Online reviews and impulse buying behavior: the role of browsing and impulsiveness

Kem Z.K. Zhang (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Haiqin Xu (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Sesia Zhao (School of Management, Anhui University, Hefei, China)
Yugang Yu (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Publication date: 4 June 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Online reviews have shown important information that affects consumers’ online shopping behavior. However, little research has examined how they may influence consumers’ online impulse buying behavior. The purpose of this paper is to bring theoretical and empirical connections between them.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework of this study was tested on three popular online group shopping websites in China (ju.taobao.com, dianping.com, and meituan.com). An online survey with 315 participants who had experience using these websites was recruited to verify the effects of consumers’ perceived value from reading online reviews on urge to buy impulsively and impulse buying behavior.

Findings

The empirical findings show that consumers’ perceived utilitarian and hedonic value from reading online reviews enhance their browsing behavior. Browsing positively affects consumers’ urge to buy impulsively and finally affects their impulse buying behavior. Further, this study finds that consumers with high impulsiveness focus more on hedonic value of online reviews, whereas consumers with low impulsiveness put more emphasis on utilitarian value. Browsing demonstrates a stronger effect on urge to buy impulsively for consumers with high impulsiveness.

Originality/value

This study is one of the early studies to investigate the relationship between social influence (e.g. influence of online reviews) and impulse buying. It draws upon the perspectives of browsing and consumer’s perceived value from the literature. This research also considers consumer differences regarding the level of impulsiveness.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, K., Xu, H., Zhao, S. and Yu, Y. (2018), "Online reviews and impulse buying behavior: the role of browsing and impulsiveness", Internet Research, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 522-543. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-12-2016-0377

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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