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Everyday We Fall


Everyday We Fall Victim to an Impulse Buy Professor Warden NCKU IMBA Consumer Behavior Contents What is an Impulse Buy? Psychological Forces at Play ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Everyday We Fall

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Everyday We Fall Victim to an Impulse Buy
  • Professor Warden NCKU IMBA Consumer Behavior

Darcy Caskey David Chen Patrick Chen Jonathan Newton Florence Wu
  • What is an Impulse Buy? Psychological
    Forces at Play
  • The Psychology The Reasons Behind
    Impulse Buying
  • The Servicescape A Layout that Encourages
    Impulse Buying
  • Field Observations Impulse
    Buying at Work
  • Conclusion The Decision Still Lies
    with the Consumer

What is an Impulse Buy?
  • Psychological Forces at Play
  • Yes, without realizing it, everyday we fall
    victim to an impulse buy. Whether it is a large
    expensive purchase or a small incidental one, we
    still do it!
  • There has been a vast amount of research on the
    topic of Impulse Buying over the last twenty
    years that the number of definitions that
    currently exist border on infinite.
  • Blackwell et. al. (2001) defines Impulse Buying
    as a sudden and powerful urge to buy something
    immediately and acting upon that urge.

What is an Impulse Buy?
  • This has been described by Statt (2001) as highly
    emotional and unconscious behavior. He justifies
    this statement by describing the sentiments that
    cause this behavior. They are namely
  • An unexpected urge to purchase something upon
    seeing it
  • Intense motivational pressure stronger than all
    other considerations
  • A feeling of euphoria or excitement
  • Disregard of possible consequences
  • Marketers and retailers have long been trying
    work out the right merchandising layout to
    encourage this sort of behavior. However, it is
    more difficult to spark than it seems.

What is an Impulse Buy?
  • Since impulsive behaviour is an emotion-dependent
    reaction each individual
  • has different emotional triggers,
  • personalities,
  • tastes
  • and preferences.
  • It would be impossible to formulate a plan or
    layout that would appeal to all in-store
    customers and maximize their impulse buying
  • There have been major research developments in
    defining the consumers actual reasons for such
    behavior and also on optimal store layout.
  • With this insight retailers may increase the
    possibility of such purchases but there is no
    guarantee that impulse buying will increase.

The Psychology
  • The Reasons Behind Impulse Buying
  • Dittmar et.al. (1996) observed that consumption
    has become a means of self-expression, leisure
    and sometimes even a means of reward.
  • Shopping and especially impulse buying gives
    people a certain amount of social gratification.
  • Rook and Fischer (1995) state that impulsive
    buying often possesses an underlying bad
  • Impulse buys can often lead to feelings of guilt
    and cognitive dissonance once rationality has
    again set in.
  • On the other hand, they also state that many
    impulse buys are made purely with good
    intentions. Some appropriate examples would be
  • buying an incidental gift for ones spouse or
  • seeing something that a friend once mentioned
    was difficult to find.
  • The reasons for this behaviour would naturally
    tend be rooted in the above mentioned need for
    self-gratification and reward derived from
    helping others.

The Psychology
  • Bayley and Nancarrow drew up a brief list of
    perspectives that cause an impulse buy. They are
  • Freuds immediate gratification theory (basic
    instincts conquer logic)
  • Existentialist theory (breaking worldly
  • Social Constructionist Theory (building of ones
    own self-image)
  • New Cognitive Theory (simple relationship between
    need solution)
  • Economic Man Model (irrational dysfunctional
    decision making)
  • Based on the above research, impulse buying is an
    emotional decision which can be sparked by
    various psychological triggers.

The Servicescape
  • Layout that Encourages Impulse Buying
  • The concept of a Servicescape was developed in
    2000 by Johnson which he described as
  • The physical and informational environment in
    which the sales and the service proposition are
    created and delivered. It is the creation of a
    working environment that provides clues and cues
    to customers and suppliers, internal and external
    about the organization, its operations, and its
  • When dealing with a retail outlet this pertains
    to the layout of the store that makes purchasing
    decisions easier for in-store customers.
  • It has already been noted that there is no hard
    and fast solution that promises impulse buying,
    but it can still certainly be encouraged by an
    appropriate servicescape.
  • The layout of a store can lend itself towards a
    sensory ambience that may stimulate certain
    buying behavior. Moreover, the actual in-store
    arrangement of merchandise is of strategic
    importance to encourage impulse buying.

The Servicescape
  • Statt states that only a minority of consumers,
    approximately one third, plan to buy particular
    products when they enter a retail outlet.
  • They rely on the servicescape to provide them
    with cues and prompts on which brand to choose.
    This phenomenon can also stimulate impulse buying
  • It is not uncommon for producers to pay stores
    for the appropriate physical positioning on their
  • Certain products are more likely to be purchased
    on impulse. Research shows that incidental
    groceries like shampoo, toothpaste, magazines,
    soft drinks and candy rank amongst the highest.
  • It is therefore no coincidence that some of these
    items are usually placed near the entrance or the
    check-out point in eye-catching displays.
  • Research studies have shown that items placed at
    point-of-sales promotions are usually increased.
    Interestingly, once the display is removed the
    products off the shelf sales return to normal.
    Point-of-Sales is probably the most common form
    of encouraging impulse buying.

Field Observations
  • Impulse Buying at Work
  • Following is a photograph in a convenience store
    of two children
  • just picked a product based on its packaging and
  • They are probably more intrigued by the presence
    of Snoopy on the outside of the box than the
    actual contents inside the box.
  • Also note to their right the positioning of the
    products. The height is of importance.
  • All the candy and related goods are at eye-level
    and easy to reach for children of their age.
  • This supports Judd McIlvains statement Kids
    cereal is placed lower on the shelves so the
    youngsters can see it and choose the box with the
    best characters or prizes.

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  • Here is another example, candy in a department
    store is laid out at the perfect height for
    children walking by to just impulsively reach out
    and grab it. Of course the parents will have to
    pay for it later. The display also rotates and
    has lights that makes the display even more
    attractive to children.

Field Observations
  • The servicescape also influences adults. The
    following pictures are of a customer testing out
    a new Playstation 2 game.
  • He then spotted the limited Winter Edition PS2.
  • The service attendant informed the customer that
    Sony only manufactured a thousand of them.
  • He was immediately interested even though he
    already had the original version.
  • It is literally identical to the original except
    for color and obviously price.
  • This customer ended up buying the Winter Edition
    PS2 after entering the store with the intention
    to purchase one CD-ROM game.
  • When asked what he would do with the regular
    version at home he said he wasnt sure but
    thought he might try to sell it on the internet.

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Field Observations
  • The next picture is of people lined up outside a
    bakery in a department store awaiting a fresh
    baked goods.
  • Not all the customers had specifically come to
    buy the bread. Some of them saw the line and
    became interested.
  • When asked, they explained that the crowd and the
    smell attracted them so they decided to buy some
  • This is a good example of how an event can catch
    the attention of customers, who then impulsively
    buy the product.
  • Schreider also researched the use of store
    atmospherics to stir impulses. He explained
    Wafting aromas from in-store recipe demos
    seduce and succeed as they trigger suggestion

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Field Observations
  • In the following photo, the customer was very
    interested in a MP3 player in front of him and
    bought it within minutes. After the sales people
    had left, we spoke with the customer.
  • His reason was for being there was that his wife
    was on the 5th floor for an underwear sale. He
    felt embarrassed there, so he came up to browse
    and waste some time.
  • His reasons for his purchase were that it looked
    very sophisticated and
  • portable. Furthermore, when the sales staff
    informed him about its uses he was convinced.
    Note that he didnt originally intend to buy
    anything and didnt know how to actually use the
  • His attention was drawn to the exhibition stand
    as he came out of the elevator.
  • The Apple section is very attractively laid out
    and that caused him to stop where he spotted the
    tiny MP3 player. This lay out at the entrance is
    what sparked the impulse for him to ultimately
    make the impulse buy.

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  • The Decision Still Lies with the Consumer
  • Servicescape layouts and strategies explain how
    consumers can be enticed into making unplanned
    impulse purchases. Response to the presented
    stimuli is unpredictable.
  • Research shows that while not every in-store
    customer can be moved to buy a specific product,
    a large number will be.
  • The interviews, photographs and observations
    cited in this report support the fact that
    impulse buying is literally an everyday
  • our own human impulses, emotional and rational
    state at the time are the deciding factors
  • but the servicscape still plays an important
    role in the arousal of these deciding factors.
  • Impulse buying is ultimately the individuals
    final decision, note that most websites on
    impulse buying are warnings to consumers against
    devious ploys by retailers/ marketers
  • Most people in a retail outlet or department
    store intend to spend money on something. An
    impulse buy means that the individual didnt
    intend on purchasing that sort of item at all.
    However, the intention on spending was still
    there and the underlying satisfaction behind
    impulse purchases is still desirable to the
    consumer. The decision lies with the consumer.
  • With the modern day escalation in work and family
    pressures coupled with the continuous bombardment
    of advertising media and merchandising, it would
    be safe to assume that most consumers impulse buy
    nearly on a daily basis.

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