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The rational aspects of an irrational whim. A qualitative study exploring the motivations behind consumer impulse buying in a socio-cultural context.

Seijsing, Fredrik and Olsson, Cajsa (2011)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of the research is to analyse the consumer’s underlying motivations for behaviour and decision-making in an impulse buying context, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the drivers behind impulse buying.
Method The study is conducted with an explorative approach. A combination of self-administered diaries and semi-structured interviews were chosen to collect the empirical data.
Theory The theoretical framework of the study is mainly based on socio-cultural theories within consumer research that illustrate the symbolic meaning of possessions, as well as describe how the consumer’s self-identity and life situation can be linked to her buying behaviour and brand perceptions.
Analysis In the analysis the participants... (More)
Purpose The purpose of the research is to analyse the consumer’s underlying motivations for behaviour and decision-making in an impulse buying context, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the drivers behind impulse buying.
Method The study is conducted with an explorative approach. A combination of self-administered diaries and semi-structured interviews were chosen to collect the empirical data.
Theory The theoretical framework of the study is mainly based on socio-cultural theories within consumer research that illustrate the symbolic meaning of possessions, as well as describe how the consumer’s self-identity and life situation can be linked to her buying behaviour and brand perceptions.
Analysis In the analysis the participants of the study are presented as well as the dominant themes within the empirical material. The first theme indicates that the consumer is well aware of her incapability to resist an urge as it occurs and therefore tries to control and plan when to allow herself to engage in impulsive buying. The consumer tends to have expectations on the impulse buying activity that needs to be satisfied, otherwise the consumer will develop negative feelings towards the event. An additional theme in the empirics concerns the way the consumer uses impulse buying to express the self. The empirical material indicates that the consumer’s impulse buying behaviour can be seen as rational in relation to the individual consumer as it helps her create meaning to her life. The final theme stresses the influence of brand preferences on the consumer’s impulse buying as it limits the scope of the impulsiveness and directs the consumer to choose from an evoked set.
Conclusion The study concludes that impulsive buying involves far more rational aspects than suggested by previous research. By putting the impulse purchase in a wider context and viewing it as one sequence in a larger pattern of sequences evidence is found that suggests that the impulsiveness is dependent on the consumer’s perception of the self and the life situation. (Less)
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author
Seijsing, Fredrik and Olsson, Cajsa
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Consumer research, Impulse buying, Self-identity, Brand Preferences, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
language
Swedish
id
2058263
date added to LUP
2011-05-31
date last changed
2012-04-02 19:09:58
@misc{2058263,
  abstract     = {Purpose	The purpose of the research is to analyse the consumer’s underlying motivations for behaviour and decision-making in an impulse buying context, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the drivers behind impulse buying.
Method The study is conducted with an explorative approach. A combination of self-administered diaries and semi-structured interviews were chosen to collect the empirical data.
Theory The theoretical framework of the study is mainly based on socio-cultural theories within consumer research that illustrate the symbolic meaning of possessions, as well as describe how the consumer’s self-identity and life situation can be linked to her buying behaviour and brand perceptions.
Analysis In the analysis the participants of the study are presented as well as the dominant themes within the empirical material. The first theme indicates that the consumer is well aware of her incapability to resist an urge as it occurs and therefore tries to control and plan when to allow herself to engage in impulsive buying. The consumer tends to have expectations on the impulse buying activity that needs to be satisfied, otherwise the consumer will develop negative feelings towards the event. An additional theme in the empirics concerns the way the consumer uses impulse buying to express the self. The empirical material indicates that the consumer’s impulse buying behaviour can be seen as rational in relation to the individual consumer as it helps her create meaning to her life. The final theme stresses the influence of brand preferences on the consumer’s impulse buying as it limits the scope of the impulsiveness and directs the consumer to choose from an evoked set.
Conclusion The study concludes that impulsive buying involves far more rational aspects than suggested by previous research. By putting the impulse purchase in a wider context and viewing it as one sequence in a larger pattern of sequences evidence is found that suggests that the impulsiveness is dependent on the consumer’s perception of the self and the life situation.},
  author       = {Seijsing, Fredrik and Olsson, Cajsa},
  keyword      = {Consumer research,Impulse buying,Self-identity,Brand Preferences,Management of enterprises,Företagsledning, management},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The rational aspects of an irrational whim. A qualitative study exploring the motivations behind consumer impulse buying in a socio-cultural context.},
  year         = {2011},
}