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Research Report on Impulse Buying

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Title Of The Research Paper :

Impulsive buying behavior of consumers in Mumbai city (FMCG SECTOR) with
special reference to few selected malls and retail outlets (K-Star, R-City, Inorbit ,City Center,

D-Mart) In Mumbai City . There are many factors which affect Consumers Impulse

Buying Behaviour in FMCG market but I am only analysing marketers driven factors which are :

Price and discount

Advertising and sales promotion

Visual merchandising

Emotional attachment



Festival season

Purpose/Objectives :Most of the researches on impulse buying behaviour have been conducted in the
Western society which is considerably more advanced than this. The main objective of this
research paper is to explore the incidence of and difference of impulse buying behavior in malls
and retail outlets in Mumbai city, with respect to factors such as product category, grocery bill
and number of products bought, and the shoppers gender.The other objectives are as follows :To understand the reason of, why do people buy impulsively ?
To understand the consumer behavior while shopping in malls and retial outlets.
To identify the factor which influences consumer decision making process ?
To classify types of customers buying impulsively,with reference to age, gender, income,etc.
To understand the effects of different offers and discounts on impulse buying
To study who is the decision maker in impulsive purchasing?.
To study whether customers are satisfied after purchasing impulsively or not?
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Need For Study :Coupled with the prosperity of recent years, impulse purchasing has been on the rise.
Marketers capitalize on the phenomenon as they struggle to discern what makes a consumer
make an impulse purchase. This prompts towards the development of an effective impulse
purchasing model. Which cannot be achieved without first exploring the qualitative side of
impulse purchasing theory and its implications and definitions.
A study conducted in various branded retail outlets in 5 metro cities in India shows
54% of all sales are actually unplanned purchases. This is why the study of impulse purchase in
Indian context is so important.

Scope Of Study :The main scope of the study is restricted to few selected malls and retail outlets (K-Star, RCity, Inorbit ,City Center, Bigbazar, D-Mart) In Mumbai City .

This study has been made to find the Impulsive Buying Behavior Customers in Mumbai city.
Research Methodology :The research methodology was divided into two stages which involve two sources for
collecting the data in order to achieve the objective of project.

Collecting data regarding the potential customers from retailers through retailers
observation in the existing malls and retail outlets (k-star, r-city, inorbit ,raghuleela,
bigbazar, d-mart) within Mumbai city .

Collecting the primary data directly with the customer with the help of the
questionnaire (Refer Annexure-1) and personal interviews .
A hypothetical consumer impulse buying behaviour model (Refer Fig 5) is also

taken into consideration ,which has been mentioned in conclusion and findings part

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ABSTRACT :Impulse purchasing has been a focus of marketing research since the sixties.
Researchers have attempted to explain impulse purchasing with the sciences of psychology and
even philosophy. Previous research has failed to come up with a model for such, perhaps because
of the intangibility of psychological traits of impulsivity or the rationality in which philosophy
has its roots in. Yet it is a prevalent phenomenon in the daily life of the average consumer, you
and me. There exists no model that serves as an effective predictor of an impulse buy. It seems
that the phenomenon of impulse purchasing has managed to evade.
This research is an attempt to find the resons for impulsive buying practice of
customers and also the variables/factors that effects customer impulse buying behaviour in
FMCG sector considering malls and retail outlets in mumbai city . The impact of various
impulse buying factors like sales and promotions, placement of products, window
merchandising, effective price strategy etc on customer impulse buying behaviour has been
A hypothetical model has created in this paper which has been taken into consideration
for our research work on impulse buying beahviour of the consumers. This study focuses on
explaining impulsive shopping through trends by testing the validity of hypothetical relations
between socioeconomic factors such as gender, wealth, age, presence of shopping list ,size of bill
and impulse shopping. Qualitatively, this is a case study in which explores what people purchase
and their personal reasons and justifications for such purposes at several malls and retail outlets
in Mumbai city. Quantitatively, I have set out to find predictors as I,examine what makes
shoppers open their wallets on the spot. The study is based on the primary data collected from
malls and retail outlets (k-star, r-city, inorbit , raghuleela, bigbazar,d-mart) within Mumbai city
with the help of structured questionnaire on ricter scale, surveys and interviews
After the through analysis of the available data it has been found out that since income
of individual is increasing and more and more people are moving towards western culture in
dressing sense, in eating etc so the purchasing power of the people has really gone up and
thus the impulse buying of the commodities is on a great increment mainly due to pricing
strategies of retail players and full of festivals throughout the year.
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INTRODUCTION :India is a growing economy with a real GDP growth rate of 8.5% . The real private
consumption expenditure has grown at an average rate of 8.4 percent per annum during the last
four years resulting in the emergence of a strong middle class with growing purchasing power.
This has resulted in people vying for a more comfortable and urbanized lifestyle. The mushroom
growth of coffee houses, eateries, supermarkets, etc., is a proof of that ,In the past three decades,
much research has been conducted internationally to define to understand the psychological,
economic and retail implications of such a trend. One area of interest has been impulse
buying. Impulse buying occurs when a consumer experiences a sudden, often powerful and
persistent urge to buy something immediately. The impulse to buy is hedonically complex and
may stimulate emotional conflict. Also, impulse buying is prone to occur with diminished regard
for its consequences.Marketers and retailers tend to exploit these impulses which are tied to the
basic need for instant gratification. Recently several supermarkets have been established in the
urban cities of India. The most prominent ones in Mumbai are K-Star, R-City, InOrbit
CityCenter, BigBazar, D-Mart. However, no study has been conducted in India to study the
buying behaviour of shoppers and what factors influence their decisions. Hence, the researchers
have decided to conduct an exploratory research to understand the general nature of impulse
buying in main supermarkets, malls, retailoutlets of Mumbai .
Impulsive purchasing, generally defined as a consumers unplanned purchase which is
an important part of buyer behavior. It accounts for as much as 62% of supermarket sales and
80% of all sales in certain product categories. Though impulsive purchasing has attracted
attention in consumer research. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of research on group-level
This research suggests that the presence of other persons in a purchasing situation is
likely to have a normative influence on the decision to make a purchase. The nature of this
influence, however, depends on both perceptions of the normative expectations of the individuals
who exert the influence and the motivation to comply with these expectations. Peers and family
members, are the two primary sources of social influence, often have different normative
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Thus, it has been evaluated two factors that are likely to affect the motivation to
conform to social norms:
a) The inherent susceptibility to social influence and
b) The structure of the group
Group cohesiveness refers to the extent to which a group is attractive to its members.
The theory proposed by Fishbein and Ajzen helps conceptualize these effects. This theory
assumes that behavior is a multiplicative function of expectations for what others consider to be
socially desirable and the motivation to comply with these expectations

Theory of Planned Behavior :-

Theory of Reasoned Action :-

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Conceptual Framework :Cobb and Hoyer (1986) and Kollat and Willet (1967) have defined impulse buying
simply as unplanned purchasing. Rook (1987) gave a narrow and more specific meaning to
impulse buying, which included behavioral elements.The definition of impulse is as follows
Impulse buying occurs when a consumer experiences a sudden, often powerful and persistent
urge to buy something immediately. The impulse to buy is hedonically complex and may
stimulate emotional conflict. Also, impulse buying is prone to occur with diminished regard for
its consequences. (Rook, 1987, p.191).
Impulse buying has been defined as a spontaneous, immediate purchase (Rook &
Fisher, 1995) without pre-shopping intentions either to buy a specific product category or to
fulfill a specific buying task (Beatty & Ferrell, 1998). The impulse buying behavior occurs after
experiencing an urge to buy and tends to be spontaneous without a lot of reflection (Beatty &
Ferrell, 1998). Since impulse buyers are not actively looking for a certain product and dont have
prior plans or intention to make a purchase (Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Weun, Jones, & Beatty,
1998), internal states and environmental/external factors can serve as cues to trigger their
impulse behavior.

Conceptual Definition :Based on the extant literature reviewed I have defined impulse buying as done by Engel,
Kollat, and Blackwell (1968) (as cited in Piron, 1991). Impulse buying is defined as a buying
action undertaken without the problem having been previously recognized or a buying intention
formed prior to entering the store .

Operational Definition :Based on the literature review I plan to follow the following definition for the purpose
of research.
Shoppers are asked upon exiting the store what items they purchased. For each item,
they are then asked some variant of the question when they decided to buy; before or after
entering the store. The items purchased whose decisions were made after entering the store are
impulse purchases (Bellenger, Robertson, and Hirschman 1978).
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Pretest questioning is not used as it forces the shopper to recite formed intentions and
commit the shoppers to their intentions (Pollay 1968). The problems with the post purchase
operational definition are that the incidence of impulse purchases may be understated by the
shopper in an effort to appear rational. However, this definition is easier to operationalize
because shoppers will be willing to give interviews once rather than twice (before and after
shopping) and it does not create the bias in the mind of the shoppers to follow the intention that
they stated in the pre-shopping interview


According to the Economic Survey (2009-10), the real GDP growth rate of India has
been 8.6% per annum in the last 5 years and the per capita income has grown by 7.4%. The real
private consumption expenditure has grown at an average rate of 7.4 percent per annum during
the last four years resulting in the emergence of a strong middle class with growing purchasing
power and with increase in the working population and simultaneous decrease in the share of
dependent population has declined, the disposable incomes and current consumption has
increased. This increase in consumer spending has led to more shopping and consequently has
justified a research into the incidence and nature of impulse purchases. Also, with changing
demographic trends,gender roles in purchase behaviour have changed considerably in urban
India with women being more active in shopping now.
The following section will summarize previous research on impulse shopping.Initial
recognition of the phenomenon can be traced back as early sixties. The most primitive impulse
purchasing perspectives focused on external factors that might induce the phenomenon. H. Stern
(1962) described factors that might influence impulse purchasing, which he described as a
decision to buy a product while they are in the store:

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Marginal need for product or brand

Mass distribution

Self service


Prominent store display

Short product life

Small size

Ease of storage (Stern).

Kollat and Willet (1967) defined the first categories of impulse purchases as follows:

Brand decided; category decided; product class decided; general need recognized (i.e. need a
birthday gift); general need not recognized. The latter has no planning whatsoever and is there
fore recognized as pure impulse purchasing (Bayley). The phenomenon regained attention in the
eighties, where the experiential aspect of impulse shopping itself began to be explored. Engel
and Blackwell defined impulse purchasing as a buying action undertaken without a problem
previously having been recognized or buying intention been formed before entering the
store.(Engel.) This is the most widely accepted definition of impulse shopping.
Most of the researches on impulse buying behaviour have been conducted in the Western
society which is considerably more advanced than India. The objective of this research paper is
to explore the incidence of and difference of impulse buying behavior in supermarkets malls and
retail outlets in Mumbai , with respect to factors such as product category, grocery bill and
number of products bought, and the shoppers gender.

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Consumer behavior refers to the mental and emotional process and the observable
behavior of consumers during searching, purchasing and post consumption of a product or
Consumer behavior involves study of how people buy, what they buy, when they buy and
why they buy. It blends the elements from psychology, sociology, sociopsychology, anthropology
and economics. It also tries to assess the influence on the consumer from groups such as family,
friends, reference groups and society in general.
Buyer behavior has two aspects: the final purchase activity visible to any observer and
the detailed or short decision process that may involve the interplay of a number of complex
variables not visible to anyone.

Factors Affecting Consumer Buying Behavior :Consumer buying behavior is influenced by the major three factors:
1. Social Factors
2. Psychological Factors
3. Personal Factors.
A. Social Factors :Social factors refer to forces that other people exert and which affect consumers
purchase behavior. These social factors can include culture and subculture, roles and family,
social class and reference groups.

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By taking into consideration Reference group, these can influence/ affect the
consumer buying behavior. Reference group refers to a group with whom an individual identifies
herself/ himself and the extent to which that person assumes many values, attitudes or behavior
of group members. Reference groups can be family, school or college, work group, club
membership, citizenship etc.
Reference groups serve as one of the primary agents of consumer socialization and
learning and can be influential enough to induce not only socially acceptable consumer behavior
but also socially unacceptable and even personal destructive behavior. For example, if fresher
student joins a college / university, he/she will meet different people and form a group, in that
group there can be behavior patterns of values, for example style of clothing, handsets which
most of group member prefer or even destructive behavior such as excessive consumption of
alcohol, use of harmful and addictive drugs etc. So, according to how an individual references
him / herself to that particular reference group, this will influence and change his/her buying
B. Psychological Factors :These are internal to an individual and generate forces within that influence her/his
purchase behavior. The major forces include motives, perception, learning,attitude and
Attitude, is an enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual and
cognitive processes with respect to some aspect of our environment. Consumer form attitude
towards a brand on the basis of their beliefs about the brand. For example, consumers of Sony
products might have the belief that the products offered by Sony are durable; this will influence
those customers to buy Sony products due to this attitude towards the brand.
C. Personal Factors :These include those aspects that are unique to a person and influence purchase behavior.
These factors include demographic factors, lifestyle, and situational factors.
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Lifestyle is an indicator of how people live and express themselves on the basis of their
activities, interests, and opinions. Lifestyle dimension provide a broader view of people about
how they spend their time the importance of things in their surroundings and their beliefs on
broad issues associated with life and living and themselves. This is influenced by demographic
factors and personality.
E.g. A CEO or Manager is likely to buy more formal clothes, ties and shoes or PDAs and less
informal clothes like jeans as compared to a Mechanic or Civil engineer. So according to their
lifestyle and profession, the buying behavior of people differ from one another.


Consumer buying decision process is the processes undertaken by consumer in regard
to a potential market transaction before, during and after the purchase of a product or service.

Consumer decision making process generally involves five stages:

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Consumer behavior is a study of how individuals make decisions to spend their

available resources (time, money and effort) on consumption of related items (What, why, when,
where and how they buy and use such products and services). Also we need to understand, why
consumers make the purchases that they make? What are the factors that influence consumer
purchases? What is the changing factors in our society that guide such purchase behavior.

The 5 stages of consumer decision process are:

Problem Recognition :-

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Purchase decision making process begins when a buyer becomes aware of an

unsatisfied need or problem. This is the vital stage in buying decision process, because without
recognizing the need or want, an individual would not seek to buy goods or service. There are
several situations that can cause problem recognition, these include:

Depletion of stock

Dissatisfaction with goods in stock

Environmental Changes

Change in Financial Situation

Marketer Initiated Activities

Its when a person recognizes that she can not make a call from her mobile phone thats
when she recognizes that her phone has been damaged i.e. the phone has hardware problems and
needs to be repaired or buying a new piece.
Information Search :After the consumer has recognized the need, he / she will trying to find the means to
solve that need. First he will recall how he used to solve such kind of a problem in the past, this
is called nominal decision making. Secondly, a consumer will try to solve the problem by asking
a friend or goes to the market to seek advice for which product will best serve his need, this is
called limited decision making.

Sources of information include:

Personal sources

Commercial Sources

Public sources

Personal experience

Example: (continuing from previous)

The user of the phone after recognizing that her phone is damaged, she will eventually
try to find out how she can repair her phone. If she cannot repair it herself she will ask a friend to
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help out, if the friend can not solve the problem she will go to mobile repair shop, if they also
can not repair it then she will try to find which mobile phone is good and that can serve her need.
In this process of information collection it will yield awareness of set of brands of mobile phones
she can buy.
Alternatives evaluation :Consumers evaluates criteria refer to various dimension; features, characteristics and
benefits that a consumer desires to solve a certain problem. Product features and its benefit is
what influence consumer to prefer that particular product. The consumer will decide which
product to buy from a set of alternative products depending on each unique feature that the
product offers and the benefit he / she can get out of that feature.
Example: (continuing from previous)
When that user got enough information concerning the different brands of mobile
phones available in the market, she will decide which kind of a mobile phone and brand shes
going to buy depending upon her need for that particular mobile, either a mobile for multimedia
and entertainment, smartphone or classic phone.
Purchase Action :This stage involves selection of brand and the retail outlet to purchase such a product.
Retail outlet image and its location are important. Consumer usually prefers a nearby retail outlet
for minor shopping and they can willingly go to a far away store when they purchase items
which are of higher values and which involve higher sensitive purchase decision.
After selecting where to buy and what to buy, the consumer completes the final step of
transaction by either cash or credit.
Example: (continuing from previous)
After selecting brand of the phone and model from different alternatives of mobile
phones, she will make a final decision of where to buying that phone and make the final
transaction procedures.
Post-purchase Actions :Consumer favorable post-purchase evaluation leads to satisfaction. Satisfaction with the
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purchase is basically a function of the initial performance level expectation and perceived
performance relative to those expectations. Consumer tends to evaluate their wisdom on the
purchase of that particular product. This can result to consumer experiencing post purchase
dissatisfaction. If the consumers perceived performance level is below expectation and fail to
meet satisfaction this will eventually cause dissatisfaction, and so the brand and/ or the outlet
will not be considered by the consumer in the future purchases. This might cause the consumer to
initiate complaint behavior and spread negative word-of-mouth concerning that particular
Example: (continuing from previous)
If she decided to buy a multimedia phone she will try to compare the quality of music
it provides and pictures taken if they meet her expectations. If she will find that her expectation
are meet she will be satisfied, if she found that there are more additional features that she did not
expect this mobile phone to have, she will be delighted, otherwise she will be dissatisfied.

Conclusion :We can see impulse behaviour do not have a place if buyers behavior follow such
systematic sequence. A study conducted in various branded retail outlets in 5 metro cities in India
shows 54% of all sales are actually unplanned purchases. This is why the study of impulse
purchase in Indian context is so important.

Maslows Hierarchy of Needs :-

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Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs theory sets out to explain what motivated individuals
in life to achieve. He set out his answer in a form of a hierarchy. He suggests individuals aim to
meet basic psychological needs of hunger and thirst. When this has been met they then move up
to the next stage of the hierarchy, safety needs, where the priority lay with job security and the
knowing that an income will be available to them regularly. Social needs come in the next level
of the hierarchy, the need to belong or be loved is a natural human desire and people do strive for
this belonging. Esteem need is the need for status and recognition within society, status
sometimes drives people, the need to have a good job title and be recognised or the need to wear






Self-actualisation the realisation that an individual has reached their potential in life. The
point of self-actualisation is down to the individual, when do you know you have reached your
point of self-fulfilment?

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But how does this concept help an organisation trying to market a product or service?
Well as we have established earlier within this website, marketing is about meeting needs and
providing benefits, Maslows concept suggests that needs change as we go along our path of
striving for self-actualisation. Supermarket firms develop value brands to meet the psychological
needs of hunger and thirst. Harrods develops products and services for those who want have met
their esteem needs. So Maslows concept is useful for marketers as it can help them understand
and develop consumer needs and wants.

Types Of Buying Behavior :-

1. Complex buying behavior: Consumers undertake complex buying behavior when they
are highly involved in a purchase and perceive significant differences among brands.
Consumers may be highly involved when the product is expensive, risky, purchased
infrequently, and highly self-expressive. Typically, the consumer has much to learn about
the product category.

For example, a personal computer buyer may not know what attributes to consider.
Many product features carry no real meaning: a "Pentium Pro chip," "super VGA
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resolution," or "megs of RAM." This buyer will pass through a learning process, first
developing beliefs about the product, then attitudes, and then making a thoughtful
purchase choice. Marketers of high-involvement products must understand the
information-gathering and evaluation behavior of high-involvement consumers. They
need to help buyers learn about product-class attributes and their relative importance, and
about what the company's brand offers on the important attributes. Marketers need to
differentiate their brand's features, perhaps by describing the brand's benefits using print
media with long copy. They must motivate store salespeople and the buyer's
acquaintances to influence the final brand choice.

2. Dissonance-reducing behavior: Dissonance-reducing buying behavior occurs when

consumers are highly involved with an expensive, infrequent, or risky purchase, but see
little difference among brands. For example, consumers buying carpeting may face a
high-involvement decision because carpeting is expensive and self-expressive. Yet buyers
may consider most carpet brands in a given price range to be the same. In this case,
because perceived brand differences are not large, buyers may shop around to learn what
is available, but buy relatively quickly. They may respond primarily to a good price or to
purchase convenience.
After the purchase, consumers might experience postpurchase dissonance (aftersale discomfort) when they notice certain disadvantages of the purchased carpet brand or
hear favorable things about brands not purchased. To counter such dissonance, the
marketer's after-sale communications should provide evidence and support to help
consumers feel good about their brand choices

3. Habitual buying behavior: Habitual buying behavior occurs under conditions of low
consumer involvement and little significant brand difference. For example, take salt.
Consumers have little involvement in this product categorythey simply go to the store
and reach for a brand.
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If they keep reaching for the same brand, it is out of habit rather than strong brand
loyalty. Consumers appear to have low involvement with most low-cost, frequently
purchased products.
In such cases, consumer behavior does not pass through the usual belief-attitudebehavior sequence. Consumers do not search extensively for information about the
brands, evaluate brand characteristics, and make weighty decisions about which brands to
buy. Instead, they passively receive information as they watch television or read



creates brand

familiarity rather

than brand

conviction. Consumers do not form strong attitudes toward a brand; they select the brand
because it is familiar. Because they are not highly involved with the product, consumers
may not evaluate the choice even after purchase. Thus, the buying process involves brand
beliefs formed by passive learning, followed by purchase behavior, which may or may
not be followed by evaluation.
Because buyers are not highly committed to any brands, marketers of lowinvolvement products with few brand differences often use price and sales promotions to
stimulate product trial. In advertising for a low-involvement product, ad copy should
stress only a few key points. Visual symbols and imagery are important because they can
be remembered easily and associated with the brand. Ad campaigns should include high
repetition of short-duration messages. Television is usually more effective than print
media because it is a low-involvement medium suitable for passive learning. Advertising
planning should be based on classical conditioning theory, in which buyers learn to
identify a certain product by a symbol repeatedly attached to it.
Marketers can try to convert low-involvement products into higher-involvement
ones by linking them to some involving issue. Procter & Gamble does this when it links
Crest toothpaste to avoiding cavities. Or the product can be linked to some involving
personal situation. Nestl did this in its series of ads for Taster's Choice coffee, each
consisting of a new soap-opera-like episode featuring the evolving romantic relationship
between two neighbors. At best, these strategies can raise consumer involvement from a

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low to a moderate level. However, they are not likely to propel the consumer into highly
involved buying behavior.

4. Variety- seeking buying behavior: It occurs in situations where there are lowinvolvement purchases but significant differences in brands. I this situation, rather than
engage in lengthy pre-purchase surveys, consumers, if curious about a new brand or
dissatisfied consumer with the product choice, engage in switching to another brand. In
such situations the advertising approach differs across firms. Market leaders often want to
encourage habituation and therefore employ conditioning strategies; whereas challenger
firms rely instead on inducing consumers to switch and therefore employ more cognitive
approaches; these appeal to consumers on the basis of reasons for making the switch.

Introduction Impulse or Myth?

Why do I always find my mother and my nephew at Bigbazar, when I can't find them
at home? The reason is not that the distance is less than a kilometer. My mom, an ideal prey for
today's retail format and my nephew at the age of three is deemed to be a consumer in his own
right plays cat and mouse with my fathers limited salary. Every time she purchased something
big, she comes up with her smiling face to console me and my dad with a same old excuse. She
had gone for some grocery items and end up buying a new OTG. Every time whatever promises
she made to me, she end up repeated the same story month after month. This introspection of my
own family motivates me for the retrospection of others.
Impulse buying happens when you get trapped in a buildup situation propagated by
effective retail communication or out of the mind discount offers and you buy without thinking
much about it. Impulse items can be anything, a new product, samples or well-established
products at surprising low prices. Research conducted by University of California tracks 30,000
purchases made by 4,200 customers who were engaged in a shopping trip in US reveals that 68%
of their purchases were unplanned. A similar research conducted in UK by Point of Purchase
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Advertising International (POPAI) revealed that 70% of the purchase decisions were taken on
spot in the store.
Impulse buying is such a sudden phenomenon where instinct plays a predominant role.
A customer makes a purchase without proper planning or prior homework. This is the scenario
that marketer and retailer try to capitalize and harness.
They provide such impulsive stimuli which are packaged innovatively clubbed with
basic needs and wants. In the name of instant gratification and glory customers are often
victimized. Instincts are driven by emotions and emotions are driven by attitude and perception.

Impulsive Buying :Impulse buying has been considered a pervasive and distinctive phenomenon in the
American lifestyle and has been receiving increasing attention from consumer researchers and
theorists (Youn & Faber, 2000, p.179). Despite the negative aspects of the impulse buying
behavior from past research, defining impulsive behavior as an irrational behavior (Ainslie,
1975; Levy, 1976; Rook & Fisher, 1995; Solnick, Kannenberg, Eckerman, & Waller, 1980),
resulting from a lack of behavioral control (Levy, 1976; Solnick et al., 1980), impulse purchases
account for substantial sales across a broad range of product categories (Bellenger at al, 1978;
Cobb & Hoyer, 1986; Han, Morgan, Kotsiopulos, & Kang-Park, 1991; Kollat & Willet, 1967;
Rook & Fisher, 1995; Weinberg & Gottwald, 1982). A study found that impulse purchases
represented between 27% and 62% of all department store purchases (Bellenger et al., 1978).
Rook and Hoch (1985) assert that most people have experienced an impulse purchase. Other
research findings support this assertion revealing almost 90% of respondents have made grocery
purchases on impulse occasionally (Welles, 1986), and between 30% and 50% of all purchases
can be classified by the buyers themselves as impulse purchases (Bellenger et al., 1978; Cobb &
Hoyer, 1986; Han et al., 1991; Kollat & Willett, 1967).
Early studies on impulse buying were more concerned with the definitional issues
distinguishing impulse buying from non-impulse buying and attempted to classify thetypes of
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impulse buying into one of several sub-categories (Bellenger et al., 1978; Kollat & Willet, 1967;
Stern, 1962), rather than to understand impulse buying as a trait of consumer buying behavior.
Therefore, this approach generated a theory that ignores the behavioral motivations of impulse
buying for a large variety of products and, instead, focuses on a small number of relatively
inexpensive products. However, this type of approach did not provide sufficient explanations as
to why so many consumers appear to act on their buying impulse so frequently.

Therefore, researchers began to re-focus attention on impulse buying behavior and to

investigate the behavioral motivations of impulse buying (Cobb & Hoyer, 1986; Hausman, 2000;
Piron, 1991; Rook, 1987; Rook & Gardner, 1993; Rook & Fisher, 1995; Weun, Jones, & Betty,
The pervasiveness of impulse buying, even for relatively expensive products, led
researchers to look at impulse buying as an inherent individual trait, rather than a response to
inexpensive product offerings (Cobb & Hoyer, 1986; Rook, 1987). Recently, researchers appear
to agree that impulse buying involves a hedonic or affective component (Piron, 1991; Puri, 1996;
Rook & Fisher, 1995; Wenn et al, 1998). Todays 14research suggests that impulse buying
behavior is much more complex than previously conceptualized; that this behavior stems from
the desire to satisfy multiple needs that underlie many types of buying behavior (Hausman,

Impulse The Missing Link :Impulse buying alters the normal decision making modules in consumers' mental space
and rapture all consumer behaviour phylosophies. Consumer mental accounting is a process by
which a customer codes, categorise and evaluate the financial outcome of a choise. Impulse
upsets all the logical sequence of the consumers' actions and then is replaced with an irrational
moment of self gratification and hence altering the age old time-tested theories. Impulse items
appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Some items bought on impulse are not considered
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functional or necessary in the consumers' lives. Similarly why do I need an OTG (Oven Toaster
& Griller), when I already have a microven?
Sometimes customers are not able to express the selection of their brand and might not
be aware of his internal decision making. But an unconcious decision making process takes place
in his mind which is influenced by cognition and experience. Thus impulse buying behaviour is
very much tune with the psychological and physiological need of the customer.
According to American Marketing Association "A purchase behavior that is assumed
to be made without prior planning or thought. Often, it is claimed, impulse buying involves an
emotional reaction to the stimulus object (product, packaging, point-of-purchase display, or
whatever) in addition to the simple acquisition act.
Many researchers all round the globe are conducting research on impluse buying
behavior of which Sunghwan Yi of University Guelph is one of them. He is conducting studies
on various strategies adopted by the shoppers to restrict their impulse purchases.
According to Yi, "If we can reduce the number of impulse purchases, we can start to
reduce the onset of compulsive behaviour," Another important objective to initiate research on
impulse is to reduce the tendency of impulse because it can be converted into compulsive
behaviour. Make your customer dancing at your tunes.
Jacqueline J. Kacen, Professor of Department of Business Administration, University of
Illinois, carried out a series of multi-country survey among the consumers of US, Australia and
South-East Asia. He has tried to find out cross-cultural factors influencing impulse purchase
behavior. The research abstract suggests, "Impulse buying generates over $4 billion in annual
sales volume in the United States. With the growth of e-commerce and television shopping
channels, consumers have easy access to impulse purchasing opportunities, but little is known
about this sudden, compelling, hedonically complex purchasing behavior in non-Western
cultures." At this context a natural question arise if cross-cultural influences are at all a factor
that may trigger consumer's impulses not neglecting or undermining other correlated factors like
attitude, perception, personality, emotion, and Self-Image. Personal significance of spot

Research Report on Impulse Buying

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satisfaction is very important. So the influencing interferences of such factor cannot be negated.
Impulse is not a US disease.
For half a century there has been a series of investigation conducted by consumer
researcher to investigate empirical evidence of impulse, even though there hasn't been any
significant break through.
Prof. Dennis W Rook and Prof. Robert J Fisher of University Chicago in the year 1995
through one of their article try to establish a conceptual and empirical framework of consumer
Impulse. Theirs' research tried to knot a relationship between the consumers impulsiveness trait
and associated buying behaviors attributes like demographic and psychological factors. The most
prominent segment of the study is such relation becomes significant only when consumers
considered that such impulse is appropriate. Impulse is so many occasions are followed by
dissonance reducing behavior. Till date there has not been any significant research on the
impulse behavior of Indian consumers on the context of retail revolution and which is almost
simultaneous and coincidental .

Impulse and Perception :Perception is a process by which the individual selects, organizes and interprets stimuli
into a meaning and coherent picture of the world. The customer who is exposed to any of such
marketing stimuli or an advertisement, the first reflex that is initiated in the customer's mind is
known as sensation. Sensation is received by the five senses of the customer. The attributes that
trigger sensation in the customer's mind can be product feature, price, and promotional
attractiveness. Optimum quantum of sensational mix that ignites instinct is the absolute
threshold. This absolute threshold must generate some emotional element that will eventually
result into impulse.

Impulse and Attitude :-

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Attitude is a complex mental state of readiness, organized through experience, creating a

dynamic influence on the individual's response to all objects and situations to which it is related.
Fishbein extended model 'Theory of reasoned action' explains the interrelationships of
psychological factors and external factors that initiate purchase behavior.

SelfBelief + Evaluation = Attitude

Self Perception + Referral Opinion = Subjective Norm
Attitude + Subjective Norm = Intention to perform action
The twisted from of this theory in terms of impulse purchase;
Self Belief + Instant Evaluation (optimum sensation) = Attitude
Self Perception + Self Opinion (absolute threshold) = Subjective Norm
Attitude + Subjective Norm = perform impulse action

Impulse and Promotions :Promotions and retail merchandising is the fearsome tool of generating sensation. The
India Retail wave has supplemented the growth of Sales Promotion. More of advertising money
is now pouring into marketing and promotion of retail brands. Most supermarket shelves are a
buzz with more promos than merchandise and within the stricking distance to hunt a customer.
Categories include, grocery items, juices and beverages, confectionery, leather goods, consumer
durables, Apparels and jewelry items ready to aroused customers appetite to consume.
On the other hand more and more retail consumers are ready for the best bargain of their
lifetime. From both the frontiers retailer will generate impulse.There can be several other reasons
of such retail promotional mania and they are given as follows :1. To break the clutter of growing number of retail brands
2. Declining brand loyalty and customer becoming more promotional sensitive.
3. Brand proliferation and low top of the mind recall
4. Tendency to go back to unorganized retail.
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Impulse No Looking Back :In the midst of such economic insurrection new malls are coming every day and few
hundred more are coming up in the next five years. Multiple retail formats have sprung up across
different cities, city horizons are flooded with malls and shopping complexes. More and more
will penetrate in semi urbanize and rural India emulating the Wal-Mart model.
Retail consumptions in India are mammoth, close to Rs 9,012 billion. This Rs 9,012
billion will expect to become Rs13,512 billion in the next few years. This is the era of Organised
retail and which is expected to grow at 40% for the next five years. If we go by the RAI
statistics, India will witness impulse purchases amounting to Rs 2,702 billion that is enough to
electrify the whole of rural India. In late 1960s India witnessed Green Revolution, early 1980s
witnessed White Revolution, Mall Revolution has just begun. Average Indian, as consumers
become richer, younger, more ambitious and instinctive than before. Indian consumers are on the
full stride in terms of their consumption levels that can surpass US consumption level in next 20
In the past decade the Indian demographic pattern has changed not only in terms of
income but also in terms of socio-cultural attributes and family lifecycles. The double incomes
becoming a norm in urban areas, increased advertising and sales promotion have made buying
more achievable and exhilarating to a larger portion of the population. In this context nobody
dares to ask weather such promotional offer influence impulse behavior among urban customer
or not. Through my diminutive research endeavor I would like focus whether today's urban class
are carrying the same western syndrome "Impulse" and are becoming easy prey to the retail


Some say that it acts as a stress reliever

Perceive it as the best buy of that time

People are captivated as an audience

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Consumers have extra money in their budget

A recent poll game reveals that more than 90% of people have acted impulsively.

Human beings are high-class than animals, but are also affected and led by emotion.
They become excited when the hormone is inspired. Likewise, they are frustrated when
work or life is obstructed. They always expect new matters, which is entirely different
with other creatures. However, when the endeavor collapses in front of harsh realities
or the final result is different from their original plans, they always act impulsively.
Some people succeed, but also, some failed. What follows behind impulse may be pain
and regret. Yet if you ask me whether to behave without consideration, I have to admit
as well. Life that is planned regularly is not meaningful. Inhibition of natural impulses
may cause psychological problems, which has been proved by many events. So what we











Women are much easier than men to become impetuous. They smile while
gettinnew content job, move while watching the movie, and also cry while encountering
failure. Anyway, the biggest similarity almost on every woman is they expect to be
stylish at any time. They look at their wardrobes regularly, trying to find what is
lacking. World-renowned brands are busy in focusing on womens clothes, handbags
and shoes. It becomes natural to see a woman spend most of her hard-earned money in
the latest styles of attires or handbags. When Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Prada
walk into the realm of top fashion, so many women may break their credit cards to
own a piece from them. Few females can reject an elegant & stylish product. Even
though they brought a limited amount of money to shopping, they always stretch their










Women get content if receiving the hottest styles. They splurge their stylish
looks. However, what seems unfortunate is vogue hits people in an incredible speed. We
will never know what it changes in the next minute.
When the next trend is stirred up, previous most popular style costing people a
hefty high price becomes nothing expect an out-dated item that will have to fad from
fashion world. Women begin to doubt previous impulse for whether it is valuable.
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Fashion is an endless way, which extends to every corner of the world. What can not be
predicted is which way it tends to advance at the next turn. For those of you who follow
all things and everything fashion is related, this is a dangerous journey. So turn back
and harmonize impulse with sense!


Categories of impulse buying :-

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The understanding of impulse purchasing was greatly improved through Stern's (1962)
identification of four distinct classifications of impulse purchasing: planned, pure,reminder and
suggestion impulse purchasing. Impulse buying or as some marketers prefer to call it unplanned
purchasing is another consumer purchasing pattern. As the term implies, the purchase was not
specifically planned. The process is rather widespread and may have significant implications for
the marketer
It is difficult for marketers to agree on a definition of impulse buying. Four types of
impulse purchases have been cited:
1) Pure impulse: A novelty or escape purchase which breaks a normal buying pattern.
2) Suggestion impulse: A shopper having no pervious knowledge of a product sees the item for
the first time and visualizes a need for it.
3) Reminder impulse: A shopper sees an item and is reminded that the stock at home needs
replenishing or recalls, an advertisement or other information about the item and a pervious
decision to purchase
4) Planned impulse: A shopper enters the store with the expectations and intention of making
some purchasers on the basis of price specials, coupons, and the like.
While most marketing research has treated impulse purchasing simply as unplanned
some maintain that it is an traditional process in which the urge to gratify an impulse triumphs
over the rational parts of the mind. In this view five critical elements seem to distinguish
impulsive from non impulsive consumer behavior. First the consumer has a sudden and
spontaneous desire to act, involving a marked divergence from pervious behavior. Second, this
sudden desire to buy puts the consumer in a state of psychological disequilibrium where he feels
temporarily out of control. Third, the consumer may experience psychological conflict and
struggle weighting the immediate satisfaction against the long term consequences of the
purchase. Fourth, consumer reduces their cognitive evaluation of product features. And Fifth
consumers often buy impulsively without any regard for future consequences.
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It has been suggested that the explanations of why consumers engage in such
impulsive buying are that they do not realize the consequences of their behavior that they are
compelled by some force to buy even though they realize the dire consequences and that in spite
of the ultimate problems of buying, they are more intent on fulfilling present satisfaction.
How does consumer feel after impulse purchasing? The study indicates that impulse
buying is an effective tactic for breaking out of an undesirable mood state such as depression,
frustration or boredom, Ninety percent of respondents felt somewhat to extremely happy after
such purchases indicating a pervasive immediate gratification from it. There was some
ambivalence however with almost 40 percent somewhat to extremely guilty over, their most
recent impulse purchase.

The Extent Of Impulse Buying :There are several studies which have indicated the significant and growing trend toward
unplanned purchasing, Here are some of the conclusions on the extent of impulse buying :1) More than 33 percent of all purchase in variety and drugstores are unplanned.










3) Thirty nine percent of all department store shopper and 62 per cent of all discount store
shoppers purchased at least one item on a unplanned basis.
These statements are somewhat deceiving in that no distinction is made between the
various kinds of impulse purchases possible for consumers. Although many consumers may not
use a shopping list, their product and brand purchases are certainly rational (as I have defined it)
and most probably fit into the reminder and planned impulse categories rather than the pure and
suggestion impulse types.
The important point for marketers is that there is a large amount of decision making
occurring at the point of purchase. Thus, as far as the retail decision maker is concerned impulse
buying can be pragmatically defined as purchasing resulting from a decision to buy after the
shopper has entered the store (or perhaps simply turned on their television at home to shop via


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Unplanned, Spontaneous and intense urge

to buy the purchaser often ignoring the

Without much prior knowledge of the product or intension to buy.
A kind of emotional and irrational purchase often for reasons like fun, fantasy and social
and economic pleasure
Consumer often regret their purchase after purchasing
Rook (1987) identified impulse buying behavior with descriptors such as a
spontaneous, intense, exciting, urge to buy with the purchaser often ignoring the
consequences. While more recent research in this area discusses impulse buying as a trait
rather than as a classification of a purchase decision, researchers agree that consumers vary
in their impulse-buying tendency (Puri, 1996; Rook & Fisher, 1995). Without having prior
information of a new product or intention to purchase a certain item, a consumer is exposed
to stimuli, suggesting that a need can be satisfied through the purchase. Youn and Faber
(2000) identify several different types of internal states and environmental/sensory stimuli
that serve as cues for triggering impulse buying. Internal cues include respondents positive
and negative feeling states. Environmental/sensory cues encompass atmospheric cues in
retail settings, marketer-controlled cues, and marketing mix stimuli (Young & Faber, 2000)

Normative Evaluations For Impulse Buying Behavior :Past research shows that planned buying behavior results in accurate decisions, but
impulsive behavior results in decision errors, (Halpern, 1989; Johnson-Laird, 1988)
increasing possibilities of negative consequences (Cobb & Hoyer, 1986; Rook, 1987;
Weinberg & Gottwald, 1982). These negative evaluations of impulse buying behavior
possibly stem from psychological studies of impulsiveness that characterize impulsive
behavior as a sign of immaturity resulting in a lack of behavioral control (Levy, 1976;
Solnick et al., 1980) or as an irrational,

risky, and wasteful behavior (Ainslie, 1975;

Levy,1976; Solnick et al., 1980).

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However, some research on impulse buying behavior indicates that impulse buyers do
not consider their impulsive purchases as wrong and report even favorable evaluations of
their behaviors. Specifically, in Rooks and Fishers (1995) study of Trait and normative
aspects of impulsive buying behavior, a relatively small number of respondents (only 20%)
reported feeling bad about their impulse buying, but a large number of respondents (41%)
reported that they actually felt good about their impulse purchases. One explanation for this
phenomenon is that consumers buy products for a variety of non-economic reasons, such as
fun, fantasy, and social or emotional pleasure. Some consumers even see shopping as retail
therapy, as a way of getting over the stresses of a working day or simply a fun day out
(Hausman, 2000) supporting the hedonic modification for impulse buying .


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Visual Merchandising :Visual merchandising, or visual presentation, is the means to communicate a

store/companys fashion value and quality image to prospective customers. The purpose of
visual merchandising is to educate the customer, to enhance the store/companys image, and
to encourage multiple sales by showing apparel together with accessories (Frings, 1999, p.
347). Therefore, each store/company tries to build and enhance its image and concept
through visual presentations, which appeal to shoppers and ultimately transform them into
customers by building brand loyalty and encouraging customers buying behaviors. Visual
merchandising is defined as the presentation of a store/brand and its merchandise to the
customer through the teamwork of the stores advertising, display, special events, fashion
coordination, and merchandising departments in order to sell the goods and services offered
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by the store/company (Mills, Paul, & Moorman, 1995, p. 2). Visual merchandising ranges
from window/exterior displays to interior displays including form displays and floor/wall
merchandising as well as promotion signage. It also broadly includes advertising and
brand/store logo (Mills et al, 1995). In this study, however, only window display and in-store
display comprise of form/mannequin display, floor merchandising and promotional signage
were investigated.

Visual Merchandising in Relation to Impulse Buying Behavior :In-store browsing may be a link between internal and external factors, as an important
component in the impulse buying process as well as a link between consumers impulse
buying behavior and retail settings including exterior and interior display. Instore browsing
is the in-store examination of a retailers merchandise for recreational and informational
purposes without an immediate intent to buy (Bloch, Ridgway, & Sharrell, 1989, p.14).
Jarboe and McDaniel (1987) found customers who browsed in a store made more unplanned
purchases than non-browsers in a regional mall setting. As a customer browses longer,
she/he will tend to encounter more stimuli, which would tend to increase the likehood of
experiencing impulse urges. This supports Sterns (1962conceptualization of impulse buying
as a response to the consumers exposure to in-store stimuli. Shoppers may actually use a
form of in-store planning to finalize their intentions (Rook, 1987).

The store stimuli serves as a type of information aid for those who go to the store
without any predetermination of what they need or buy, and once they get into the store,
they are reminded or get an idea of what they may need after looking around the store. In
other words, consumers impulse buying behavior is a response made by being confronted
with stimuli that provoke a desire that ultimately motivate a consumer to make an unplanned
purchase decision upon entering the store. The more the store stimuli, such as visual
merchandising, serves as a shopping aid, the more likely the possibility of a desire or need
arising and finally creating an impulse purchase (Han,1987; Han et al., 1991). The
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importance of window display in relation to consumers buying behavior has received

minimal attention in the literature. However, since a consumers choice of a store is
influenced by the physical attractiveness of a store (Darden at al., 1983), and the first
impressions of the store image is normally created at the faade level, it can be suggested
that window display may influence, at least to some degree, consumers choice of a store
when they do not set out with a specific purpose of visiting a certain store and purchasing a
certain item. The initial step to getting customers to purchase is getting them in the door.

Factors/Cues influencing impulse buying :Few recent studies investigated the factors that affect impulse buying. Researchers have
suggested that internal states and environmental/external factors can serve as cues to trigger
consumers impulse behavior to purchase. Research shows that situational factors have
practical and theoretical significance in that many decisions are made at the point-ofpurchase (Cobb & Hoyer, 1986) as a reflection of low involvement decision-making
strategies (Hoyer, 1984). The research on situational influence can be described as
examining the relationship among shopper characteristics and the features of retailing or
point-of-purchase situations. Shopper characteristics might include involvement (Smith &
Carsky, 1996), attitude (Reid & Brown, 1996), and ethnicity (Crispel, 1997), while the
retailing features could include outlet size (Owen, 1995), retail format (Fernie, 1996; Fernie
& Fernie, 1997), and store personality (Abrams, 1996; Burns, 1992).


Mood of the individual, positive mood triggers impulsive buying

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Needs: impulsive buying is more a need than a want

Hedonic pleasure: potential entertainment and emotional worth of shopping

Affect or mood has been identified as a variable that influences impulse purchasing

(Gardner & Rook, 1988; Rook, 1987; Rook & Gardner, 1993). Rook and Gardner (1993)
found that 85% of their survey respondents indicated a positive mood would be more
constructive to impulse buying than a negative mood. Respondents stated that, in a positive
mood, they had an unconstrained feeling, the desire to reward themselves, and higher energy
levels. Weinberg and Gotwald (1982) found that impulse buyers exhibited greater feelings of
delight, enthusiasm, and joy while Donovan and Rossiter (1982) found that pleasure was
positively associated with a likehood of overspending. A number of studies in consumer
behavior show that impulse buying satisfies hedonic desires (Piron, 1991; Rook, 1987;
Thompson, Locander, & Pollio, 1990). Individual consumers' impulse buying behavior is
correlated with their desires to fulfill hedonic needs, such as fun, novelty and surprise
(Hirschman, 1980; Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982). In addition, emotional support needs may
also be satisfied by the social interaction inherent in the shopping experience. For instance,
research findings indicate that consumers report feeling uplifted or energized after a
shopping experience (Cobb & Hoyer, 1986; Rook, 1987) supporting the recent concept of
impulse buying behavior as a trait motivated by hedonic desire. The hedonic value of
shopping reflects potential entertainment and emotional worth of shopping (Babin, Darden,
& Griffin, 1994). It has been suggested that shopping without specific intent, may be more
significant than acquisition of products and can provide a highly pleasurable shopping
experience (Maclinnis & Price, 1987; Sherry, 1990). Since the goal of the shopping
experience is to provide satisfaction of hedonic needs, the products purchased during these
excursions appear to be chosen without prior planning and represent an impulse buying

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Windows display

Visual merchandising

In-store form display

Promotional signage

Specific situations and retail settings influence both in-store responses and future store

choice decisions because of the changing and adoptive nature of expectations, preferences,
and behavior (Hausman, 2000). For instance, the findings of Darden et al.s (1983) study
showed that consumers beliefs about the physical attractiveness of a store had a higher
correlation with a choice of a store than did merchandise quality, general price level, and
selection. This supports the notion that consumers choice of a store is influenced by the
store environment, of which visual merchandising plays a vital role. This view is consistent
with Bowers (1973) observation that people approach, avoid, and create situations in
accordance with their desires. Customers avoid or leave retail settings that are stressful or
obstructive (Anglin, Morgan, & Stoltman, 1999). The expectation/experience of positive
feelings generally leads to approach responses, while avoidance is associated with
expectations/experience of negative outcomes (Dovnovan & Rissiter, 1982; Mehrabian &
Russel, 1974; Saegert & Winkel, 1990; Troye, 1985). Researchers have suggested that
various aspects of retailing environments can influence consumer behavior. Kotler (19731974) asserts the significant role of various retailing atmospherics. For instance, music and
color have been related to consumer behavior (Bellizzi & Hite, 1992; Milliman, 1986; Yalch
& Spangenberg, 1990) suggesting visual merchandising within the retail settings may
influence consumer behavior as well.

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Factors Affecting Impulse Buying Behavior :Marketers have long recognized the significance of impulse buying. Empirical studies
such as Consumer Buying Habit Studies (1965) and Drugstore Brand Switching and Impulse
Buying (1965) have investigated the extent of unplanned buying in supermarkets and drugstores
and showed how different the incidences of impulse purchasing are (as cited in Prasad,
1975).The incidence of impulse buying is increasing mainly because consumers have accepted
and adapted the methods of buying to certain merchandising innovations and due to this
interrelationship of buying to merchandising, impulse buying will only grow significantly (Stern,
1962). We offer the following proposition.
Many researches have been carried out to study the nature of impulse buying and
various factors that affect it. Impulse buying is influenced by a variety of economic, situational,
personality, time, location and even cultural factors. Previous researches have measured the
impulse buying tendency in regards to buying things not specifying product categories (Beatty
and Ferrell, 1998; Puri, 1996; Rook and Fisher, 1995). Researches have also been conducted to
understand the underlying motivational factors behind impulse buying. Similarly researches have
been conducted to study factors that moderate impulse buying behavior. Consumers engage in
impulse buying to satisfy hedonic desires for fun, novelty and variety; also impulsiveness is
correlated with consumers desires to fulfill self esteem and self actualization needs (Hausman,
2000). Mai, Jung, Lantz and Leob (2003) found that individualist orientation was truly related to
impulse buying. Hausman (2000) has also suggested that more impulsive consumers tend to view
their buying decisions as more laborious. Consumers normative evaluations moderate the
relationship between impulse buying trait and consumers buying behavior (Rook and Fisher,
1995). Here normative evaluation may be understood as consumers judgments about the
appropriateness of making an impulsive purchase in a given buying situation.

Transaction Size affecting Impulse Buying :Stern (1962) has hypothesized circumstances that appear to be associated with the
occurrence of the behavior. Kollat and Willet (1967) used two measures of transaction size:
number of different products purchased and the grocery bill. They found out that the increase in
size of the grocery bill and number of purchases made resulted in an increase in unplanned
impulse purchases. Therefore, I offer the following proposition
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Gender Differences in Impulse buying :Several previous researches on impulse buying have paid some attention to the role
gender plays in determining this behavior. These researches show that mens and womens
shopping behaviour differs on many levels. Peter and Olson (1999) discuss that men and women
have been found to process information differently (as cited in Coley and Burgess, 2003), relate
to and value material possessions differently, purchase different items for different reasons
(Dittmar, Beattie and Friese 1995; Dittmar, Beattie and Friese, 1996) and approach shopping task
differently (Berni, 2001; Chiger 2001).Kollat and Willet (1967) found that women tend to engage
in more impulse buying as compared to men. It is also argued that women because of their
propensity to shop more in general, make more impulsive purchases (Dittmar et al., 1996; Rook
and Hoch, 1985).
On the other hand Cobb & Hoyer (1986) stated that women are more likely to exhibit
some element of planning before entering the store, whereas men are more likely to be impulse
shoppers. Hausman (2000) did not find significant correlation between gender and impulse
buying behavior.

Shopping List and Impulse buying :Studies conducted by Kollat and Willet (1967) indicated that one of the factors that
affects impulse buying is the presence of a shopping list. This however only holds true if the
transaction size is greater than 15. When more than 15 or 20 products are purchased, shoppers
having a list make a smaller percentage of unplanned purchases. However, when less than 15 or
20 products are bought, the shopping list does not affect the percentage of unplanned purchases.
This was also studied and confirmed by Abratt and Goodey (1990). In order to study the effects
on the presence of a shopping list on impulse purchase behavhior, I present the following

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To study the



What is the incidence

To study the incidence

incidence of Impulse

of impulse purchase in

of impulse buying in

purchase decisions

Supermarkets, retail

Supermarkets of.

with respect to five

outlets and malls of

Supermarkets, retail


Mumbai ?

outlets and malls of


How does incidence

impulse buying vary

To study whether

due to the presence

purchase intentions are

of a shopping list?

influenced by factors
such as the gender of

Does increase in the

the shopper, presence of

size of grocery bill

a shopping list, the

increase the incidence

number of products

of impulse purchase

purchased and the size


of the grocery bill.


Does impulse buying

increase as the number
of products purchase

Is the incidence of
impulse buying higher

Research Report on Impulse Buying

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HYPOTHESIS :Based on our discussion & literature review, we arrived at the following hypotheses which we
would be testing :Hypothesis 1: Gender and pure impulse purchasing are correlated.
Hypothesis 2: Age and pure impulse purchasing are correlated
Hypothesis 3: Wealth and pure impulse purchasing are positively correlated.
Hypothesis 4: Rate of Impulse buying increases with the size of the bill
Hypothesis 5: Rate of Impulse buying increases with the number of different product bought.
Hypothesis 6: There is association between presence of shopping list & impulse buying
Hypothesis 7: Tourism and impulse shopping are positively related.
Hypothesis 8: Lone shoppers will be less likely to purchase on impulse.

Research Methodology :The research methodology was divided into two stages which involve two sources for
collecting the data in order to achieve the objective of project.
1. Collecting data regarding the potential customers from retailers through retailers
observation in the existing malls and retail outlets (k-star, r-city, inorbit ,raghuleela,
bigbazar, d-mart) within Mumbai city .
2. Collecting the primary data directly with the customer with the help of the
questionnaire (Refer Annexure-1) and personal interviews .
A hypothetical consumer impulse buying behaviour model (Refer Fig 5) is also
taken into consideration ,which has been mentioned in conclusion and findings part

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RESEARCH DESIGN :In this project multi stage sampling is used because the total population was too large
and due to time constraint it was not practically possible to make a list of entire population .At
first stage I have divided sample area wise and then further divided it into income status so that I
can get correct and related information.

Type Of Research :The research was of exploratory nature and involved conducting in-depth interviews of
shopper leaving supermarkets to crystallize and better understand the problem at hand and a few
factors that affect it.

Data Collection Method :1. Secondary Data :- Research papers were studied and online libraries such as JSTOR,
EBSCO Host and Palgrave Mcmillan were visited.
2. Primary Data :- We collected information from the subjects by means of a survey.
Furthermore the major technique that we used to approach our subjects was the intercept
technique i.e. approaching them without prior notification or appointment. Personal
intercept interviews were used to collect information in a face to face situation. The
supermarkets malls and retail outlets covered were: (K-Star, R-City, InOrbit, Raghuleela,
Bigbazar , D-Mart)

Measurement Technique :A questionnaire was designed to be administered during the personal interview. Care
was taken to avoid loaded, double barreled, biased questions.

Sampling Plan :Research Report on Impulse Buying

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Population Definition :- Men and women of age 16 and above who have shopped in
super markets ,malls and retail outlets in Mumbai in month of October and November
during day time.

Sampling Frame :- Five malls and supermarkets in Mumbai were selected namely The
(K-Star, R-City, InOrbit , Raghuleela , Bigbazar , D-Mart)

Sample Design :

Sampling Unit : (K-Star, R-City, Inorbit , Raghuleela, Bigbazar, D-Mart)

Sampling Size : 100 Potential Customers

Sampling technique : Multistage Sampling

Sampling area: Malls And Supermarkets With In Mumbai City

Contact Method: Personal Contacts.

Sampling Plan :The interview was stationed at the malls super market exit to select a shopping party
leaving the super market after making some purchases. The respondent was qualified by
determining whether they were carrying any shopping packages and their willingness to
participate in the research. After introduction the interviewes were administered the
questionnaire through a personal interview. The questionnaire was completed and filled by the
interviewer himself.The interview was terminated by thanking the respondents for their

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LIMITATIONS :1. People in our country are not very used to research hence they were not very receptive or
did not know how to respond to certain questions.
2. As students, the researchers had limited amount of resources (time, money, etc) to spend
on this research.
3. This research has been conducted in a five malls and supermarkets of Mumbai the
findings cannot be extended to all the malls supermarkets in India . Hence the findings
are only applicable to Mumbai.
4. This research focuses on the incidence of impulse buying and a few factors affecting it
such as gender of the shopper, size of the shopping bill, presence of a shopping list and
the number of items purchased. This does not suggest that these are the only factors that
influence impulse buying decisions.
5. Some other influencing factors such as in-store stimuli (communication mix, shelf
placement), consumer traits other than gender, situational factors (mood, time,money)
and normative traits of decision making have not been studied. Hence, the findings of this
study cannot be extended to those areas

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SECONDARY RESEARCH :The secondary research done through various research papers and through online libraries such
as JSTOR, EBSCO Host and Palgrave Mcmillan gives the following information as shown in the
pie diagram it answers the questions asked to consumers of metro cities who often go shopping
in malls and supermarkets few of the questions asked are as follows : I rarely ever buy impulsively
I always buy if I like it
While moving around the store ,I decide for purchase by looking at the things
While moving around, I often buy being tempted out of need which has suddenly
Quite often I regret after buying new things
The answers to these questions are presented in form of pie diagram and it shows the following
statistics :-

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26 % of sample people disagree that they rarely buy impulsively

44% of sample people agree that they buy if they like it

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43% of sample people agree that they do purchasing by looking at the things

58% sample people believe that while moving around

they are tempted out of need which has suddenly evolved
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21% of sample people regret after buying new things

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56% of sample people buy things without any intentions to purchase them

The below is the data that has been collected and compiled from certain research
papers regarding the demographic analysis of the respondents mainly found in metro cities
who show impulse in their buying behavior .

Demographic profile of respondents found in secondary research :Descriptive profile of respondents (n=100)

1. Gender :-

Fig 1 Demographic data for genders

The above graph inferences that most of the time male genders are the one who goes
for impulse buying decision.i.e. 88% are male respondents in research papers studied while
female comprises of only 12% of the toatal respondents studied through the research papers
which comprises of secondary research .
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2. Age :-

Fig 2 Demographic data for age

From the graph above its easily visible that the age group 18-25 are the one who go
maximum times for impulse buying since this is the age group when they are most active having
some power of purchasing too.

3.Occupation :Fig. 3. Demographic data considering their occupations

From the graph its clear that most of the impulse buying is being done by students
which compromises of 51% of total 100 respondents 23% is for the services providing people
and 20 % to the business oriented person and at last only 6% comprises of house wifes.

A SURVEY OF RICE UNIVERSITY :Research Report on Impulse Buying

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The above is the report of rice university on impulsive buying behavior in relation to
the (PDB) power i.e money ,distance i.e location of malls or retail out lets ,belief i.e taste
and prefrences
A survey of rice university: americans with high equality are more prone to impulsive
About 62% of supermarket sale and 80 % of luxury goods sales are impulsive
They have low PDB(power distance Belief) hence low self control and have degree of
impulsive buying nature
Higher the PDB less is impulsive buying
US PDB is 40,Russia 93,China 80 and India 77

RESULTS :Below are the results of the hypothesis considered in relation various aspects of buying
behavior ,the results are derived on the basis of primary data collected with the help of
questionire and personal interviews with the respondents .

Hypothesis 1: Gender and pure impulse purchasing are correlated.

Specifically,females are more likely to purchase on impulse. This seems in accordance
with social stereotypes of men being practical and women liking to shop.

According to

regression analysis statistical technique used to find the association between gender and impulse
buying behavior, I found that women have more tendencies to buy on impulse as 78 per cent of
our female respondents were found to be impulse purchasers where as only 38 per cent of the
male respondents showed impulse buying tendency. This indicates that men plan well ahead
before entering shopping markets than females. They economize on their time and efforts and
stick to their needs and decisions. Females do not plan extensively before entering and are more
inclined to be attracted to in-store stimuli.

Female Column total









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Row total




Kollet and Willet (1967), women purchase a higher percentage of products on an

unplanned basis because they make more purchases. When the number of purchases is held
constant, men and women have the same degree of susceptibility to unplanned purchasing.
However, My analysis indicates that in Mumbai malls and supermarket ,the number of products
purchased by respondents has no affect on impulse buying tendency. Thus, the impulsive
behavior in the research can be attributed to solely to gender. Women are more susceptible to
engage in impulsive behavior in supermarkets. This finding is contrary to what was found in the
study of Impulse Buying Behavior in Vietman by Mai, Jung, Lantz & Loeb (2001). They found
that men exhibited a higher impulse buying tendencybecause women needed to plan all expenses
carefully so that their families modest income could be spent wisely. I did not see this
happening in Mumbai probably because our respondents mainly belonged to class having
income comfortably above the modest level.

Hypothesis 2: Age and pure impulse purchasing are correlated

The research shows that young blood i.e the age group of (16-24) is more impulsive in
purchasing and also the Older folks with more disposable income are more likely impulse
purchasers.As the research was open for all the age group the findings are more likely to be
correct .

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Under 16



Hypothesis 3: Wealth and pure impulse purchasing are positively correlated.

In other words,as income goes up, so does likelihood of impulse shopping behavior.
This hypothesis is purely macroeconomic in background, implying that as income goes up so
does consumption, be it planned or impulse. Furthermore, impulse buys are not likely to be
necessities in the mall unless they are clothing. In this case, the consumer could visit discount
stores that enjoy larger economies of scale instead

Hypothesis 4: Rate of Impulse buying increases with the size of the bill

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Shopping bill is also a measure of transaction size. The Figure 2 depicts that there is no
relationship between unplanned purchasing and shopping bill. Thus we can confidently reject the
null hypothesis that impulse buying increases with the size of the bill.

From the data we see that the correlation between impulse purchase and shopping bill
less than Rs. 1,000 is 25%. The correlation for bill between Rs. 1,000 and 3,000 is 7% almost
no correlation. However for a bill size above Rs. 3,001 the correlation is negative. This is for a
bill size up to Rs. 6,000. For bill size greater than Rs. 6,000 we can extrapolate from the
observed pattern that the correlation would have been more negative.
This is line with our findings relating to the number of products purchased in which we
found no correlation between the number of products and the impulse buying behavior (details
given above). Generally we can conclude that people who buy more will have more shopping bill
and will be engaging in less impulse buying.

Hypothesis 5: Rate of Impulse buying increases with the number of different product
The percentage of unplanned purchases has no significant correlation with the number
of different products bought by shoppers in malls and super markets in Mumbai as can be seen in
the Figure 3

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Our findings explain that as the number of different products a customer intends to
purchase increases, the difference between actual and intended purchase decisions do not vary.
Even though the greater the number of products purchased, the greater the exposure to in-store
stimuli but the number of products bought on impulse do not increase. Hence, I conclude, that in
instances where customers shop for a larger number of items they plan well ahead and there are
little chances of impulse buying.
This can be because as customers plan for larger items they try to economize on their
time and effort hence little or no impulse purchases. However, when customers shop for a few
needed items or engage in random shopping, they are more inclined to engage in impulse buying.
This is contrary to what was found in previous researches (Kollet & Willet 1967) which
indicated that as purchased items increase the level of unplanned impulse purchases also
increases. We found no such pattern in supermarkets and malls of Mumbai .

Hypothesis 6: There is association between presence of shopping list & impulse buying
No significant association is found between the two variables .There exist no
correlation between the rate of unplanned purchasing with the presence of shopping list.We
interpret that the shopping list contains only basic items and when people enter the super market
they engage in impulse buying.
Hence the research concludes that the tendency of a consumer to engage in impulse
buying has no association with the shopping list .Also from the Table 2 we can conclude that
majority of the people do not carry shopping list with them (45%) or carry it only sometimes
(35%). This shows there is natural tendency amongst shoppers not to carry shopping lists with
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them. Thus we can confidently reject the null hypothesis that there is association between
presence of shopping list & impulse buying



Table 2




Table 3



Kollet and Willet (1967) found that a shopping list influence purchases when more than
15 products are purchased. In this study, amongst those respondents who did buy more than 15
products only 44% could be categorized as impulse buyers and 42 % of these were carrying a
shopping list. From this we can conclude no effect as such of shopping list on the rate of impulse
buying even when large number of different products is bought.

Hypothesis 7: Tourism and impulse shopping are positively related.

Research done on tourist impulse shopping at airports indicates that tourists are at a
state of mind that encourages pure impulse buys, embodied in the travel stress curve by

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Scholvinck (Crawford et al).Thus we accept the hypothesis that Tourism and impulse shopping
are positively related

Hypothesis 8: Lone shoppers will be less likely to purchase on impulse.

This is logical because the more people in the party, particularly dependents, the more
likely money will be laid out at any given time. Purchases might be due to the influence of
others, even peer pressure.Thus we accept the hypothesis that Lone shoppers will be less likely
to purchase on impulse.


Disturbs the overall financial budget

Often gives product dissatisfaction and less alternatives are considered

People who go for impulsive buying often have post purchase regret

Irrational decision making being more emotional

Impulse Buying Can Be a Good Thing :When To Walk On The 'Impulse' Wild Side
Buying things on impulse is usually discouraged against in most articles you read on
smart shopping but sometimes it may actually be a good thing. Understanding how grocers set up
the stores in order to tempt shoppers with impulse items will help even the most frugal shopper
to enjoy a little walk on the 'impulsive' wild side.

Integrated Merchandising :Everyone has been tempted by what the grocery store merchandisers refer to
as integrated merchandising. This is the practice of putting related items together on a display
kiosk; such as the green beans with dried onions for bean casseroles. Most consumers view this
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type of merchandising as helpful because of the convenience of not having to go look for the
'sister' item. It also makes it less likely that the item will be forgotten by the consumer. Grocers
view integrated merchandising as serving a dual purpose. The customer views it as a
convenience and it promotes consumers to buy out of impulse, increasing the total sale.

Other Areas In A Grocery Store Pushing Impulse Items:

Displays at the end of the aisles.

Announcements of price specials over the store intercom.

Samples that are being cooked and entice us with the aroma and sizzling sounds.

Fresh baked goods that have strong aromatic powers over consumer impulses.

Introductory low prices on new products.

If these items are something you already planned on buying then go ahead and put it in

your cart. When you get around to the area where the item is normally merchandised, check out
the prices on the other brands to see if you can beat the price. Many times items placed in
integrated kiosks are heavily promoted with price reductions and are a smart purchase but do you
price comparisons regardless.

When to Buy -- Keeping It Fun :Imagine if every time you bought a new pair of shoes or pair of pants you purchased
the same kind because they were comfortable and a good price. Your enthusiasm to go
shopping would most likely drop to zero. That same concept can make the difference in
your attitude about grocery shopping. If you always buy the same products then your trip
to the store is probably a real chore. However, if you allow yourself to indulge in some
impulse buying then it keeps your grocery trip a little more interesting. Try budgeting in a
little 'splurge' money for trying out new products or buying something you normally pass
To avoid impulse buying from being a total waste of money, ask yourself the following
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How will I use it?

When will I use it?

Why am I buying it?

Is the price reasonable?

If you have sensible positive answers to those four questions, then chances are you just made a
good impulse purchase so go enjoy it! Have fun saving money while you shop!

Here's a few ideas to help keep those impulses under control !

Always keep an ongoing list of things you need to buy on your next trip to any store.

Review the list before you leave, and remember to take it with you!
Make as few trips to the store as possible each month, and avoid the malls entirely.
Give yourself a time limit for how quick to get in and out of the store, along with a
personal challenge to not buy anything that's not on your list.

Apply my *48-hour Waiting Rule* for all impulse purchases; if 48 hours after
LEAVING the store, you decide you...

Still need it...

Still want it...
Can't find is somewhere else for a better price...
Can afford it...
And, you can't use a similar item at home, or borrow one...
THEN go ahead and make the purchase.

Know what your budget is for miscellaneous items each month. To help keep track

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of your impulse purchases...

Keep a list of anything extra you purchase throughout the month on a small sheet of

paper tucked away in your wallet, or a small notepad in your purse.

Keep track of your receipts in an envelope at home so you'll know how much you're
spending as you go through the month. When you've spent your budgeted amount for

the month - no more impulse (miscellaneous) purchases!

AND, if you've successfully passed by that gorgeous new outfit (or that shiny new car
that costs as much as a house should!), and don't even need to apply the 48WaitingRule, reward yourself for choosing a Better Life, with a luxurious bubble bath

How Social Media Can Lead To Impulse Buying :Today, more people than ever are choosing to shop for products and services online.
The result has been an increase in online impulse buying. The rise of impulse buying on the
internet is due to a number of shopping features such as easy access, the availability of many
more items, use of credit cards, and the success of marketing promotions and direct marketing.
Businesses are now using these media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to market their
products. Businesses have been able to convince consumers to make more impulse purchases and
therefore, increase their online spending.
With the astounding popularity of social-media sites such as Facebook where there are
about five hundred million users, businesses now have another way to interact directly with
potential customers to promote their products and services and this interaction can reach millions
of online users. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets make it easy for
business marketers to track consumer preferences, behavior, and trends, which allow them to
directly target users and offer products and services they specifically want. As well, their
marketing strategy includes offering special deals to further encourage impulse buying.
When utilizing social media to reach online users, marketers have the ability to
schedule specific campaigns when specific products are selling well. Since social-media trends
are changing all of the time, businesses can track the emerging trends, which give them the

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ability to launch promotions that will enable them to more successfully sell their product or
Now, social sites are offering easy shopping access. Companies are developing
promotional tools to take advantage of impulse buying from the social sites page or through user
mobile devices. Companies are now beginning to provide a way for users to buy their products
direct from the social media page and social sites are implementing better filters which mean the
targeted customer can be reached much more easily.
As well, because these media is now moving into the mobile world, marketers can
reach consumers wherever they are and at anytime of the day and night. Now, as more and more
consumers are sent sales and support information and get updates from social-media, businesses
can effectively tailor marketing campaigns based on their distinct shopping habits and
preferences. Many analysts believe in the near future, social media pages will no longer be
controlled by the user, but the marketer will control their social sites followers and the
advertisements and promotions that appear on their social media page.
Social-media has changed the way businesses market their products and services. With
a few clicks and a credit card, consumers can buy any time from anywhere. The financial
implication is there will be an increased rate of impulse buying which will result in more people
taking on more debt. Shopping online using social sites has become so easy today, the consumer
must develop prudent shopping skills to avoid accumulating too much credit card debt that can
eventually result in financial ruin.

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CONCLUSIONS AND FINDINGS :Since Indian retail market is continuously increasing, people are purchasing goods as
there is increase of income of common people as well as change in tastes and preferences of
consumers. It is important for the retail players to be able to understand the different factors
affecting the extent in impulse buying behaviour.

The research shows that impulse buying is a phenomenon common amongst the female
shoppers in Mumbai city.

The impact of presence of shopping list, size of the shopping bill and number of products
purchased was found to be insignificant.

The bill size and the number of items purchased are two measures to define the
transaction size. Overall, both of them turned out to have no significant correlation with
impulse buying

We found high incidence of impulse buying in snacks and confectionaries.

The research shows that impulse buying is a phenomenon common amongst the female

shoppers in Mumbai city . This can be because usually women buy for the whole family, not only
for themselves. So as they shop they are reminded of the items needed by others as they come
across the products in store and thus buy them. Also women generally have greater time on hand
to do shopping as compared to men; hence increasing their tendency to engage in impulse
buying. This has important implications for the in-store placement of products. Products with
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which women can be attracted to buy on impulse, such as frozen food, spices and other
household & food items, should be prominently displayed in-store so as to generate impulse
The impact of presence of shopping list, size of the shopping bill and number of
products purchased was found to be insignificant. Even the people carrying a shopping list
engaged in impulse purchases. This can be because most of the items on the shopping list were
collective use items or those needed by other people whereas personal use items were bought on
impulse. Some of the people were carrying shopping lists made by someone else (who was not in
the shopping party) such as the chef, mother-in-laws and spouses.
The bill size and the number of items purchased are two measures to define the
transaction size. Overall, both of them turned out to have no significant correlation with impulse
buying. This shows that people who come to make large number of purchases plan their
shopping beforehand and hence engage in less impulse buying. This maybe because they have
already spent so much time spending what they had planned to buy, that there is little time left to
make other unplanned purchases. I found high incidence of impulse buying in snacks and
confectionaries. This may be because they are placed near the counter or at visible places in the
Supermarkets so as to attract people to buy them.
We also found frozen food to be one of the recurring items on the list of unplanned
products by the respondents. These incidences of impulse buying may be because the deep
freezers with transparent doors carrying the frozen food items are placed right at the entrance of
most of the superstores, hence catching peoples attention as they enter or about to leave the
store. Thus the importance of in-store stimuli can be inferred from our study as we did not
specifically test for their significance. This can be the topic of future researches.
Advertisement of product in print and visual media, Various promotional activities
regarding product, Hording and pamphlets of product, Packaging of product, Placing of product
in store, Emotional attachment with product, Behaviour of sales person, Popularity of product,
The person with whom you are going for shopping are the main factors for impulse buying
behaviour which broadly defines about the Emotional appeal of advertisements.
Various schemes like (buy 1 get 1 free), Compatibility of another product with the product you
are buying, Influenced by other people, Kind of product which you are buying .This shows that
importance of influence of other peoples on buying behaviour of customers.
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Any event organized by organization, Display of product in store, Your perception about
saving and investment, Traditions and customs, various festival discounts on product, which in
totally shows the direct impact product placement in the stores in a retail outlet like D-Mart &
Big Bazzar.
Price of product, your income status, and Standard of living, which clearly defines the
individual purchasing power..Availability of product, Requirement of product in festival season
which shows that discount offers during festival seasons attract customers for their impulse
buying behaviour. Discount offers regarding product, focusing on effective price and discount
strategies which is in brought by the retail players in order to attract there potential customers.
Changing trends in society, special occasions which signifies that how much today also
people give preferences to the traditions and rituals during festival season that it has created a
emotional bond which results in impulse buying behaviour.
Overall, various internal and external factors affects the impulse buying behaviour
of the consumer which is explained by the above findings

Fig.5 Impulse Buying Behavior Model

Emotional appeal of
Income of the

Brand image of

bonding and
Usage of product
In festivals

Product placement
in the store
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Effective Pricing and

discount strategy

Various festival
Seasonal discounts

Fig.6 A Model Of Consumer Buying Process

Source: Churchill & Peter (1998). P142

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Fig.7 A Model Of Impulse Buying Process

Source: Adapted from Churchill & Peter (1998)

Although the study was conducted on a small population to find Impulse Buying
Behaviour of the consumer in malls and retail outlets within Mumbai , the finding of the
studies can be generalized to the whole population. It can be very comfortably inferred that,
based on the Impulse Buying Behaviour model that has been formed shows
1. Emotional appeal of advertisements
2. Brand image of the product
3. Product placement in the store
4. Income of the customer
5. Various festival seasonal discounts
6. Effective pricing and discount strategy
7. Emotional Bonding and usage of the product in festivals
Affects impulse buying behaviour of the consumer very strictly.The Indian marketers
has to go a long way to understand the impulse buying behaviour as it is a very subjective
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and its depends on multiple factors, but marketers can take advantage for this behaviour and
in almost every product category impulse buying witness.


Raghuleela Mall at Vashi, Mumbai has only one entry gate while having two exit gate for
maximum exposure to window display and trigger impulsive buying

At Big Bazaar in Chembur the cashier counter soft drinks, chocolates, soap, wafers ,
magazines, kid soft toys were kept to trigger casual impulsive buying

Pseudo-pricing acts as one of the main impulse generator in impulsive buying in most of
the shopping malls of Mumbai city

FUTURE RESEARCH :I have conducted an exploratory research to study the nature of impulse buying in
Malls and retail outlets of Mumbai . However, the study does not extend to providing a causal
relationship between the various factors, hence future researches can conducted in those areas.
The factors studied in the research include the gender of the shopper, size of the
shopping bill, presence of a shopping list and the number of items purchased. Future researches
may include situational factors such as mood, time and money; consumer traits and
normative traits.
The research suggests no geographical difference in impulse buying. Hence it would
be useful to conduct future research in other metro cities of India to examine the differences in
impulse buying behavior between the different cities of India . The study was only confined to
the class of customers who come for shopping in malls and retial outlets . Future researches can

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explore impulse buying in other socio-economic classes of the population which are not so much
used to the modern format of retailing and who make their purchases at grocery stores only.
The findings of the research may be important from a theoretical perspective, because it
contribute to a better understanding of impulse buying behavior from the context of a transitional
economy. The research also suggests some managerial implications regarding promotion of
impulse buying through increased physical and temporal proximity.


Alice Hanley and Mari S.Wilhelm (1992).Compulsive buying: An exploration into selfesteem and money attitudes. Journal of economic Psychology 135-18.

Anja Schaefer & Andrew Crane (June 2005).Addressing Sustainability and Consumption.
Journal of macro marketing .Vol 25, No.1, 76-92.

Ann Elizabeth Ericson, (2001) University of Iowa Antecedents of older adolescents

credit card enhanced spending attitude and self reported financing behaviour.

Aviv Shoham and Maja Makovec Brencic (2003).Compulsive buying behaviour. Journal
of consumer marketing, Vol 20, No.2.

Celia ray Hayhoe, Lauren Leach, & Pamela R.Turner (1999). Discriminating the number
of credit cards held by college students using credit and money attitudes. Journal of
Economic Psychology 20,643-656.

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Gordon C.Winston (1987).A new approach to economic behaviour. Journal of Economic

behaviour and organization, 8,567-585.

Hans Baumgartner, Jan Benedict & E.M. Steenkamp(1996). Exploratory consumer

buying behaviour: conceptualization and measurement. International journal of Research
in marketing, 13,121-137.

Bhatt Monica and Jain .P.CConsumer Behaviour in Indian Context First

Edition 2003,S. Chand & Company Ltd., 7361,Ram Nagar,

Kotler Philip Marketing Management EleventhEdition, Person Education

( Singapore) Pte. Ltd., Indian Branch, 482 F.L.E. Pataparganj, Delhi

Gautam Neeran and Jain Kokil Consumer Behavior, Wisdom Publication


Hello! I am a BMS student of V.E.S college doing a study on shopping habits. Any information
you provide is strictly confidential and will solely be used for academic purposes
Name ..
Age .
Gender -



Occupation .
What did you purchase at the mall today
not including food from the food court?

Did you plan to purchase this

Or a similar item before you

Did you plan to purchase

This BRAND before you

(Last 3 items)



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Please list the item number next to the reason that best describes the purpose of your purchase
Influence of others
To replace old item
To treat myself
To kill time
It was good value

I liked it
It was on sale
It was convenient
It was something different
Other (please specify) _____________________

According to you which of these factors affect your impulse buying behavior for products which
you have purchased .
( Strongly agree - 4, Agree -3,Disagree -2, Strongly Disgree-1)
Attractive price of product affects my impulse buying
Discount offers regarding product attracts me





Various schemes like (buy 1 get 1 free) affects my buying

behavior positively.
Availability of discounted products motivates me to buy.



Advertisement of product in print and visual media attracts

me to buy
Various promotional activities regarding product motivates
to buy the products
Hording and pamphlets of product help me in impulse
Any event organized by organization affects my buying

Display of product in store attracts my attention.

Packaging of product attracts me to by the products.


Placing of product in store gains my attention towards it.

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Compatibility of another product with the product you are


Emotional attachment with product is a motivational factor
to buy product
Behavior of sales person affects my buying behavior.

Popularity of product increases recall value and helps in

impulse buying.
Changing trend in society is a major factor in impulse


The person with whom you are going for shopping

influences my buying behavior.
Comments of reference group influence my buying
Kind of product which i am buying


Your income status affects your impulse buying behavior.


Standard of living has a role to play in buying products.


Your perception about saving and investment


Special occasion motivate me to buy.


Requirement of product in festival season prompts me to

Traditions and customs triggers my purchase decision



Various festival discounts on product induces purchase of



1. I go shopping to change my mood.

2. I feel a sense of excitement when I make an impulse

3. After I make an impulse purchase I feel regret.
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4. I have difficulty controlling my urge to buy when I see a

good offer.
5. When I see a good deal, I tend to buy more than that I
intended to buy.

Thank you for your participation! Have a great day!


Exhibit 2-a.Categorized Male Purchases.

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Exhibit 2-b.Categorized FeMale Purchases

Exhibit 2-c. Impulse Purchases as Percentage of Total.

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Exhibit 2-d. Proportion of Impulse Buyers Categorized

by Residence and Gender.

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