Consumer psychology: a review of impulse buying

We all have lived the phase at least once in our life when we purchase stuff that we don’t need. It is not because you had to purchase it or because you fell for the product. You purchased it because you felt an impulse to do so. There is this possibility that you have sometimes speculated how store owners know what to put at the sales counter isle that your customers can’t help to buy. It’s named impulse products; it is the things that you want and just can’t remember to pick up while shopping or stuff that is too good to resist. Impulse buying is buying items that you may or may not need or that you are unable to afford. It can be anything like candy at the convenience store, a shirt that is available on sale, or things like gadgets which you purchased, even in a tight budget because of urge that you liked it for some reason.

Advertising is a huge business, you can see it everywhere, at the superstore, discount stores almost every place that you shop even in convenience stores i.e. the fruit at the counter for as an example. We are overburden with compulsive shopping wherever we go, and when we watch TV or listen to the radio, Ads are another good one. They make you believe that you can’t live without this product or that this may be the only opportunity that you have to purchase the product at this price or the store or company would run out of it. It is also known as Shopaholic syndrome when purchasing unwanted things is an issue for a lot of people and is the source of a lot of credit card debt. Just think about it for a minute, how many times have you done it in your life so far? Everybody has this opportunity to study online MBA now. There is no doubt about the fact that there would be a lot of occasions where these purchases are legit and required but could you have done without the purchase. The best way possible to not fall into this promotion trap is to know what attracts you to make impulse buying and be able to control it.

Following are some significant factors that influence the level of impulse buying:

Consumer Characteristics

This is one of the main and foremost factors that meaningfully influence the consumption choices of many people. Customers may have an inclination to involve in compulsive purchasing. Most of the times, it is that customers enjoy shopping that they end up purchasing things that they had not decided for or that they do not really need. Apart from that, a person is inclined towards impulsive buying that depends on the degree to which he/she recognizes with the product. Impulse buying starts when the customer sees the product.


There are many customers who expect their emotional support to be satisfied by their social communication, fundamental to the shopping experience. The time when they are in an emotional state that forces them to make needless purchases, purchasers are most anxious about their greater feelings of enjoyment, pleasure, and joy without thinking about the outcome economic consequences.

Visual Merchandising:

Visual merchandising is designed to communicate the product worth and quality to customers. It is a trick that traders utilize to enhance the image of their stores and show what they sell to consumers in a way that attracts them and induces them to go for those products. There is this possibility that these stores may be doing this with innocent intentions, such strategies and displays meaningfully affect a customer buying decision, and therefore it is a great contributing factor when it comes to impulsive buying.


A well-organized store with an attractive and calm environment with lovely surroundings inclines to initiate good spirits in customers inspiring them to visit the store and buy even if they didn’t plan to. Customers get quickly appealed to attractively set up stores and intriguing displays. This is the reason why most store owners go for this approach to appeal to consumers into their retail stores.

Money Availability:

This along with the income level of an individual is a suggestively good factor to why consumer involves in uncontrolled buying. The time when a purchaser has adequate funds at the time of shopping, he/she will extend the shopping to contain things that they hadn’t prearranged for and those that they also don’t need. The obtainability of money inclines to develop positive feelings in people which therefore lead to impulse buying.

Influence of Friends and Relatives:

Mostly impulse shoppers are inclined by their friends and relatives at the time of shopping. A friend or relative convenience you to make a purchase just because they think something will go well with you. They can also inspire you to purchase a dress or shirt because they think it looks good on you.