Consumer Behavior on Impulsive Buying

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR ON IMPULSIVE BUYING

The Influence of Culture on Consumer
Impulsive Buying Behavior
KACE N AND L EE CUL TURE AND IMPUL SIVE BUYING BE HAVIOR
Jacqueline J. Kacen
Department of Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Julie Anne Lee
Department of Marketing
University of Hawaii–Manoa

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 im-pulse purchasing opportunities, but little is known about this sudden, compelling, hedonically complex purchasing behavior in non-Western cultures. Yet cultural factors moderate many as-pects of consumer’s impulsive buying behavior, including self-identity, normative influences, the suppression of emotion, and the postponement of instant gratification. From a multi-country survey of consumers in Australia, United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, our analyses show that both regional level factors (individualism–collectivism) and individual cul-tural difference factors (independent –interdependent self-concept) systematically influence impulsive purchasing behavior. Impulsive consumer buying behavior is a widely recognized phenomenon in the United States. It accounts for up to 80%of all purchases in certain product categories (Abrahams, 1997; Smith, 1996), and it has been suggested that purchases of new products result more from impulse purchasing than from prior planning (Sfiligoj, 1996). A1997 study found that an es-timated $4.2 billion annual store volume was generated by impulse sales of items such as candy and magazines (Mogelonsky, 1998). Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (1999), affirms that many purchases are being made on the premises of stores themselves as cus-tomers give in to their impulses. Furthermore, technologies such as television shopping channels and the Internet expand consumers’ impulse

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