Exploring impulse buying in services: toward an integrative framework

Published on Mar 1, 2014in Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
· DOI :10.1007/S11747-013-0346-5
Piyush Sharma26
Estimated H-index: 26
(PolyU: Hong Kong Polytechnic University),
Bharadhwaj Sivakumaran13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Great Lakes Institute of Management),
Roger Marshall21
Estimated H-index: 21
(AUT: Auckland University of Technology)
Prior research on impulse buying focuses mostly on goods, ignoring its incidence in services despite growing evidence about the prevalence of impulsive behaviors across diverse consumption contexts. This paper introduces an integrative conceptual framework to study impulse buying in both goods and services by using perceived risk as a focal construct in the impulse buying process and reports findings from two empirical studies. The first study uses a mall-intercept survey to show that perceived risk is lower and likelihood of impulse buying is greater for services with higher tangible (vs. intangible) attributes and higher search (vs. experience and credence) properties. The second study uses a lab-experiment to show significant differences in the influence of three relevant consumer traits (consumer impulsiveness, optimum stimulation level, and self-monitoring) on the level of perceived risk and impulsiveness in purchase decisions for six different services with varying levels of attributes (tangible vs. intangible) and evaluation properties (search, experience, and credence). Overall, the two studies provide substantial evidence of the presence of impulse buying in services and useful insights for researchers and services marketers.
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