Internal and external trigger cues of impulse buying online Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/db78tg07w

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  • Online shopping is one of the fastest growing forms of shopping with sales reaching $141.4 billion in 2004 (Shop.org, 2005). With the tremendous growth of online retailing, and the prevalence of impulse buying today, this study's purpose was to investigate the internal and external factors of impulse buying in an online setting, Internally looking at what triggers the consumer to buy impulsively, and externally looking at what external trigger cues on retail websites encourage impulse buying. A revised model of the Consumption Impulse Formation Enactment Model was used in this study in the context of online shopping. Based on this model, it was hypothesized that impulse buying tendency, affective and cognitive states, and normative evaluations affect impulse buying decisions. It was also hypothesized that different types of external stimuli present on a website affect the level of impulse purchase made. This study consisted of three phases. In phase one, five focus group interviews were conducted to determine what external cues exist on apparel retailer websites that trigger impulse buying behavior, and found four categories of cues used to create a coding guide of external impulse trigger cues of a website. In phase two, a content analysis of the top 99 online apparel websites was conducted to support the content validity of the focus group information, and assess current retailers in terms of the amount of external cues present on their websites. A correlation analysis revealed a positive relationship between the web retailer's financial performance, and the amount of external stimuli present on their websites that trigger impulse buying. In phase three, an experiment was conducted with a web survey format to determine whether different types of external impulse trigger cues affect the level of impulse purchase made. Five conditions of mock apparel web pages were created, each representing a different type of external impulse trigger cue (sales, promotions, ideas, and suggestions), with the fifth as a control web page. Participants were presented with a hypothetical buying scenario adopted from Rook and Fisher (1995) in which they had to make a purchase decision for a girl named Mary, varying in the level of impulsiveness. Impulse buying tendency (Rook & Fisher, 1995), affective and cognitive state (Verplanken & Herabaldi, 2001), and normative evaluation (Rook & Fisher, 1995) were measured with previously developed reliable scales. ANOVA was performed and found no significant differences among the types of external impulse trigger cues; F(299) = l.59,p > 0.177. A correlation analysis was conducted and revealed a positive correlation between impulse buying tendency scores and past impulse buying behavior; r = 0.394, n = 300, p < 0.00001. A positive correlation was also found between affective state and past impulse buying behavior; r = 0.154, n = 300, p < 0.01 A negative correlation was found between cognitive state and past impulse buying behavior; r = -0.169, n = 300,p < 0.05. And last, a significant positive correlation was found between normative evaluation and impulse purchase decisions, r= 0.14, n = 300,p < 0.05. This study identified key external stimuli present on retailers' websites that trigger impulse buying behavior, which no research has looked at previously. A reliable coding guide of impulse trigger cues was also developed from this study. The positive correlation found between retailers' web performance and the amount of cues present on their websites, suggest that as the amount of external impulse trigger cues increase on websites, so too do web sales. The findings from this study also suggest that internal factors of impulse buying influence impulse buying behavior in an online setting as it does in a traditional brick and mortar shopping context as studied in previous research. This study thus extends the CIFE model into an online shopping context. This research informs consumers of marketing tactics used to encourage impulse buying online. Marketers can use this information to assess their own websites in terms of what external stimuli to present on their websites to trigger impulse buying. Limitations in this study include the small sample size of retailers content analyzed and the time limitation of coding websites. This study also did not adopt the entire CIFE model to an online shopping context which a further study is suggested to do so.
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