Research Article: 2020 Vol: 24 Issue: 4

Do Impulsive Buying Influence Compulsive Buying?

Bidyut Jyoti Gogoi, IIM Shillong


Impulse buy is a spontaneous act which is done instantly without much thought. Retailers benefit a lot due to unplanned purchases done by consumers. Whenever a consumer goes shopping there is always a predetermined purpose of the visit to the retail store. Due to influence by the attractive product assortment or the conducive store environment the consumer lends up buying more products and paying more. There are several factors which lead to impulsive buying. The researcher in the paper tries to check the influence of sociodemographic factors, dispositional factors and situational factors on impulsive buying. The influence of impulsive buying on compulsive buying is also explored in the research.


Sociodemographic Factors, Dispositional Factors, Situational Factors, Impulsive Buying, Compulsive Buying.


Consumer behavior is very difficult to understand. Every consumer behaves differently from the other. There is a need to understand the consumer behavior in order to design marketing strategies that suit best the target consumer. With time the consumer requirement and desire changes. In every retail store, the retailer tries his best to suit the consumer requirements to increase sales. The retailer benefits if the consumer buys more that the planned estimate. A proper instore strategy helps increase sales due to impulse buy. Understanding the factors influencing the impulse purchase is necessary to devise a proper strategy.

Impulse buying is a sudden and immediate purchase with no shopping pre-intentions (Sharma et al., 2010). Impulse buying can be called unplanned purchasing (Cobb & Hoyer, 1986) and involves an urge to buy which is strong and often irresistible (Rook, 1987). Impulse buying occurs after consumers’ experience an urge to buy which is usually spontaneous and without a lot of thought (Beatty et al., 1998). Most of the time the impulse purchase made by the consumer seem illogical. Impulsive behavior is generated spontaneously without consumer understanding thus driving consumers to make purchases that conflicts with the self-interests (Darrat et al., 2016) and consideration for the consequences of the purchase made (Gerbing et al., 1987). The temptation of impulse buy is generated through the sensory contacts which is amplified by individual and environmental factors (Adelaar et al., 2003; Dholakia, 2000; Sharma et al., 2010).

There are several factors which trigger and lead to impulse buying. It is found that sociodemographic factors, dispositional factors and situational factors influence impulse buying (Amos et al., 2014). The temptations and urge generated during impulse buy is very strong and difficult to resist (Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991; Park et al., 2012; Rook, 1987; Rook & Fisher, 1995). Consumers who fail to develop resistance to the temptations fall prey to impulse buy (Baumeister, 2002; Dholakia, 2000; Puri, 1996; Roberts & Manolis, 2012; Sharma et al., 2010)

The impulse buy temptation is due to the attraction generated emotionally (Baumeister, 2002; Dholakia, 2000; Puri, 1996) and the desire for immediate pleasure (Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991; Kacen & Lee, 2002; Puri, 1996). Repeated impulse buying tends to form a habit which becomes irresistible. Irresistibly buying things without and sense, understanding or requirement is compulsive buying. There is a difference between impulse buying and compulsive buying. Impulse buying is temporary whereas compulsive buying is a disorder. The researcher wants to check if there is any influence of impulsive buying on compulsive buying. Impulse buying is an emotional response which involves temptation and is different from compulsive buying (Babin & Harris, 2013; Flight et al., 2012: Kwak et al., 2006; Sneath et al., 2009). Though impulsive buying and compulsive buying lead to unplanned buy yet the two constructs are distinctively different phenomena (Flight et al., 2012; Wood, 1998; Xiao & Nicholson, 2013).

Literature Review

Several parameters influence the impulsive buying of individuals. Retailers try to influence the impulsive nature inherent in individuals to trigger the purchase of products. Impulsive buying benefits the retailers as it increases the sale of the products. The researcher in the paper tries to check the relationship between sociodemographic factors, dispositional factors and situational factors with impulsive buying and compulsive buying.

Sociodemographic Factors (SDF)

Sociodemographic factors like gender, age, income, ethnicity seems to have an influence on impulsive buying. Though sociodemographic factors play a smaller role in the overall impulse buying picture (Amos et al., 2014) yet they have significant influence in the purchase. It has been found that 87% of the adults in the US make a purchase on impulse. It is also seen that the millennials have a tendency to purchase on impulse as compared to their counterparts (Tuttle, 2012). Age and income have low impact on impulse buying, in fact age had a negative impact on impulse buying whereas gender and ethnicity has a high impact on impulse buying (Amos et al., 2014). The younger the consumers the more the tendency of impulse buying. This is the reason it is seen that age has a negative influence on impulse buying (Amos et al., 2014). Females have a greater tendency to buy on impulse. It is seen that 27% to 60% of the purchases in departmental stores in the US are made on impulse (Bellenger et al., 1978). Several studies found impulsive buying to be existent in many countries such as the Germany, the UK (Dittmar et al., 1995), the USA (Kacen & Lee, 2002) and Sweden (Hulten & Vanyushyn, 2011). Extensive studies also show impulsive traits in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia (Kacen & Lee, 2002), China (Zhou & Wong, 2003), Vietnam (Nguyen et al., 2003) and Taiwan (Zhou & Wong, 2003). Impulsive traits differ with ethnic diversity. Turkish and Chinese customers are found to be more impulsive than the Indian Customers (Kurtulus et al., 2016).

Based on the discussion the following hypothesis is proposed,

H1: Sociodemographic factors have an influence on impulsive buying.

Dispositional Factors (DF)

Dispositional factors are inclinations of individuals to behave in a manner which consistently is different from another individual and has an effect on the buying behavior (Mowen & Minor, 2006). Several factors comprise of the dispositional factors. Research has shown that the dispositional factors includes psychological constructs such as impulse buying traits (IBT), spontaneity, variety/novelty seeking propensity, susceptibility to influence, shopping enjoyment, need for cognition, esteem, openness, ability to regulate emotion, etc. (Sharma et al., 2010). The dispositional characteristics of individuals are enduring characteristics which are inherent and can be generally applied across situations (e.g., Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Rook & Fisher, 1995; Sharma et al., 2010). Dispositional factors may be influenced by cultural background of the individual. For example, Singapore has a collectivist culture and the USA has an individualistic culture (Sharma et al., 2010). India has a diverse culture seen in the different geographical parts where we see the strong influence of the community. Hence the Indian consumers resemble the collectivist culture. Collectivists are less dispositional in nature (Triandis, 1995).

Impulse buying trait (IBT) is a one-dimensional construct that refers to individual tendencies to buy spontaneously, unreflectively and immediately (Rook and Fisher, 1995). It is a tendency to react to a stimuli without deliberation and thinking of the consequences (Gerbing et al., 1987). It is found that IBT has a direct relationship with an impulse buying (Beatty et al., 1998).

Impulsivity (Eysenck, 1993) is a personality trait which also means sensation to buy on impulse (Zuckerman, 1993). The impulsive traits generating out of impulsivity are impulsiveness (Rook & Fisher, 1995), consumer impulsiveness (Puri, 1996), shopping enjoyment (Beatty & Ferrell, 1998), impulse buying tendency (Beatty & Ferrell, 1998) and lack of self-control (Youn & Faber, 2000).

Changing lifestyle and social situations impel individual to choose a variety of products relevant to the contexts and audiences (McAlister & Pessemier, 1982). Consumers choose to buy something different to show their uniqueness (Ariely & Levav, 2000).

Instore browsing involves the consumer in search of a product that fits the consumer’s requirement. Instore browsing is the examination of merchandise for information or recreational purpose without an intention to buy immediately (Bloch, Ridgway, and Sherrell, 1989). It has been found that browsers are more likely to make unplanned purchases (Jarboe & McDaniel, 1987).

Physical proximity may give rise to impulsive behavior. As the number of urges increase the tendency of impulse buying increases. It becomes difficult for consumers to resist the urge to buy following moments of encounter with objects (Rook, 1987).

The importance of a product/service to an individual makes a lot of difference in making a purchase. It is found out that if the consumer feels that that product/service is important the tendency of impulsive buy increases.

The constructs used for measurement of Dispositional Factors (DF) by the researcher are IBT, personality traits, lifestyle, measures of involvement, internal drive states and importance of purchase to individual for measurement of dispositional factors. The researcher tries to see if there is any relationship between dispositional factors and impulsive buying. The following hypotheses are proposed.

H2: Dispositional Factors have an influence on impulsive buying.

Human traits and characteristics differ from individual to individual. Hence the sociodemographic factors also tend to influence the dispositional factors.

H3: Sociodemographic factors have an influence on dispositional factors.

Situational Factors (SF)

Situational Factors are external in nature. Situational Factors are external sensory cues which the individual encounters spurring the impulsive urge (e.g., Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Dholakia, 2000; Kacen et al., 2012). Situational factors consist of affective states (mood), marketing stimuli, retail environment, hedonic vs utilitarian purchase motives, time and financial constraints and social factors (Dholakia, 2000; Sharma et al., 2010; Kacen et al., 2012). Individualists (the US) have more control of their actions (Yamaguchi et al., 2005) whereas Asians do not have control over their actions (Sastry & Ross, 1998). Asians have less ability to control the environmental influence (Hiene et al., 2001). Collectivists are more situational in nature (Triandis, 1995).

Individuals like to stay attuned in the society they live. They would like to do things which are accepted in the society. The societal norms influence the individuals to a large extent. The lifestyle of people in the society influences individuals at large. Any individual thinks of social impact before a purchase. If the product/service is well accepted in the society the tendency for impulse purchase increases

Positive affect depends on the consumers’ existing mood, temperament and reaction to current environmental encounters (Beatty et al., 1998). Approach behavior is more likely when one is in a good mood. Positive mood makes consumers feel good and they do activities to maintain the good mood (Cunningham, 1979; Isen 1984; Isen & Levin, 1972). A positive mood is conducive to impulse buying as compared to negative mood (Rook & Gardner, 1993).

Stress creates negative affect may hamper a consumers’ urge to buy on impulse. Negative mood decreases the approach behavior. The effects of negative mood is quite uncertain as they tend to produce both positive and negative effects (Clark & Isen, 1982). Negative affect denotes sadness and fatigue (Watson et al., 1988).

Time pressure or shortage of time tends to reduce impulse purchase (Iyer, 1989). Whereas time availability enhances the search activity in a retail outlet (Beatty & Smith, 1987). Customer having more time at hand tend to browse for a longer period. Customers having limited time for shopping may create frustration and negative impact to the shopping environment (Beatty et al., 1998).

External cues like scents, sounds, promotions are important to gain consumer attention (Baker, 1986). Soothing sound makes the mind of the consumer relax and scents help in creating a conducive environment for shopping. Promotions add to making an impulse purchase.

The retail environmental cues of a store include window displays, store layout, architecture, and background music (Mathwick et al., 2001). The retail store environment and the available product assortments increase the attractiveness of the product category which influences the impulsive behavior of the consumer (Jones et al., 2003). Retail environment has a high relevance with increasing impulsive buying (e.g., Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Kollat & Willett, 1969; Rook,1987; Wood, 1998).

Impulse buying is a distinct characteristic of consumer lifestyles and shopping habits (Rook, 1987). Shopping enjoyment is the pleasure the consumer obtains in the shopping process (Beatty et al., 1998). Recreational shoppers are consumers who enjoyed shopping, spent more time in shopping and shopped longer after purchase (Korgaonkar & Bellenger, 1980). Recreational shoppers enjoy shopping more than the merchandise purchased (Westbrook & Black, 1985).

Situational aspect of the store environment or a change in mood impacts impulse purchase (Ozer & Gultekin, 2015). Mood swings affects the shopper which strongly influences impulse purchasing (Gardner & Rook, 1988; Rook, 1987; Rook & Gardner, 1993). Positive and negative affect are orthogonal to each other (Watson & Tellegen, 1985).

The researcher in this paper uses positive social influence, positive affect, stress, constraints (time and money), external cues (scents, sound, promotional stimuli), retail environment (store size, layout, space, assortment), shopping behavior and situational motivation for measurement of situational factors. The following hypothesis is proposed based on the discussion.

H4: Situational Factors have an influence of impulsive buying.

Human traits tend to have an influence on the behavioral outcomes. Also, the characteristics of an individual may motivate or influence the mood of the individual and motivate him to make a purchase. We can say that the sociodemographic factors and dispositional factors may influence the situational factors. The following hypotheses are proposed.

H5: Sociodemographic factors have an influence on situational factors.

H6: Dispositional factors have an influence on situational factors.

Compulsive Buying (CB)

Compulsive buying is an excessive, repetitive irrepressible obsession, urges or behavior related to shopping which causes subjective sufferings and impaired functioning (Black, 2007). Consumers with a disorder of compulsive buying involve in impulse buy, though it may lead to harmful effect on the consumer due to repetitive and uncontrolled buying (Babin & Harris, 2015; Kukar-Kinney et al., 2009; Flight et al., 2012). Impulsiveness is a consequence from failure of self-control of desires (e.g., Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991; Roberts & Manolis, 2012; Vohs & Faber, 2007). Impulse buying behaviors over time leads to development of compulsive buying (Darrat et al., 2016), which can be classified as a type of control disorder resulting in impulse purchase (Faber, 2004). Depressed consumers has a tendency of compulsive buying behavior. Depression may be considered as a variable which can trigger compulsive buying (Darrat et al., 2016). Based on the discussion the following hypothesis is proposed.

H7: Impulsive buying has an influence on compulsive buying.

Clinical studies claim that female consumers with binge disorders have a bigger tendency to buy compulsively (Faber et al., 1995). Consumer anxiety leads to compulsive buying (Valence et al., 1988). It is seen that impulse buying is generally erratic and not frequent whereas compulsive buying is losing control of self in buying situations (Darrat et al., 2016). It is found consumers with positive mindset indulge more in compulsive buying (Cardi et al., 2015). Also, compulsive buyers have a high ability to fantasize (O’Guinn & Faber, 1989). Demographics play a role in influencing compulsive buying and the following hypothesis is proposed.

H8: Sociodemographic factors have an influence on compulsive buying.

While browsing in the store the consumer encounters with the desirable products which triggers an urge to buy. It becomes difficult for a consumer to resist the urge to buy if they had encountered with product experiences (Rook, 1987). Once the consumer desires to own a product, the reference point changes from partially adapting to the notion of owning or consuming the product (Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991). Thus, buying creates more buying thereby creating a vicious cycle (Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991). The prevailing situational creates an environment where the consumer makes a compulsive buy. The following hypothesis is proposed.

H9: Situational Factors have an influence on compulsive buying.

Based on the premises developed the conceptual framework is developed as depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The Conceptual Model

A questionnaire was used with a five-point scale to measure the responses of the respondents. The sample size is 564. The respondents were consumers who had shopped on any organized retail outlet in India. 63.1% of the respondents were male and 36.9% of the respondents were female. 19.1% of the respondents are in the age group 18 years to less than 25 years, 25% of the respondents are in the age group 25 years to less than 35 years, 41.3% of the respondents are in the age group 35 years to less than 45 years, 9.4% of the respondents are in the age group 45 years to less than 55 years, and 5.1% of the respondents are in the age group 55yrs and above. The data was analyzed using SmartPLS 3 (Ringle et al., 2015).

Measurement Scale

Scales for sociodemographic factors were adapted from (Sharma et al., 2010); dispositional factors were adapted from (Mowen & Minor, 2006; Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Rook & Fisher, 1995; Sharma et al., 2010); situational factors were adapted from (Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Dholakia, 2000; Kacen et al., 2012); impulsive buying was adapted from (Puri, 1996; Rook & Fisher, 1995); compulsive buying behavior was adapted from (Faber & O’Guinn's, 1992).

The measurement scale consisted of 24 statements. Three statements SDF3, DF3, DF4 were removed to increase the model fitness in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The Structural Model

SRMR: A value less than 0.10 or of 0.08 (Hu & Bentler, 1999) is considered a good fit (Henseler et al., 2015). Here the SRMR value is 0.105.

NFI: Consequently, the NFI results in values between 0 and 1. The closer the NFI to 1, the better the fit (Lohmöller, 1989). The NFI value is 0.112.

Rms Theta: The measure should be close to zero to indicate good model fit (Henseler et al., 2014; Lohmöller, 1989). The rms Theta value is 0.188 which is ok in Table 1.

Table 1: Model Fit
Fit Summary
  Saturated Model Estimated Model
SRMR 0.105 0.105
d_ULS 2.562 2.566
d_G 0.756 0.757
Chi-Square 2146.325 2147.724
NFI 0.112 0.112

The r square value of 0.645 of impulsive behavior is good. This Table 2 shows that 64.5% of the variance is explained by the independent variables - dispositional factors and situational factors. Whereas 9.1% of the variance for compulsive behavior is explained by the variables impulsive buying dispositional factors and situational factors.

Table 2: R Square
  R Square R Square Adjusted
Compulsive Buying 0.091 0.086
Dispositional Factors 0.003 0.002
Impulsive Buying 0.645 0.643
Situational Factors 0.026 0.023

F square measures the effect size. F Square value of 0.35 is strong, 0.15 is moderate and.02 is weak (Cohen, 1988). From the Table 3 it is seen that the effect size of dispositional factors on impulsive buying is 0.485 and is strong. The effect size of situational factors on impulsive buying is 1.122 and is very strong. The effect size of impulsive buying, situational factors and sociodemographic factors on compulsive buying is weak.

Table 3: F Square
  Compulsive Buying Dispositional Factors Impulsive Buying Situational Factors Sociodemographic Factors
Compulsive Buying          
Dispositional Factors     0.485 0.015  
Impulsive Buying 0.010        
Situational Factors 0.003   1.122    
Sociodemographic Factors 0.084 0.003 0.003 0.013  

Chronbach’s alpha value of 0.5 and above is good. In the Table 4 it is seen that except for impulsive buying the other variables have low Chronbach’s alpha value. Rho A of 0.7 and above is good. In the table it is seen that sociodemographic factors have a very low rho A value. Composite reliability of 0.7 and high is good. The situational factors have a low composite reliability value. AVE of 0.5 and above is good. Only impulsive buying has a value of 0.530.

Table 4: Construct Reliability and Validity
  Cronbach's Alpha rho_A Composite Reliability Average Variance Extracted (AVE)
Compulsive Buying 0.216 0.527 0.606 0.454
Dispositional Factors 0.103 0.219 0.517 0.287
Impulsive Buying 0.539 0.698 0.747 0.530
Situational Factors 0.256 0.300 0.097 0.131
Sociodemographic Factors 0.017 -0.103 0.481 0.331

The diagonals are the square root of the AVE. Off-diagonals are the correlations of the latent constructs. The diagonals indicate the highest of any column or row. Also, in the cross loading in Factor analysis, the items under each construct fall under the same factors. This complies with the discriminant validity requirements Table 5.

Table 5: Discriminant Validity
Fornell-Larcker Criterion
  Compulsive Buying Dispositional Factors Impulsive Buying Situational Factors Sociodemographic Factors
Compulsive Buying 0.674        
Dispositional Factors -0.129 0.535      
Impulsive Buying -0.081 0.494 0.728    
Situational Factors 0.010 0.114 0.684 0.362  
Sociodemographic Factors -0.285 0.059 -0.011 -0.107 0.575

The results from path analysis in Table 6 shows that sociodemographic factors do not influence impulsive buying, dispositional factors and situational factors. But sociodemographic factors have a positive influence on compulsive buying. Impulse buying is a temporary affair which is associated with temptation and immediate enjoyment (Dholakia, 2000; Puri, 1996; Rook, 1987; Vohs & Faber, 2007). If the decision-making time during impulse purchase is delayed it leads to development of constraining factors which may dissipate the impulse buying temptation (Dholakia, 2000). Extension of time allows cognitive evaluation of the impulse generated. Though there may be a temporary control of the sociodemographic factors on dispositional and situational factors but it does not have control over compulsive buying. Sociodemographic factors have a negative influence on compulsive buying. This means the younger the consumers the more the compulsive buying.

Table 6: Path Coefficients
Mean, STDEV, T-Values, P-Values
  Original Sample (O) Sample Mean (M) Standard Deviation (STDEV) T Statistics (|O/STDEV|) P Values Results
Sociodemographic Factors -> Impulsive Buying 0.033 0.023 0.057 0.578 0.563 Reject H1
Dispositional Factors -> Impulsive Buying 0.419 0.513 0.132 3.175 0.002 Accept H2
Sociodemographic Factors -> Dispositional Factors 0.059 0.043 0.06 0.981 0.327 Reject H3
Situational Factors -> Impulsive Buying 0.64 0.403 0.311 2.059 0.04 Accept H4
Sociodemographic Factors -> Situational Factors -0.114 0.042 0.38 0.3 0.764 Reject H5
Dispositional Factors -> Situational Factors 0.121 0.088 0.092 1.319 0.187 Reject H6
Impulsive Buying -> Compulsive Buying -0.132 -0.115 0.066 1.999 0.046 Accept H7
Sociodemographic Factors -> Compulsive Buying -0.279 -0.236 0.11 2.531 0.012 Accept H8
Situational Factors -> Compulsive Buying 0.07 0.051 0.079 0.884 0.377 Reject H9

It is seen that the dispositional factors do not have an influence on the situational factors. Generally, the consumers have a predetermined purchase plan and they try to stick to it. The external cues and influence sometimes fail to lure the consumers. That is the reason why the spontaneous urge or desire generated (Rook & Hoch, 1985; Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991), though strong and irresistible may not always result into impulsive buying (Rook & Fisher, 1995). The reason being, consumers use different tactics to control the desire for impulsive buy (Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991). Post purchase it is seen that consumers regret the impulse purchases made (Gardner & Rook, 1998). Consumers who do not have control over self are impulsive, hasty, careless and easily overpowered by impulse triggers. Consumers also try to overcome the urge for impulse buy through various self-control strategies (Hoch & Loewenstein, 1991). This may be the reason why the dispositional factors may not be influenced by the situational factors to trigger impulse purchase.

It is also seen that dispositional factors have a positive influence on impulsive buying. The personality traits and characteristics differ from person to person. Consumers with high impulse buying traits are likely to engage in more instore browsing (Beatty et al., 1998). The feeling of joy in browsing and relieving the stress by instant buying gives the individual a different dimension of pleasure. Impulse buying traits tends to generate positive reinforcement which makes consumers feel better after the purchase (Rook & Gardner, 1992). It is also seen that socially appropriate and rational impulses tend to have a stronger urge to buy (Rook & Fisher, 1995). It is seen that in store browsers are found to make more unplanned purchases (Jarboe & McDaniel, 1987).

Situational factors have a positive influence on impulsive buying. Situational factors like the feelings of pleasure, enthusiasm and delight influence impulse buying (Weinberg & Gottwald, 1982). Pleasure is positively associated with probability of overspending in a conducive shopping environment (Donovan & Rossiter, 1982). Consumers buy on impulse to relieve stress and depression (Korgaonker & Bellenger, 1980). Consumers’ also buy on impulse to cheer themselves (Mick & DeMoss, 1990).

Situational factors do not influence compulsive buying. Compulsive buying is a disorder. In case an individual has the disorder, compulsive buying will happen even if there are no external influence. But it is seen that the presence of external influence triggers the compulsive behavior.

Impulsive buying has an influence on compulsive buying. Impulse buying is a strong temptation for owning a desired object with little constraint to resist the temptation (e.g., Dholakia, 2000; Khan & Dhar, 2004; Puri, 1996; Roberts & Manolis, 2012; Weinberg & Gottwald, 1982). Impulse buying is spontaneous, with no concern of the consequences and involves a temptation of hedonic self fulfilment through immediate consumption (Babin & Harris, 2013; Dholakia, 2000; Sharma et al., 2010; Verhagen & van Dolen, 2011). Impulse buying is considered a powerful and strong urge to buy immediately (Rook, 1987) which is usually unplanned (Stern, 1962). The time duration between desire to purchase and actual purchase is short and is triggered by temptations of immediate satisfaction (Baun & Groeppel-Klein, 2003; Punj, 2011; Puri, 1996; Taute & McQuitty, 2004). Impulse buying behavior is a hierarchy of effects where a consumer experiences an urge for the product, makes an immediate purchase and tries to justify the act (e.g., Baumeister, 2002; Mowen & Minor, 2006, Puri, 1996).

In case of compulsive buying it is an irresistible urge which is often dissatisfying post the purchase (Table 7).

Table 7: Mediation Effects and Total Indirect Effects
Mean, STDEV, T-Values, P-Values
  Original Sample (O) Sample Mean (M) Standard Deviation (STDEV) T Statistics (|O/STDEV|) P Values
Dispositional Factors -> Compulsive Buying -0.057 -0.060 0.034 1.659 0.097
Dispositional Factors -> Impulsive Buying 0.077 0.059 0.046 1.671 0.095
Dispositional Factors -> Situational Factors          
Impulsive Buying -> Compulsive Buying          
Situational Factors -> Compulsive Buying -0.084 -0.050 0.053 1.596 0.111
Situational Factors -> Impulsive Buying          
Sociodemographic Factors -> Compulsive Buying -0.006 0.009 0.033 0.184 0.854
Sociodemographic Factors -> Dispositional Factors          
Sociodemographic Factors -> Impulsive Buying -0.044 -0.029 0.085 0.513 0.608
Sociodemographic Factors -> Situational Factors 0.007 0.005 0.009 0.818 0.413

There are six indirect effects. Path DF-> IB is not significant. DF-> CB is not significant. Path SF-> CB is not significant. Path SDF-> CB is not significant. Path SDF-> IB is not significant. Path SDF-> SF is not significant. Hence, we have full mediation in all these cases Appendix.


In conclusion we can say that impulsive buying is an important factor that enhances the customer purchase volume. Though sociodemographic factors do not have an influence on impulsive buying, yet we see that dispositional factors and situational factors do have an influence on impulsive buying. Impulsive buying is based on the consumer’s inherent traits and the available atmosphere. Here impulsive buying is having an influence on compulsive buying.

Though compulsive buying is a serious human disorder and is not influenced by dispositional and situational factors yet sociodemographic factors and impulsive buying may trigger compulsive buying.


The sample size collected is small. A large sample will help to get a better model fit. Cultural differences vary with the ethnic groups and their behavior also are different from one another. More study from different cultural groups will help understand the ethnic requirements and help the retailers serve them better.

Bussiness Implications

Retailers need to understand the consumer behavior to understand how a consumer makes a purchase. The factors influencing the purchase behavior will help retailers to design suitable marketing strategies and understanding the consumer requirements. Compulsive buying is an undesirable act mostly led by mental disorders. Impulse buying is a way to release the undergoing depression due to the mental disorder. Care should be taken not to push consumers who are having a disorder and prone to undergo compulsive buying.


Variable Codes Indicators Statements
(Sharma et al., 2010)
Sociodemographic Factors
SDF1 Gender Gender has an influence on impulsive buying
SDF2 Age Age has an influence on impulsive buying
SDF3 Income Income has an influence on impulsive buying
SDF4 Ethnicity Ethnicity has an influence on impulsive buying
(Mowen & Minor, 2006; Beatty &
Ferrell,1998; Rook & Fisher,1995; Sharma et al., 2010).
Dispositional Factors
DF1 IBT(Impulse Buying Traits) I have a tendency to make unplanned purchase
DF2 Personality traits Personality traits influence impulse buying
DF3 Lifestyle Lifestyle of an individual impacts impulse buying
DF4 Measures of involvement I tend to purchase more if I am fully involved in the shopping
DF5 Internal drive states Unplanned purchase increases with a positive drive
DF6 Importance of purchase to individual. I have a tendency to make unplanned purchase if the product is important
(Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Dholakia, 2000; Kacen et al., 2012).
Situational Factors
SF1 Positive social influence Positive social influence consumers to buy on impulse
SF2 Positive affect Positive affect which creates pleasure , excitement creates positive attitude triggering impulse purchase
SF3 Stress Negative affect like stress, depression, negative mood and fatigue reduces unplanned buy
SF4 Time Time constraints and money constraints creates a barrier to buy on impulse
SF5 External cues External cues like scents, sounds, promotions creates an impact on impulse buy
SF6 Retail Environment The retail environment like the store size, layout, space and assortment increases the propensity to buy on impulse
SF7 Shopping behavior Shopping behavior also influences impulse buy
SF8 Situational motivation Situation based motivation influences impulse buy
(Puri, 1996; Rook & Fisher, 1995)
Impulsive Buying
IB1 No intention I like to buy things that I had not intended buying
IB2 Unplanned I make unplanned purchases
IB3 Spontaneous Spontaneous buying is fun
(Faber and O’Guinn's, 1992)
Compulsive Buying
CB1  Affordability I bought products even though I could not afford them
CB2 Enough money  I wrote a check even though I knew I did not have enough money in the bank to cover it
CB3 Missing  I feel something missing, anxious or nervous on when I do not go shopping


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