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External and internal trigger cues of impulse buying online

Sandy Dawson (Department of Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
Minjeong Kim (Department of Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)

Direct Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1750-5933

Article publication date: 27 March 2009

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal and external factors of impulse buying in online shopping.

Design/methodology/approach

Two pretests were conducted; Pretest 1 to identify external impulse trigger cues on web sites and Pretest 2 to evaluate the content validity of the findings from Pretest 1. Based on the pretests, a web experiment and survey were conducted to explore the effect of different external impulse trigger cues on impulse‐buying behavior online and also to examine how internal factors of impulse buying (impulse‐buying tendency (IBT), affective and cognitive state, normative evaluation) are related to online impulse‐buying behaviors.

Findings

No significant differences were found among the types of external impulse trigger cues, however a positive correlation was found between a person's IBT and online impulse‐buying behavior, and between a person's affective state and online impulse‐buying behavior. A negative correlation was found between a person's cognitive state and actual online impulse‐buying behavior. And last, a significant positive correlation was found between a person's normative evaluation and actual online impulse‐buying behavior.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends the Consumption Impulse Formation Enactment model into an online shopping context. Marketers can use this information to assess their own web sites in terms of what external stimuli to present on their web sites to trigger impulse buying.

Originality/value

Given the prevalence of impulse buying in online shopping and the importance of impulse purchases to a retailer's profit, this study provides useful insights into impulse‐buying behavior in an online setting.

Keywords

Citation

Dawson, S. and Kim, M. (2009), "External and internal trigger cues of impulse buying online", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 20-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/17505930910945714

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited