis of this issue. Then follow on with the release which points out about impulse buying or impulse purchasing.

Chapter 2: Literature Review.

The literature review lists out studies regarding the present research with meanings of impulse buying behaviour. Next, the varying mixed up in impulse buying behavior are also being reviewed and identified in this section.

Chapter 3: Technique.

In this section, the examples of people and research technique are defined. Sample size, data collection methods and evaluation periods are described at length. A debate on the respondents will also take place in this section.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2. 1 Categories of impulse purchasing behaviour

In days gone by research, there 4 kind of impulse buying behaviour:

Pure, reminder, advice, and designed (Miller, 2002; Stern, 1962)

Pure impulse buying

It is actually a making a transfer on impulse where purchase is made out of normal buying behaviour and it's influenced by mental and desire. For instance, a consumer is not a fan of nicotine gum, when he/she observed a chewing gum place at the leave counter while he is lining up at the grocery store and he feel like chewing something. At that time the individual will have the urge and desire to acquire the chewing gum and eventually he/she got it.

Reminder impulse buying

Reminder impulse buying occurs when a purchase is made upon something cueing or reminding the buyer to make a purchase(Rebecca Hodge, 2004). In reminder impulse buying, consumers are acknowledging about the prevailing product and have connection with using that product through advertising.

Suggestion impulse buying

It occurs when the buyer able to imagine the application of the product and decided they need it. Out of this situation, the consumers have no information about the product and made a purchase on impulse.

"Planned" impulse buying

it occurs when the consumers buy a product based on the price or the product's speciality. For example, the consumer is buying all items in his/her list, and then your consumer saw an item which is not in the list is on sales. Then your consumer made a purchase on the product which is on sales.

2. 2 Dependent variable

Impulse buying behaviour

According to www. businessdictionary. com/, this is of impulse buying is spurring of the moment, unplanned decision to buy, made right before a purchase. Where else, Stern (1962) suggests that impulse buying is synonymous with "unplanned buying" and identifies it as "any purchase which a shopper makes but has not planned beforehand. " As the findings continue, there's a more detail justification of impulse buying explanation in (http://encarta. msn. com/dictionary_701706745/impulse_buying. html). It mentions, impulse buying is the purchase of goods which may be unnecessary, brought on by the unexpected urge or aspire to have them.

In days gone by research on offline and online impulse buying, Piron (1991) conducted a thorough study of impulse purchasing books and proposed a far more specific and extensive explanation for impulse buying that includes four components: it is unplanned, it the consequence of an contact with stimulus, it is set "on-the-spot", and it involves an emotional and/or cognitive effect.

Impulse buying presents a huge part of sales in the web and offline retail environment. All marketers and suppliers had been targeting the forex market since 40 years back. This is market that cannot be lost.

2. 3 Independent variable

Price change

To consumers, price is a very sensitive issue. A cost hike of any product will certainly reduce the demand. Even in macroeconomics, we do discovered and understand the relationship between your price and demand. Figure 1, below is the exemplory case of the pupply and demand curve. That's the reason market had turn out with prices strategy. The effect of cheaper or lower price on impulse buying is almost similar with the result of instant coupons since they also present a windfall gain to the clients (Mariri Tendai* and Chipunza Clean, 2009). One effect of unexpected price savings is causing a generalized affective influence on consumers (Janakiraman et al. , 2006). Therefore, Millman (1986) as cited by Janakiraman et al. (2006) experienced previous argued that negative impact by inducing unpredicted price hikes might stop the consumer spending by restricting purchase concern of other goods, while positive have an effect on induced by unforeseen price drops might increase spending by growing thought of other goods. The buyer mental accounting activity strategy can also clarify price-induced accounting activity idea can also make clear price-induced impulse buying matching to (Janakiraman et al. 2006). The idea of the idea an increase or decrease in the amount spent for an important item on a given shopping trip would increase or decrease the amount that is perceived to be accessible to invest on other goods, creating a congruent spill over impact. (Arkes et al. 1994) as cited by (Janakiraman et al. 2006) acknowledged that the sudden price discount brings about higher expressions of determination to cover unrelated discretionary items.


Figure : source demand curve

Merchandising technique

Merchandising skills is use to market and generate sales of a product. Beside, merchandising could catch the attention of a lot of consumers' attention. In marketing, if marketers have the ability to create an attention of the merchandise through merchandising, then he/she is a great internet entrepreneur. These strategies have been studied and validated in order to improve sales through incremental impulse buys (Rebecca Hodge, 2004). In merchandising something the gain impulse sales, product position and shelf space is vital. Product position and shelf space is translated into sales because the merchandise is more likely to be seen (Desmet & Renaudin, 1998; Wilkinson, Mason, & Paksoy, 1982). In the web environment, product position is the same as the positioning of the offer on the display screen while shelf space is the equivalent of the real real estate or size of the offer on the display (Rebecca Hodge, 2004). Once the merchandised products can be found at the checkout point, it no matter from the offline or online shopping, it might make the things to be easier and more convenient to grab by the consumers, this could create impulse buying. When the product is in good position and been put in place a appropriate shelf space, it has a point-of-sales. Point-of-sales simply indicate the item is easily been discovered by consumers and manage to create impulse sales.

Social influence

Social influence occurs when a person's thoughts or actions are damaged by other folks. For example, whoever noticed a smoker who's smoking a cigarette with filled with style she or he might be influenced by the cigarette smoker. Social influence requires many varieties and is seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, control, persuasion, sales, and marketing (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Social_influence). Communal effect has been analyzed in the context of consumer susceptibility to interpersonal impact (CSII) (Bearden et al. , 1989). CSII is associated with a variety of consumer habits, and in particular with manners that combine lack of impulse control with relief from negative emotions, such as smoking (Kropp et al. , 1999). Whenever a person is insufficient impulse control, there exists when the average person can make an impulse buys.

New product knowledge

Usually, consumers will purchase a product when they already have got some knowledge about it. A couple of three types of consumer's knowledge, which is subjective, objective, and experience (Flynn and Goldsmith, 1999). Subjective knowledge means, the buyer believe they possess the information of the merchandise or the company itself. Objective knowledge simply signify, the buyer already gets the information of the merchandise or the company before they make a purchase. As for experience, it includes knowledge and information that consumers gain through getting together with a firm or its product from the past. Once the consumers possessed either one of these types of knowledge, it regardless how innovative is the product, consumer will still be produce an impulse purchase intent and tendencies.


3. 1 Introduction

In this chapter, all the factors will be test by using main data and extra data. Plus, this section will also be focusing on the buyer impulse habit in Malaysia. The content of this section is creating a research framework, developing hypothesis, way to obtain data, assortment of data and sample selection.

3. 2 Research framework

Figure 2: physique of research Framework

Impulse buying behaviour

Price change

Social influence

New product knowledge

Merchandising skill

Independent variable

Dependent variable

3. 3 Hypothesis Development

Hypotheses are solo tentative guesses, good hunches which assumed for use in devising theory or planning tests intended to receive a direct experimental test when possible (Eric Rogers, 1966). It really is a conjectural declaration of the relation between two or more independent and centered variables (Kerlinger, 1956). Besides that, it might also be discussed as a formal affirmation that presents the expected marriage between an unbiased and dependent adjustable. "(Creswell, 1994)

From the discussion of the research construction, there are four hypotheses are produced to test the partnership between each one of the four independent parameters and dependent adjustable. The four hypotheses guiding this study are as follows:

Hypothesis 1:

H1a: price change will have positive marriage towards online and offline impulse buying behaviour.

H1b: price change will have negative marriage towards online and offline impulse buying behaviour.

Hypothesis 2:

H2a: Merchandising method have a confident romantic relationship towards online and offline impulse buying behaviour

H2b: Merchandising method have a negative romantic relationship towards online and offline impulse buying behaviour

Hypothesis 3:

H3a: Social affect have a positive marriage towards online and offline impulse buying behavior.

H3b: Social influence have a poor romance towards online and offline impulse buying behavior.

Hypothesis 4:

H4a: New product knowledge have a positive romantic relationship towards online and offline impulse buying behaviour.

H4b: New product knowledge have a negative marriage towards online and offline impulse buying behaviour.

3. 3 Research Design

Research design used to structure the study, to show how all the major parts of the research job including the samples or categories, actions, treatments or programs, and ways of assignment interact and to treat the central research questions.

The purpose of this research is to show how do an individual been effect hwne they are doing impulse purchasing. This research will be conducted in residential area and super market. Respondents are built from students, housewife, entrepreneur, lecturer, and so forth. Research is performed by using random sampling technique which is under possibility samples. Using this method, each person in the population has the same possibility to participate.

3. 4 Data Collection Method

The data will be gather as soon as the questionnaire is ready to be distribute. While those who are illiterate are excluded in this research to be able to ensure the validity. By limiting these factors, precision and validity will be more secured

3. 4. 1 Questionnaire

Every participant will get a questionnaire regarding the demographic information such as age group, gender, marital position would be asked. The amount of publicity and repetition are asked before respondents answer to the question. In order to facilitate data analysis, six images will be shown. The questionnaires are included in this paper as appendices.

3. 5 Society and Sampling

The selected population will be from an area of Melaka and Kuala Lumpur. The sample is to convince approximately 200 members who are ranged from 20-59 years. The individuals will consist by three major races in Malaysia; they are really Malay, Chinese and Indian. Everyone will have the opportunity to take part. Besides that, there is absolutely no dependence on the participant's job. Respondent can be a student, housewife, entrepreneur, lecturer, and hawker and so on.

3. 6 Pilot Study

A pilot or feasibility review is a tiny experiment designed to test logistics and collect information in front of you larger study, to be able to increase the latter's quality and efficiency. A pilot research can be reveal as deficiencies in the design of an proposed test or technique. Then it could be resolved before time and resources are expended on large range of studies.

Before the questionnaire is been distribute, it is necessarily to review or check the questionnaire by a certain decided on group. By doing so, it could minimize the likelihood of mistake. Ten MMU students who are made up by four Malays, four Chinese and two Indian will be picked to examine the questionnaire.

3. 7 Way to obtain data

There are two sources of data that need to be set up in order to perform a good evaluation. The first type is a primary source. This is the initial material that is gathered through the research process. Secondary sources are based mostly upon the info that was gathered from the primary source. Secondary options take the role of analyzing, explaining, and merging the info from the primary source with additional information.

3. 7. 1 Key Data

Researchers will have to collect the info themselves using various methods such as surveys, immediate observations, interviews, as well as logs (goal data options). As opposed to secondary data, main data comes from observations made by the experts themselves. This often creates reliability issues that do not come up with supplementary data.

This section is emphasizing on the data that has been collected initially hand. This research will involve measurement of doing interviews, which is using questionnaires. Through this way, it is easier to identify where in fact the data does result from and how it is collected and analyzed.

3. 7. 2 Supplementary Data

Secondary data examination is also called second-hand analysis. It is the research of pre-existing data in different ways or to answer an alternative question. In this section, data will be analyzes and utilizes to be able to help expand studies when this research in completing.

3. 8 Explanation of Questionnaire

Researchers gives explanation the members before they join into the research. Any of the participant gets the right to refuse never to take part in this survey. Moreover, participant's privacy and confidential are secured.

The demographic information such as age, gender, marital position will be asked in the beginning of the questionnaire. Then it'll follow up with question that will details more on the study. The survey conducted is self-administrated questionnaire centered without interviewer. However, respondents are absolve to ask when there is any question.

3. 9 Data Analysis

The set of data is test valid and reliable in the central choice model in several different ways. The info is analyzed for how performed the consumer been affect while doing impulse buying, customer response, , and the trustworthiness of the coefficient estimates and so forth.

The hypothesized romantic relationships were tested using the multiple regression research of SPSS 16. 0 for House windows. The SPSS 15. 0 is something which includes t-test, one-way ANOVA, mix tabulations, chi-square, and relationship examination was conducted to identify differences among consumer organizations. Besides that, SPSS can generate useful tables and graphs such as series charts, pie charts, pub charts and so forth for better decision-making (Chong, 2006). With SPSS, it is simple to understand the changing among the effect of e-service quality. The system will change all reported impartial and dependent adjustable to numeric rules.

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