Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour

Dissertation Title

The Impact of Online Shopping Applications on Impulsive Buying Behaviour: An Analysis of the Differences in the Behaviour of Online and Offline Shoppers

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Proposal Summary

The presented proposal describes a dissertation that would aim to investigate the effects of online shopping applications on impulsive buying behaviour. The topic is noticeably understudied; the preliminary literature review found only one article that considered it (Park, Jun & Lee 2015), and the results could not be viewed as very generalisable. The phenomenon of impulsive buying behaviour is studied better, and many factors that influence it have already been found (Amos, Holmes & Keneson 2014; Badgaiyan & Verma 2015; Lai 2017), but online shopping applications remain overlooked. At the same time, online shopping applications are becoming increasingly important for modern businesses, which means that their investigation is required. Similarly, impulsive buying behaviour is a critical factor for businesspeople to consider (Amos, Holmes & Keneson 2014). As a result, the proposed study intends to contribute to the examination of the two phenomena and the relationships between them. The significance of the investigation is justified by the absence of evidence on the topic, as well as its importance for marketing and business, which explains why it could be considered of interest to modern researchers.

In order to achieve the desired outcomes, the study will employ a mixed methods design guided by critical realism. In particular, the researcher will engage online and offline buyers and investigate their buying behaviours with the help of a survey. Additionally, buyers and marketing experts will be asked to review the results of the survey and reflect on the effects that online shopping applications have on buying behaviours. By incorporating different approaches to inquiry, the study will be able to objectively track the presence or absence of the relationship between phenomena and investigate it in depth with the help of expert opinions. The project is supposed to take seven months.

The dissertation is meant to assist a specific company, but its results can be of use for many businesses that plan to or already employ online shopping applications. Indeed, impulsive buying behaviour is of great importance as it signifies the sudden, impulsive decision to buy a product. According to recent analyses, up to 80% of purchases can be the result of impulsive buying behaviour (Amos, Holmes & Keneson, 2014, p. 1). Therefore, the ability to cause such impulses is invaluable for a retailer, which prompts the investigation of the phenomenon and its causes.

Based on the project objectives and anticipated project outcomes, the proposed research will offer some new evidence that will describe the nature of the relationship between online shopping applications and impulsive buying behaviour. Thus, it will present an opportunity to understand the factors that affect impulsive buying behaviour better. Eventually, the study will attempt to produce practically applicable knowledge in the form of recommendations related to the use of online shopping applications. This knowledge can be of interest to marketing specialists and other people who are engaged in business. Thus, the research will have both theoretical and practical importance in that it will offer some data on an understudied topic and discuss the practical implications of the results.

Topic Literature Review

Out of the chosen phenomena, impulsive buying behaviour is relatively well-studied. The research on the topic demonstrates that impulsive buying behaviour is complex and can be influenced by multiple factors (Lai 2017). Some of them include personal characteristics (for instance, age or extraversion), moods, the availability of funds, specifics of socialisation, and marketing activities (Amos, Holmes & Keneson 2014; Badgaiyan & Verma 2015; Lai 2017). Regarding the latter, a recent study showed the effects of the site personality on impulsive buying behaviour (Rezaei et al. 2016), and another one considered the impact of the interactivity of product presentation (Vonkeman, Verhagen & Dolen 2017). However, no recent study was found that would specifically focus on the effects of online shopping applications on impulsive buying behaviour.

In general, modern articles indicate that despite the growing interest of buyers in online shopping applications, as well as the increase of the importance of online marketing for business, the topic is relatively understudied (Badgaiyan & Verma 2014; Rezaei et al. 2016). At the same time, there is an increase in impulsive buying behaviours online (Lai 2017). Additionally, there is some evidence which indicates that mobile shopping may have an impact on impulse buying, increasing it (Lee, Park & Jun 2014; Park, Jun & Lee 2015). A study by Park, Jun and Lee (2015) also produces some data which suggests that online shopping applications may have an impact on impulsive buying behaviour. The research had a large sample (400 people) and used surveys and statistical analysis to prove the presence of the relationships between phenomena. However, this study did not focus on the topic and only recruited people from South Korea, which limits the generalisability of the results to this country. No other similar research was found during the preliminary literature review. Therefore, the significance of the proposed investigation is highlighted: it will contribute some data that will help to cover an understudied topic.

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Objectives

The project has the following key objectives:

  • To determine if the results of the surveys indicate that there is a relationship between online shopping applications and impulsive buying behaviour.
  • To present the hypothetical reasons for the presence or absence of the relationship based on the results of the interviews.
  • To present the effects that online shopping applications can have on impulsive buying behaviour based on the results of both surveys and interviews.
  • Based on the found relationships and effects, to offer recommendations that will target marketing specialists and focus on the fostering of impulsive buying behaviour through the use of online shopping applications.

The objectives are specific, relevant, and achievable. The measurements and timeframes can be found within them. For instance, as can be seen from the first objective, it will be achieved after the surveys’ analysis, and its success will be measured by the fact of determining the relationship or its absence. Thus, the objectives are SMART.

Project Outcomes

The anticipated outcomes follow the objectives.

  • The study will contribute some evidence which will prove or disprove and characterise the relationship between online shopping applications and impulsive buying behaviour. The characterisation will include the description of the effects of the former on the latter.
  • The study will offer hypothetical reasons for the presence or absence of this relationship.
  • Based on the findings, the study will consider the implications and propose recommendations for marketing specialists, especially with respect to fostering impulsive buying behaviour.

Note that the study will not be able to prove or disprove the relationships, but it will contribute some data indicating their presence or absence.

Why are you interested in the project?

Online marketing is a relatively new tool, which has great potential and is becoming increasingly important. However, due to its novelty, it is not investigated very well. The lack of relevant knowledge implies the difficulties in applying the tool. Therefore, additional research on the topic is needed. The proposed study will not be able to describe the relationship between online shopping apps and buying behaviour exhaustively, but it will contribute some data that can be of use to businesspeople. The significance of the topic and the lack of research on it explains why it can be described as interesting.

What are the key questions the project attempts to answer?

The following research questions are proposed.

  1. Is there a relationship between online shopping applications and impulsive buying behaviour?
  2. If there is a relationship, what kind of effects do online shopping applications have on impulsive buying behaviour?
  3. Can any potential reasons for the found effects (or the absence of effects) be hypothesised? What are they?
  4. What are the implications of the findings for marketing and business? Can any recommendations on the topic be offered? What are they?

What Research Methods do you intend to use?

The proposed study will be guided by the critical realism research paradigm. This stance can be briefly characterised as a middle ground between positivism and constructionism (Eriksson & Kovalainen 2016). In other words, it postulates that there is an objective reality which humans can observe, but it also points out the significance of the social construction of knowledge and the impact of subjectivity on what humans can learn. Eriksson and Kovalainen (2016) note that critical realism can be particularly appropriate for the designs that incorporate multiple methods. For the dissertation, both quantitative and qualitative approaches can be useful. Quantitative methods can help to investigate the relationships between the two phenomena of interest in a relatively objective way. On the other hand, qualitative approaches can provide insights into these relationships (Creswell 2014). Consequently, a mixed methods design is proposed for the study.

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To investigate the presence of the relationship between the two phenomena of interest, the buying behaviour of online and offline buyers will be compared. The participants will be provided with a survey that will be based on the information about impulsive buying behaviour. The results for the two groups will be checked for statistically significant differences using a test that would fit the final sample. This way, the presence of the relationship between the phenomena will be determined (Benzo, Mohsen & Fourali 2017), which will help the study to produce some objective evidence on the topic.

To investigate this relationship or its absence, semi-structured interviews are proposed. They are a common approach to qualitative research, and they can provide the required insights (Hair et al. 2015). The interviews will focus on the perceived relationship between phenomena and ask the participants to interpret the results of the quantitative part of the dissertation. The reasons for the findings and their implications will also be considered. This way, both objective reality and subjective perspectives will be investigated as appropriate for critical realism.

Regarding the planned sampling approach, the surveys will be aimed at consumers, and the key parameter that will be sought out in the potential respondents will be their use of online apps. Additionally, it is planned to study more or less similar groups; in particular, middle-income people with similar sociocultural backgrounds and marital statuses will be recruited. This approach will help to minimise the effects that demographic factors might have on the buying behaviours of the respondents. Some of the participants will also be asked to participate in in-depth interviews to determine their subjective perceptions regarding the influence of applications on their buying behaviour. Furthermore, the study will need to recruit experts. Here, the expertise in the field of marketing, especially the understanding of online applications, will be considered. The potential participants will be inquired about their education and the experience that they have in the field. Other demographic characteristics are going to be considered irrelevant.

Regarding the sampling strategy, it will include convenience and quota approaches (Hair et al. 2015). It is planned to use online and offline stores to find the consumers who can fit the requirements of the research. Admittedly, convenience sampling is a non-probability technique, which affects the representativeness of the sample negatively (Benzo, Mohsen & Fourali 2017; Creswell 2014). However, given the study’s objectives and limitations (especially time-related concerns), this approach seems to be appropriate if the restrictions of the sampling strategy are taken into account when interpreting the results. As for the quota sampling, it involves determining the limits for the number of participants belonging to particular groups within the recruited population (Benzo, Mohsen & Fourali 2017). It will be used to ensure that both online and offline buyers are sufficiently represented. Currently, it is planned to recruit 50 online buyers and 50 offline buyers for the surveys and employ five people from each group for interviews.

For the expert interviews, the convenience approach to sampling will be used. The stores that will be contacted to engage customers are also likely to have marketing experts who will be asked to participate as well. About 10 participants will be recruited for this task. Additional stores can be contacted if there is a shortage of experts. Furthermore, snowball sampling might be employed if more interviewees are needed (Benzo, Mohsen & Fourali 2017). In summary, a number of different research methods will be used to ensure that the study’s objectives are achieved.

A preliminary survey tool can be found in Appendix A; it can be easily transformed into an online survey. Regarding the interview tool, it will depend on the findings of the survey, which is why it cannot be presented yet. Basically, it will consist of the interviewer presenting the survey results (percentages, trends in data, and so on) and asking the interviewee to provide commentary based on their expertise. The purpose of the tools consists of providing the data necessary for the study, and since there are no ready tools that would be appropriate for this goal, their development is justified. However, they have not been tested for reliability or validity, and some trials will be necessary to perfect them. Also, they are self-reported tools, which is another limitation that will be noted when describing the results. Still, they will be tailored specifically for the study, which means that they will provide the necessary data and, therefore, fulfil their purpose.

What primary and/or secondary data sources do you intend to use?

The study will be based on both primary and secondary data. The secondary data (existing evidence) will be employed to contextualise the research and develop the tools for data collection (survey and interview questions). For example, given the difficulty of quantifying or otherwise measuring impulsive buying behaviour, the study will use published research, including the article by Amos, Holmes and Keneson (2014), to develop relevant questions.

However, the bulk of the research will be based on primary data. This fact is explained by the shortage of secondary information that can be employed to meet research objectives. Thus, the key sources of data will be the surveys and interviews that are described above. Regarding the specifics, currently, it is planned to contact online and offline stores in search of the customers who would agree to complete the surveys. Concerning online options, Farfetch.com, Matchfashion.com, and senses.com are being considered. Additionally, Amazon and eBay are a possibility. As for offline stores, they will be found based on their location, which should be convenient for the researcher.

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Please provide draft chapter heading for your report

The following chapter headings are based on the structure that is commonly employed in dissertations, research reports, and articles. They may be revised in future.

  1. Abstract.
  2. Table of contents.
  3. Introduction.
  4. Background and literature review.
  5. Methodology.
  6. Findings.
  7. Analysis and discussion.
  8. Conclusion.
  9. Recommendations and implications.
  10. References.
  11. Appendices.

Plan

The proposed plan highlights the fact that the literature review is likely to be a continuous effort, as well as feedback solicitation. Additionally, note that the report development stage signifies the process of putting together and revising the materials that will be written throughout the project. For example, the literature review activity includes the process of writing the background and methodology chapters, and the analysis stages presuppose developing the drafts related to findings and discussion.

Activity Anticipated Dates 9/2018 10/2018 11/2018 12/2018 1/2019 2/2019 3/2019 4/2019
Literature reviewX 15/09/2018 15/03/2019 X X X X X X X X X X X X
Proposal development and approval 15/09/2018 15/10/2018 X X
Methodology finalisation 15/09/2018 30/10/2018 X X X
Data collection tools development 30/09/2018 10/10/2018 X
Recruitment 30/10/2018 15/11/2018 X
Data collection (surveys) 15/11/2018 15/12/2018 X X
Data analysis (surveys) 15/12/2018 15/01/2019 X X
Data collection (interviews) 15/01/2019 15/02/2019 X X
Data analysis (interviews) 15/02/2019 15/03/2019 X X
Report development 15/03/2019 10/04/2019 X X
Report finalisation and submission 10/04/2019 15/04/2019 X
Feedback solicitation As required X X X X X X X X

List of References

Amos, C, Holmes, G & Keneson, W 2014, ‘A meta-analysis of consumer impulse buying’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 86-97.

Badgaiyan, A & Verma, A 2014, ‘Intrinsic factors affecting impulsive buying behavior – evidence from India’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 537-549.

Badgaiyan, A & Verma, A 2015, ‘Does urge to buy impulsively differ from impulsive buying behaviour? Assessing the impact of situational factors’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 22, pp. 145-157.

Benzo, R, Mohsen, M & Fourali, C 2017, Marketing research, SAGE, New York, NY.

Creswell, J 2014, Research design, 4th edn, SAGE, New York, NY.

Eriksson, P & Kovalainen, A 2016, Qualitative methods in business research, 2nd end, SAGE, Los Angeles, CA.

Hair, J, Celsi, M, Money, A, Samouel, P & Page, M 2015, Essentials of business research methods, 3rd edn, Routledge, New York, NY.

Lai, J 2017, ‘The comparative research on online impulsive buying behaviour between the U.K. and China’, Journal of Residuals Science and Technology, vol. 14, no. S1, pp. S119-S124.

Lee, T, Park, C & Jun, J 2014, ‘Two Faces of Mobile Shopping’, International Journal of E-Business Research, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 15-32.

Park, C, Jun, J & Lee, T 2015, ‘Do mobile shoppers feel smart in the smartphone age?’, International Journal of Mobile Communications, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 157.

Rezaei, S, Ali, F, Amin, M & Jayashree, S 2016, ‘Online impulse buying of tourism products’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 60-83.

Vonkeman, C, Verhagen, T & Dolen, W 2017, ‘Role of local presence in online impulse buying’, Information & Management, vol. 54, no. 8, pp. 1038-1048.

Appendix A

A Preliminary Survey

Thank you for agreeing to participate in this survey! It will focus on the instances of you buying things in a brick-and-mortar store or an online shopping application without planning the purchase beforehand.

Part A: Do You Buy Spontaneously?

Please consider the statements below and mark the answers that describe you the best.

    1. I try to plan my purchases.
Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never
    1. I buy unplanned things when using online applications.
Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never
    1. I buy unplanned things in brick-and-mortar stores.
Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never
    1. I buy things spontaneously.
Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never

Part B: What Leads to Spontaneous Buying?

Please consider the statements below and mark the answers that describe you the best.

    1. When using an online application, I am less likely to buy unplanned things compared to a visit to a brick-and-mortar store.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Advertisements result in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Seeing something new results in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Discounts result in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. The influence of my family (e.g. child, parent, spouse) results in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Limited-time offers result in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Seeing another person buy a thing from a brick-and-mortar store results in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Knowing that another person bought a thing using online applications results in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Colourful pictures in an online store result in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Detailed descriptions in an online application result in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. Online apps recommendations result in me buying unplanned things.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. There are many things in online shopping applications that result in me buying things I did not plan to buy.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree
    1. There are many things in brick-and-mortar stores that result in me buying things I did not plan to buy.
Strongly Agree Agree Not Sure Disagree Strongly Disagree

Part C: An Optional Question

What else can result in you buying unplanned things? Please insert any answers that were not mentioned above:

In an online application:
In a brick-and-mortar store:

Thank you very much for your time!

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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 18). Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/online-shopping-app-effects-on-impulsive-buying-behaviour/

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"Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour." StudyCorgi, 18 Jan. 2021, studycorgi.com/online-shopping-app-effects-on-impulsive-buying-behaviour/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour." January 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/online-shopping-app-effects-on-impulsive-buying-behaviour/.


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StudyCorgi. "Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour." January 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/online-shopping-app-effects-on-impulsive-buying-behaviour/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour." January 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/online-shopping-app-effects-on-impulsive-buying-behaviour/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Online Shopping App Effects on Impulsive Buying Behaviour'. 18 January.

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