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The Causes and Effects of Impulse Buying

Impulse buying, as defined by BusinessDictionary, is an unplanned decision to buy, most Commented [kv1]: The text should not contain active
especially a product, made just before the actual purchase. This has become a widespread hyperlinks

consumer habit or behavior across different countries. Its effects, which can be positive, neutral, Commented [kv2]: Awkward choice of word

or negative, vary depending on the person.

Foroughi et al. (2014) conducted a study concerning the causes of impulse buying
behavior among Iranian shoppers. The results showed that the Iranian shoppers’ impulse buying
increases when there is an increasing desire to buy a product upon first contact. On the other
hand, the Iranian shoppers’ impulse buying decreases when the consumer feels that he/she will
actually use or enjoy the product, and when the consumer thinks that the product will be able to
tend to his/her needs.

Taking into consideration the causes of impulse buying, it is safe to assume that after
purchasing the product, the consumer will most likely fail to take good care of the product for a
simple reason that he/she did not plan on buying the product in the first place. In fact, Derbaix
and Pham (1991) stated that customers value emotional advantages over tangible benefits when
it comes to purchasing goods. Because of this, the consumer, despite being initially satisfied, will
regret buying the product and will realize that he/she could have bought something far more
important.

Aside from the negative effects of impulse buying, there are also some positive effects of
it. According to Gardner and Rook (1988), there are some people who relied on impulse buying
to free themselves from their boredom and misfortune. Because impulse buying is an unplanned
act, those who are having a bad day will just have to go to a mall to buy something, and then
they will be happy. Those who are having monotonous jobs can simply go somewhere to buy
something that will reward their efforts. In rare cases, even the depressed people are saved by
impulse buying.

The studies mentioned above agree that impulse buying has several causes that can lead
to either positive or negative effects depending on the person. Impulse buying is a global trend. It
will always be present for as long as there are consumers.
References

Foroughi, A. et al. (2014). The Causes of Impulse Buying Behavior among Iranian Shoppers.

Asian Social Science, 10 (21): 64-72. Retrieved from

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267639472_The_Causes_of_Impulse_Buying_

Behavior_among_Iranian_Shoppers.

Derbaix, C., & Pham, M. T. (1991). Affective Reactions to Consumption Situations: A Pilot

Investigation. Journal of Economic Psychology, 12 (1): 325-355. Retrieved from

http://www.columbia.edu/~tdp4/JEP1991.pdf.

Gardner, M. P., & Rook, D. W. (1988). Effects of Impulse Purchases on Consumers' Affective

States. Advances in Consumer Research, 15 (1): 127-130. Retrieved from

http://acrwebsite.org/volumes/6803/volumes/v15/NA-15.

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