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The effects of sales promotion strategy, product appeal and consumer traits on reminder impulse buying behaviour
Shu-Ling Liao1, Yung-Cheng Shen2 and Chia-Hsien Chu3
Department of International Business, Yuan-Ze University, Chung-li, Taoyuan, Taiwan Department of Business Administration, Yuan-Ze University, Chung-li, Taoyuan, Taiwan 3 Graduate School of Management, Yuan-Ze University, Chung-li, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Keywords Reminder impulse buying, pure impulse buying, sales promotion strategy, product appeal, consumer traits. Correspondence Chia-Hsien Chu, Graduate School of Management, Yuan-Ze University, 135 Yuan-Tung Road, Chung-li, Taoyuan 320, Taiwan. E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org doi: 10.1111/j.1470-6431.2009.00770.x
This article investigates factors of marketing communications and consumer characteristics that induce reminder impulse buying behaviour. Study 1 applies the antecedent, process and consequence approach to investigate the essential differences between reminder impulse buying and pure impulse buying. The results of Study 1 reveal that reminder impulse buying signiﬁcantly differs from pure impulse buying on motivation, buying goal and decision evaluation. Study 2 further examines how sales promotion strategy might affect reminder impulse buying, with product appeal and consumer traits as moderating factors. Both sales promotion strategy and its interaction effects with product appeal are found to have signiﬁcant inﬂuences on reminder impulse buying. Speciﬁcally, an instantreward promotion promotes stronger reminder impulse buying than a delayed-reward promotion. Furthermore, both a utilitarian product appeal with a price discount promotion and a hedonic product appeal with a premium promotion can encourage greater reminder impulse buying.
Impulse buying is pervasive in the marketplace. A recent study of consumers’ shopping habits conducted in Chicago by the Market Research Association found that youngsters are more likely to purchase on impulse than older people, who have developed loyalty to certain products, are but that 85% of consumers are impulse buyers. Although marketing researchers have investigated impulse buying for nearly 50 years, most have focused on pure impulse buying rather than on other types. The substantial literature in the area of pure impulse buying is comprised of several streams of research. First, consumer behaviour researchers have examined the individual impulse trait and found that buying impulsiveness is a consumer’s tendency to buy spontaneously, unreﬂectively, immediately and kinetically (Rook and Hoch, 1985; Rook, 1987; Gardner and Rook, 1988; Rook and Fisher, 1995; Wood, 1998). The second stream focuses on impulse product, and past research has reported that products with low prices that require frequent buying and less product knowledge are more likely to be bought on impulse (Rook and Hoch, 1985; Cobb and Hoyer, 1986). In addition, Bayley and Nancarrow (1998) argued that impulse products could also include high-involvement and highprice products, such as jewelry, automobiles and works of art. Finally, the third stream is the situation approach, which emphasizes the powerful and persistent urge that evokes impulse buying,
such as the store atmosphere and display (Abratt and Goodey, 1990; Steenkamp et al., 1996), product novelty and attraction (Shiv and Fedorikhin, 1999; Dholakia, 2000) and the price promotion (Piron, 1991; Puri, 1996; Dholakia, 2000).
Reminder and pure impulse buying
Past research suggested that impulse buying is a tendency to buy on whim or an action with less rational decision making (Rook and Hoch, 1985; Rook, 1987; Gardner and Rook, 1988; Rook and Fisher, 1995; Wood, 1998). Stern (1962) proposed a classiﬁcation framework of impulse purchases, the impulse mix, indicating that pure impulse buying is made for variety or novelty and breaks a normal decision-making rule. That is, before consumers make an impulsive purchasing decision, they often do not have a list of which products or brands to buy. Therefore, the objects that consumers purchase on pure impulse buying are unplanned. Reminder impulse buying occurs when the shopper enters the store and sees an item or recalls an advertisement or other information about the item and remembers that the stock at home is exhausted. That is, the consumer is reminded of the need to buy an item upon seeing it. Pure impulse buying is distinguished from reminder impulse buying in that the shopper has no buying experience or knowledge of the product to assist him/her in the purchase. As shown in Table 1, pure impulse buying can be compared and contrasted with
International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
The exploratory empirical Study 1 clariﬁes the essential differences between pure and reminder impulse buying. quality and dependability. and no theory-driven and validated measure so far to distinguish reminder and pure impulsive buying behaviours. There is a notable lack of empirical research on reminder impulsive buying behaviour. The article concludes with a useful viewpoint with which to investigate the impulsive buying behaviour in Study 1. International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . Solomon.S. the results of two studies and the implications for managers and future research. H1-3: Reminder impulse buying has higher levels of rational motivation than emotional motivation. H1-2: The level of emotional motivation is higher with pure impulse buying than with reminder impulse buying. A need becomes a motive when it is aroused to a sufﬁcient intensity. process and consequence (APC) approach. reminder impulsive buying behaviour is relatively moreplanned and more objective. second. According to the deﬁnitions of reminder and pure impulse buying. Hanna and Wozniak. 1982. the present research attempts to provide a useful framework with which to investigate reminder impulsive buying behaviour. to examine different sales promotions to determine if immediate. to investigate further the moderating effect of consumers’ traits on reminder impulse buying. Hanna and Wozniak (2001) classiﬁed motives as either rational or emotional. shopping list and product knowledge. Research objectives Two studies are used to investigate the consumers’ reminder impulse buying. with product appeal and consumer traits as moderating factors. Purchase motivation Marketing scholars have proposed that behind each purchase action lies a motive (Solomon. the expanded view emphasizes that the entire consumption process. Rational motives are aroused through appeals to rationality. such as economy. feelings and fun. the purchase goal of reminder impulse buying tends to satisfy more utilitarian 275 Study 1: exploring the essential differences between reminder and pure impulse buying Although exchange remains an important part of consumer behaviour. Study 1 investigates the essential differences between the reminder and the pure impulsive buying behaviours. Researchers have classiﬁed purchase goals as satisfying either utilitarian or hedonic needs (Hirschman and Holbrook. H1-4: Pure impulse buying has higher levels of emotional motivation than rational motivation. 2002).-L. The objectives of the present study are fourfold: ﬁrst. Study 2 examines the inﬂuences of sales promotion strategy on reminder impulse buying. which includes the APC. 1997). fourth. Such motivations are linked to an individual’s social and aesthetic requirements. 2001). 1992. Based on the situation approach. Ratchford (1987) suggested that rational consumers make purchase decisions based on the essential functions of the products while emotional consumers make purchase decisions based on their feelings and selfexpressive motives. Emotional motives are those that drive a purchase decision based on subjective criteria. Reminder impulse buying is more rational in its decisionmaking process than pure impulse buying. so these experiential aspects of consumption focus on the hedonic nature of consumption goals. Solomon (1992) argued that consumers making a purchase decision from a rational perspective would search information and evaluate the alternatives. to examine the different product appeals with which promotion incentives can evoke signiﬁcant reminder impulse buying. such as social status. A brief review of extant research on consumers’ impulse buying literature is followed by a discussion of the objectives. is more helpful in understanding consumer behaviour (Solomon. Therefore. logic and stress-planned. Therefore. Purchase goals It is also important to distinguish the goal of reminder impulse buying from the one of pure impulse buying. Motivation refers to the process that leads people to behave as they do. 1992. objective-oriented. Thus. to investigate the essential differences between reminder impulse buying and pure impulse buying by applying the antecedent. utilitarian goals. and it is useful to review the literature for conceptualizing and hypothesizing the variables of consumers’ decision process differently in the two impulsive buying behaviours. quality and dependability. it follows that the purchase motivation of reminder impulse buying is more rational than that of pure impulse buying. it is hypothesized that: H1-1: The level of rational motivation is higher with reminder impulse buying than with pure impulse buying. so a motive is a need that is sufﬁciently pressing to drive the person to act (Kotler. such as economy. Hirschman and Holbrook (1982) proposed that emotional consumption could be characterized by pursuit of fantasies. durability. durability.and delayed-reward promotions evoke different responses to reminder impulse buying. Liao et al. focusing on the objective attributes and instrumental beneﬁts of a product.and economy-oriented than pure impulsive buying behaviour. beauty and pleasure. while the purchase motivation of pure impulse buying is more emotional than that of reminder impulse buying. Impulse buying Table 1 The differences between pure and reminder impulse buying Type of impulse buying Pure impulse buying Reminder impulse buying Shopping trip No plan Plan Shopping list No plan No plan Product knowledge Weak Strong reminder impulse buying on three major dimensions: shopping trip. Schiffman and Kanuk. Hanna and Wozniak (2001) also proposed that rational consumers emphasize the utilitarian goals of product. Assael. third. 1998). 2000.
purchase goal. which facets can be attributed to other people or to the person himself/herself. Methodology Overview The method used to investigate the essential differences of reminder and pure impulse buying was retrospective experience sampling. H2-3: Reminder impulse buying’s purchase goal is more utilitarian than hedonic. while the purchase goal of pure impulse buying tends to satisfy more hedonic needs than that of reminder impulse buying. 1981. when consumers spend less energy and time in seeking useful information and comparing the alternatives in pure impulse buying. they will incur more other-anger response after pure impulse buying than after reminder impulse buying. Schumann et al. they will experience more other-anger response after pure impulse buying than after reminder impulse buying as they attribute the poor decision to others. such as the store or the salesperson. 1990). Based on the perspectives of product knowledge and involvement. 1989. whereas less product-involved consumers are more likely to be inﬂuenced by peripheral cues (Petty et al. Roseman et al. Thus. Gardner et al. they will incur more self-anger response after reminder impulse buying than after pure impulse buying. before buying.. when the product preference between pre-purchase and post-purchase is inconsistent. 60 female college students participated in the pretest. it is hypothesized that: H5-1: When consumers perceive performance failure of a product. anger is associated with appraising an event as harmful or frustrating. However.. Assael (1998) explicated the ELM proposition and indicated that more product-involved consumers always ‘think before they act’.. As consumers have more product knowledge and involvement in the reminder impulsive buying process than in the pure impulsive buying process. Participants Kollat and Willet (1967) indicated that women are more-frequent impulse purchasers than men. people explode with self-anger behaviour while they feel the process of needs satisfaction was frustrated by their own poor decision making. consumers.-L. and 110 female college students participated in the main study. Their ages ranged from 19 to 24 years. Hoch and Loewenstein (1991) also indicated that impulse buying that occurs as a result of poor self-control. However. This argument implies that less productinvolved consumers are more emotional than more productinvolved consumers. Experiment product For the pretest.. H5-2: When consumers perceive performance failure of a product. Thus. will raise the regret and anger response. An experiment was conducted in which participants recalled their experiences of reminder and pure impulse buying and reported their motivation. As reminder impulse buying implies more product involvement entailed than it does with pure impulse buying. Thus. two impulsive buying scenarios were designed using the retrospective experience method to choose the Regret and anger behaviour in post-purchase Wood’s (1998) review of the relevant literature found that most impulsive buying behaviour would produce regret and anger response because of post-purchase cognitive dissonance. an approach frequently used in emotion research (Frijda et al. 1996. Furthermore. However. It implies that more product-involved consumers will be more deliberate in the prepurchase evaluation process than the less product-involved 276 International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . Several studies have supported the elaboration likelihood model (ELM). which found that more product-involved consumers are more likely to be inﬂuenced by central cues. Hanna and Wozniak (2001) indicated that emotional purchases are often whimsical rather than based on information and pre-purchase deliberation. Bougie et al. 1985. it is postulated that: H4: There will be less anticipated regret response after reminder impulse buying than after pure impulse buying. less product-involved consumers evaluate alternatives emotionally based on the product’s nonrelevant attribute messages (peripheral cues) and develop brand attitudes after purchasing.. decision evaluation as well as anticipated regret and anger behaviour dimensions. it is hypothesized that: H2-1: The purchase goal of reminder impulse buying is to satisfy more utilitarian needs than is the goal of pure impulse buying. Therefore. H2-4: Pure impulse buying’s purchase goal is more hedonic than utilitarian.Impulse buying S. 2003). they develop brand attitudes and evaluate alternatives in detail based on product-relevant attribute messages (central cues).. they should have less regret response after reminder impulse buying than after pure impulse buying. When consumers have more product information from past buying experiences and devote more energy and time comparing the alternatives in reminder impulse buying than in pure impulse buying. it is postulated that: H3: The process of evaluating the alternatives behind reminder impulse buying is more deliberate than it is with pure impulse buying. needs than that of pure impulse buying. Liao et al. Cavanagh (1982) indicated that people explode with other-anger behaviour when they feel the process of needs satisfaction was frustrated by others. Thus. they are more likely to experience self-anger response after reminder impulse buying than after pure impulse buying as they attribute the wrong decision making to themselves. H2-2: The purchase goal of pure impulse buying is to satisfy more hedonic needs than is the goal of reminder impulse buying. it is likely that consumers’ evaluation of the alternative process behind reminder impulse buying is more deliberate than it is in the case of pure impulse buying. Alternative evaluation process The fourth dimension to distinguish reminder impulse buying from pure impulse buying focuses on the alternative evaluation process. consumers with higher product knowledge and higher involvement will spend more energy and time on seeking useful information and comparing the alternatives.
32.12 0. The three items used to ask the participants about their anticipated regret response were (1) I regret now.71 1.91] had stronger rational motivation than pure impulse buying did (Mean = 0. Results Reliability of measures The study adopted Cronbach’s alpha to analyse the reliability of measures. Finally.82 -0.62 1 0. she was asked close-ended questions about her motivation. so it was most likely that respondents made pure and reminder impulse purchases of product items.22 SD 0.001*** 0.928.31 1.144 60.001***].47 Pure impulse buying Mean 0. Table 2 The impulse product measures Product selected as most likely to buy impulsively Category Clothing items Shampoo Shoes Munchies Clothing items Cosmetics Shoes Handbag Rank 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 n 27 26 18 11 22 19 12 10 (%)a (90.224 International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd 277 . the ﬁnal sample was 86.-L. a Table 3 The essential differences of reminder and pure impulse buying Decision process Rational motivation Emotional motivation Utilitarian goal Hedonic goal Deliberate evaluation Self-anger response Other-anger response ***P < 0.07 1. In addition.3) The essential differences of reminder and pure impulse buying The present study applies the APC approach to investigate the essential differences between reminder impulse buying and pure impulse buying.692 1.902 0. and another 30 participants listed the merchandise they recalled as possible results of pure impulse buying. a three-item decision evaluation measure was obtained from the involvement theory explicated by Assael (1998). Therefore. and results all showed good reliability scores ranging from 0. and (3) I feel that I would never regret in the future. As indicated in Table 2.6) (73.38 1.31. 180) = 54. Reminder impulse buying Mean 1. clothing items ranked ﬁrst in both impulse buying types. However. SD. we gave 110 participants the reminder impulse buying scenario. After deleting those who had no experience of reminder impulse buying.167].96 1. Reminder impulse buying (n = 30) Percentage ﬁgure is based on participants of the separate group (n = 30). The type of impulse buying Pure impulse buying (n = 30) The effects of motivation Table 3 shows that reminder impulse buying [Mean = 1.93).74 0. and the goal measure was obtained from Hirschman and Holbrook (1982).53 1. If the participant answered that she ever had the same experience. standard deviation.12 1. anticipated regret and anger response.705 0. standard deviation (SD) = 0. All these items are measured on a 7-point (-3 to +3) Likert scale. Thirty participants listed the merchandise they recalled as possible results of reminder impulse buying.91 0.001. so H1-1 is supported.167 0. 180) = 1.001*** 0.86 1.252 11.64 0.21 F 54.24 -0.11 SD 0. Procedure In retrospective experience sampling.0) (33.8 1.94 1. P < 0.928 13.26 0. Measures The motivation measure was obtained from Ratchford (1987). clothing items were chosen as the experiment product for Study 1.32 1. she was asked close-ended questions mentioned earlier. P = 0. Liao et al.0) (86.3) (40.11 1. the ﬁnal sample was 96. The results of one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) are shown in Table 3.494 P-value 0.97 1. The difference of the rational motivation of the two impulsive buying behaviours is signiﬁcant [F(1. If the participant answered that she ever had the same experience.001*** 0. SD = 0.3) (63. the results show that the difference of the emotional motivation of the two impulsive buying behaviours is not signiﬁcant [F(1.960. After deleting those who had no experience of pure impulse buying. decision evaluation.6) (60. The four product categories that most likely evoke participants’ impulse buying are listed in Table 2.93 0. a 7-point scale with end points labelled ‘not at all’ (-3) and ‘very much’ (3) measured the participants’ self-anger and other-anger response. we gave the 110 participants the pure impulse buying scenario.56 -0. (2) I feel that I will regret in the future.703 to 0.803. and H1-2 was not supported.001*** 0.S. purchase goal. Then. Impulse buying experiment products.0) (36. The results are shown in Table 2.96 1.
We tested the reminder impulse buying separately.494.11) with product performance failure had a stronger self278 Based on the clothing items for most female respondents are viewed as hedonic products and lead to H1-2. so H2-3 was supported.96. is not supported either. when consumers perceived a product performance failure.82.902. SD = 0.692. which suggests that reminder impulse buying has higher rational motivation than emotional motivation. SD = 1. they did not occur more other-anger response after pure impulse buying than it after reminder impulse buying. and the difference between the utilitarian goal measures of the two impulse buying behaviours was signiﬁcant [F(1. H1-3. so H3 was supported. is a hedonic product. H1-3 and H2-2 unsupported. We also tested the pure impulse buying separately. the clothing items. The percentage of anticipated regret response in the reminder impulse buying group was 43%. so H2-2 was not supported. Therefore.542.611. 180) = 0. The difference between the anticipated self-anger responses of the two impulse buying behaviours was signiﬁcant [F(1. so H5-1 was supported. so that the percentage of anticipated regret response in the pure impulse buying group was 74%. they will not be angry with others. is also not supported. P < 0. We also tested the pure impulse buying separately.001***). P = 0. which suggests that pure impulse buying has higher hedonic needs than utilitarian needs.74 > P2 = 0.11) or pure impulse buying (Mean = 0. The results showed that the difference between the utilitarian and hedonic goals was not signiﬁcant (t = -0. However.00. so H2-1 was supported. Supplemental study The effects of anticipated anger response Table 3 also shows that reminder impulse buying (Mean = 0. which proposes that the purchase goal of pure impulse buying compared with the one of reminder impulse buying is more likely to satisfy hedonic needs. they will experience more self-anger after reminder impulse buying than after pure impulse buying.281. SD = 1. We tested the reminder impulse buying separately. 180) = 13. P < 0. P = 0.22). Liao et al. However.12). It is possible that the experiment product in this study. SD = 0.779). is not supported.144. The authors adopt another experiment product. which suggests that the level of emotional motivation is higher in pure impulse buying than in reminder impulse buying. The results showed that the difference between the utilitarian and hedonic goals was signiﬁcant (t = 2. Although the results showed the difference of the rational and emotional motivation to be signiﬁcant (t = -4. For H4. anger response than pure impulse buying did (Mean = -0.38). so H1-4 was supported. 180) = 60.71) had a stronger utilitarian goal than pure impulse buying did (Mean = 1. This is explained by the idea that rational consumers who purchase products with some hedonic attributes would also be driven by emotional motivations. 180) = 11. Z = 4.252. they were signiﬁcant in the wrong direction and therefore did not support H1-3.86). so H5-2 was not supported. The results revealed that the differences in anticipated regret response between the two impulse buying behaviours were statistically signiﬁcant at a 95% level (P1 = 0. Participants were not angry with others in either reminder impulse buying (Mean = -0. and most female consumers who impulsively purchase this kind of product are driven by emotional motivation and hedonic needs. where P1 refers to the anticipated regret rate. H5-2 is not supported. P < 0. a more utilitarian goal and more deliberate evaluation than those engaging in pure impulse buying do.97) had a stronger deliberate evaluation than pure impulse buying did (Mean = -0. The research reported in this article is the ﬁrst known empirical effort to investigate the differences between reminder and pure impulse buyings.001***].-L. the results showed that the difference between the other-anger response of the two impulse buying behaviours was not signiﬁcant [F(1.001***].26. the results showed that the difference in the hedonic goal of the two impulse buying behaviours was not signiﬁcant [F(1.96). the results reveal that there is less tendency of anticipated regret response after reminder impulse buying than after pure impulse buying. The results revealed that reminder impulse buying is different from pure impulse buying in that consumers engaging in reminder impulse buying have more rational motivation. P = 0. In addition. H2-4.105]. H2-2. The difference in the deliberate evaluation of the two impulse buying behaviours was signiﬁcant [F(1. It is possible that pure impulse buying in this study refers to consumers who buy impulsively in response to both the price discount incentive and hedonic needs. This may be caused by consumers’ perception that the promotional products may be out of season or on clearance.24.43. emotional motivation and hedonic needs are equally important factors in both reminder and pure impulse buying.224]. Similarly. with the results showing that reminder impulse buying (Mean = 1. We then tested the null hypothesis: H0: P1 = P2. For pure impulse buyers. P = 0. unless the performance failure of the speciﬁc product leads to a very great loss to consumers. so they may expect that the impulsively purchased products will produce performance failure to some degree. P < 0. H1-2. However. SD = 1. is not supported. which offer support for H4. The results showed the difference of the rational and emotional motivation to be signiﬁcant (t = -12. SD = 0.2372 > 1. When subjects perceived a product performance failure. so H2-4 was not supported. Discussion of Study 1 The effects of purchase goal Table 3 shows that reminder impulse buying (Mean = 1.Impulse buying S. International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .001***].53. However. 180) = 1.001***). 64 respondents had use three items to ask the participants about their anticipated regret response their purchases or believed they may regret them in the future.001***). The effects of anticipated regret response Forty-one respondents who had experienced reminder impulse buying had already regretted the purchase or believed they may regret it in the future. P < 0. The effects of decision evaluation The differences in deliberate evaluation between the two impulse buying behaviours were tested. As a result.840.
115) = 12. was also not supported (t = 0. fun and self-satisfaction. could play a substantial role in making purchase decision (Meyer and Kahn.63. SD = 1. less time and energy spent and faster feedback will accelerate the buying decision (Peter and Olson. short-term. but also for what they mean’ (p.15) than utilitarian needs (Mean = 1. Sales promotion is deﬁned as ‘a diverse collection of incentive tools. mostly. However.42. 1991. delayed/monetary promotion and delayed/nonmonetary promotion.15) had a stronger hedonic goal than reminder impulse buying did (Mean = 1. when consumers acquire a reward from promotion activities. Piron (1991) indicated that impulsive behaviours result from choosing an immediately available option over a future option as a result of a mental accounting where the present value of the future outcome compares unfavourably with the value of an International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . 1990. which suggests that reminder impulse buying has higher rational motivation (Mean = 1. 1988.001***]. In addition. to re-examine H1-2.533). H2-4. Liao et al. Mano and Oliver. 1982) and selfperception (Schindler. p. H1-3. During the 1980s. 1990).72. when competing brands offer instant promotions.S. SD = 0. and 100 female respondents participated in the experiment. Huff and Alden. SD = 1.421. The more immediate the reward. Blattberg and Neslin. 115) = 7. Batra and Ahtola. The present study follows the viewpoint of Hirschman and Holbrook (1982) in arguing that utilitarian beneﬁts from products – such as reliability. P = 0.63. 1982. the promotion can be classiﬁed as hedonic. and the difference between the emotional motivation measures of the two impulse buying behaviours was signiﬁcant [F(1. ‘people buy products not only for what they can do. 118). Buying a product as the result of a promotion activity can also be viewed as a means of increasing shoppers’ utility and achievement motives (Darke and Freedman.19). The pretest of 30 participants shows that 47% viewed the ladies’ shoes as a functional product. 1988. consumers are more responsive to immediate rewards than to delayed rewards in making their purchase decisions. Chandon et al. was also not supported (t = -1. The authors used the same retrospective experience method as Study 1. multi-sensory and emotional. fantasy and fun – without further practical purposes are non-instrumental. Blattberg and Neslin. 279 Study 2: association of sales promotion. 1988. The main purpose of sales promotion is to have an immediate impact on consumers’ purchase behaviour (Kotler. SD = 1. it is proposed that: H6: The immediate-reward promotion will promote stronger reminder impulse buying than the delayed-reward promotion. P = 0.35). the results show that pure impulse buying (Mean = 1. (2000) proposed a beneﬁt congruency framework indicating that monetary.91) had a stronger emotional motivation than reminder impulse buying did (Mean = 0.01**]. product appeal and consumer traits with reminder impulse buying The inﬂuences of sales promotion strategy on impulse buying Sales promotion expenditure is a signiﬁcant basis of marketing spending that deserves more attention from marketers (Hartley and Cross. 2000). most classiﬁcations of the different types of consumer beneﬁts from products started with the distinction between utilitarian and hedonic beneﬁts (Hirschman and Holbrook. 1993).539. the more value perception and preference is.and nonmonetary-based promotions provide different consumer beneﬁts and suggesting that their effectiveness may depend on the congruence or the match that these beneﬁts have with the product value. lack of reﬂection. The valid sample size of pure impulse buying was 65. depending on the type and timing of the incentives offered: immediate/monetary promotion. while monetary-based promotions offered primarily utilitarian ones. 1992). They found that nonmonetary-based promotions provided primarily hedonic beneﬁts to consumers. Sales promotion tools were classiﬁed into four types by Quelch (1989). Impulse buying ladies’ shoes. 1999). When sales promotions help consumers maximize the utility.625. Furthermore. SD = 1. immediacy and kinetics to encourage consumers’ impulsive purchasing behaviour (Rook and Hoch. so H2-2 was supported. entertainment (Hirschman and Holbrook. so H1-2 was supported. Hedonic beneﬁts from products – such as entertainment. efﬁciency and economy of their purchase. 1991. As Levy (1959) noted. 1985). and the valid sample size of reminder impulse buying was 52. and 53% viewed them as a hedonic product. it can be classiﬁed as a utilitarian promotion. and the difference between the hedonic goal measures of the two impulse buying behaviours was signiﬁcant [F(1. SD = 1. immediate/nonmonetary promotion. Similarly. However. designed to stimulate quicker and/or greater purchase of particular products/services by consumers’ (Kotler.. the beneﬁts of sales promotions can also be classiﬁed into utilitarian and hedonic. Following these arguments. SD = 1. The immediate reward inherent in promotion activities is not unlike the concept of impulse buying in that it also involves spontaneousness. functional and cognitive and could be viewed as a means to an end value. even if the expenditure is the same in both cases. 661). entertainment.078). Thus.-L.18) than emotional motivation (Mean = 0. The results show that pure impulse buying (Mean = 1. Quelch (1989) argued that.04. Hedonic and utilitarian appeals by sales promotions on reminder impulse buying Previous research has proposed that individual value and the different types of consumer beneﬁts from products. consumer traits or purchase occasion.09).78.51. SD = 1.98. Zeithaml (1988) also indicated that consumers decide to buy something depending on the speed of the promotion activity’s reward. lower price and convenience – are primarily instrumental. Eagly and Chaiken. such as mental satisfaction (Chandon et al. 1995). when they provide intrinsic stimulation. which suggests that pure impulse buying has higher hedonic needs (Mean = 1.98. immediate outcome. H1-3 and H2-2 above. 1993). Many marketing scholars have argued that sales promotions can provide consumer beneﬁts based on consumers’ shopping intention and values. P < 0. 1998). This argument implies that extrinsic and intrinsic beneﬁts from the products purchased are of equal importance. P = 0. Similarly. weighted by the importance of these beneﬁts.35).
desire to be good to themselves. Thus. time and energy on the shopping trip. H7-2: The hedonic product appeal with premium promotion leads to higher reminder impulse buying than with a price discount promotion. more likely to switch to another brand when the substitutive brand features a price discount. such as monetary savings. Thus. such as aesthetics. reduction of search and decision costs. deliberate and methodical. and 224 female ofﬁce respondents participated in the main study. However. Thirty-one participants listed six pieces of SK-II facial treatment mask. Prudent consumers then are usually price-sensitive and. non-rational consumers (the hedonics) making a purchase decision follow peripheral cues and put an emphasis on non-instrumental beneﬁts from products. Their ages ranged from 25 to 45 years. However. H8-2: For the hedonic consumers. Solomon (1992) indicated that rational consumers making purchase decisions follow the central rule of the ELM: they calmly and carefully integrate as much information as possible with what they already know about a product and put an emphasis on its instrumental beneﬁts. The 30% discount was selected because it was the answer of the greatest number of participants. instant temptation. It is probable that a prudent consumer is a rational shopper. 18 participants listed 20% off. the hedonic consumer naturally considers only certain costs but not probable costs. and they are less inﬂuenced by costs than by instant hedonic beneﬁts. product appeal. so it required an experiment product with a real brand name. hedonic product) ¥ 2 (individual differences: prudent orientation vs. more female preference and promotion activity geared towards incurring a reminder impulse purchase. The stimuli used in the experiment were a booklet that contains an imagery advertisement – including copy. with product appeal and consumer traits as moderating factors. novelty. This individual difference construct has the potential to make an even more comprehensive contribution to marketing if researchers investigate the link between speciﬁc issues and other dimensions of consumer behaviour. ﬁve participants each listed a mirror and an étagère and three participants listed a bear doll. the subjects were asked what percentage discount would invoke an impulsive buying of SK-II cosmetics. and a hedonic consumer is an emotional shopper. Puri (1996) proposed that impulsive behaviour is inﬂuenced by the relative accessibility of inputs. consumers’ shopping intentions could be viewed as the lifestyle of one consumer spending money. However. Sixty women who had bought the SK-II cosmetics in the past 3 months participated in the two pretests to determine the appropriate discount rate and free gift. it is hypothesized that: H7-1: The utilitarian product appeal with price discount promotion leads to higher reminder impulse buying than with a premium promotion. large market share. the premium promotions can map to hedonic products because they satisfy the consumers’ need for variety and novelty. as in Study 2. such as lifestyles. In addition. The beneﬁt congruency framework suggests that price discount promotions map to utilitarian products because they solve the consumers’ external needs. including certain instant costs and probable costs in the future as well as the beneﬁts of impulsiveness – is more inﬂuenced by costs. A 4 (type of promotion: immediate price discount. the price discount promotion generates stronger reminder impulse buying than the premium promotion. immediate premium. the present study posits that the premium promotion emphasizes emotional beneﬁts. 10 participants listed 40% off and 2 participants listed 10% off. or resisting.-L. whereas others might shop at an emotional and arousal-driven pace. hedonic orientation) between-subjects experimental design was used to examine the impact on reminder impulse buying. Methodology Overview Study 2 further examines the inﬂuences of sales promotion strategy on reminder impulse buying. According to Kelly’s (1955) theory of personal constructs. A NT$5000 ‘SK-II cosmetics sets’ was selected for the experiment. but the consumers’ traits play an important role as well. Participants Sixty female respondents participated in the pretest. mapping to the prudent consumers’ needs for functional and objective preference. Based on the inﬂuence of consumers’ impulsive traits on impulse buying. few researchers have investigated individual differences in yielding to. such as monetary saving. some individuals’ style of purchasing might be described as overtly persistent. the premium promotion generates stronger reminder impulse buying than the price discount promotion. However. it is hypothesized that: H8-1: For the prudent consumers. novelty or ﬁtting to one’s style that maps to the hedonics’ needs for affective and subjective preference. For the free gift valued at NT$1500 (5000 ¥ 30% = 1500). For example. and the feeling of entertainment and fun. a price discount promotion emphasizes an economic beneﬁt. the subjects were asked which kind of free gift they preferred for purchasing the SK-II cosmetics. Based on the pretest. Liao et al. Experiment product This experiment focused on reminder impulse buying. 15 participants listed an exquisite handbag. Thirty-six participants listed 30% off. gender differences and buying preferences (Moore and Homer. However. as Hartley and Cross (1988) argued. delayed price discount and delayed premium) ¥ 2 (type of product: utilitarian product vs. six participants listed a neckpiece. sales promotion and survey questions. fantasy and fun. the six pieces of SK-II Individual differences by sales promotion on reminder impulse buying Consumers’ decision to purchase something depends on shopping motive. The prudent consumer – who naturally considers all predictable costs. such as the costs and the beneﬁts.Impulse buying S. especially. picture and layout design – a description of a reminder impulse buying scenario. For the discount rate. of fashion. when a free gift or ‘points’ of some kind emphasize the feelings 280 International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . 2000).
44.778 3.35. The results revealed that there were no differences among the eight advertisements. the subjects were asked to answer a four-item advertisement preference measure.605 4. All these items are measured on a 7-point (from 1 to 7) Likert scale.001*** 0.245 P-value 0. P < 0.006** facial treatment mask were used for the free promotional gift in this study. Liao et al.738 F 17. P < 0. which showed that the two groups were signiﬁcantly different [Mean(im) = 4.S.659 0. coupon and redeemed points for premium. product appeal and consumer traits Variance source Sales promotion strategy Product appeal Consumer traits Promotion strategy ¥ product appeal Promotion strategy ¥ consumer traits Product appeal ¥ consumer traits Promotion strategy ¥ product appeal ¥ consumer traits **P < 0. H6 was supported. The interaction effect of promotion strategy and product appeal on reminder impulse buying The results of an examination of the interaction effect of promotion strategy and product appeal on reminder impulse buying are reported in Table 4 and Fig. MS.52.001***].501 0. The t-test was used to make comparisons among the means in Study 2. Procedure The participants. mean squares.001.211 0.376 0. After reading the scenario and advertisement design. subjects were asked to select the single promotion type and International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .475 0.976 0.501. and the results showed that all the scales had good Cronbach’s alpha reliability scores (reminder impulse buying: Cronbach’s alpha = 0.693 1. Impulse buying Table 4 Three-way analysis of variance of promotion strategy. In order to avoid any confounding effect of the subjects’ attitude towards the advertisement design (picture.634 0.693 1. sum of squares. the participants were asked close-ended questions which are type of sales promotion tool. 1.258 0. The main effect of promotion strategy on reminder impulse buying The differences between how the immediate (im) promotion invokes reminder impulse buying and how the delayed (de) promotion does so were tested with a t-test. free goods.741 27.95.741 83. SD(im) = 1.335 9. copy and layout). SD(de) = 1. product appeal on the advertisement page. Promotion tools The four types of sales promotion incentives offered in this study – immediate price discount.818 17. A series of ANOVA models were used in the experiment. The results also showed that the hedonic product appeal with the premium (p) promotion promoted stronger reminder impulse buying than the price discount (pd) 281 Manipulation checks According to the manipulation checks of the four-item sales promotion type measure and the two-item product appeal measure. Mean(de) = 2. Measures A ﬁve-item impulse buying measure was obtained from Rook and Fisher (1995). degree of freedom. so the results revealed the advertisement manipulations of the promotion types and product appeals were successful. imagine that you ﬁnd on your shopping trip. The results revealed that the utilitarian product appeal with the price discount (pd) promotion promoted stronger reminder impulse buying than did the premium (p) promotion [Mean(pd) = 4. P < 0.549 2. women who had bought the SK-II cosmetics in the past 3 months. therefore. immediate premium.-L. with product appeal and consumer traits as moderators. SD(p) = 1.288 20. Type III SS 70.869).214 df 3 1 1 3 3 1 3 MS 23.001***]. delayed price discount and delayed premium – are similar to that of the price-off promotion.924. The data were then sifted from the questions of manipulation checks. Mean(p) = 3.42. 208) = 20.818 5. reminder impulse buying intention and the judgment items of consumer traits.072 0. Table 4 presents the main and interaction effects of promotion strategy on reminder impulse buying. SS. product appeal. df. The results reveal that the main effect of promotion strategy on reminder impulse buying is signiﬁcant [F(3. SD(pd) = 1. consumer traits: Cronbach’s alpha = 0.33.549. Results Reliability of measures The study adopted Cronbach’s alpha to analyse the reliability of measures. 208) = 17.01. SK-II having a promotion for the SK-II cosmetics sets’. P < 0.001***].001***].438 0.02. Ninety-seven per cent correctly identiﬁed the sales promotion types and product appeals. ***P < 0. and the interaction effect of promotion strategy and product appeal on reminder impulse buying is also signiﬁcant [F(3.69. read a reminder impulsive buying scenario in an advertisement as follows: ‘Considering the SK-II cosmetics that you have ever bought.001*** 0.513 1. and a 12-item consumer traits measure was obtained from Puri (1996).
The data pool was further separated by the two dimensions of monetary-oriented and instant-rewardoriented promotions. The interaction effect of promotion strategy and product appeal on reminder impulse buying is also signiﬁcant.45. Consumers who engage in reminder impulse buying have more rational motivation. P < 0. if marketers select premiumbased promotions in order to invoke consumers’ reminder impulse buying. for the prudent consumer.-L. Then. An instant-reward promotion can promote stronger reminder impulse buying than a delayed-reward promotion.27. promotion did [Mean(p) = 4.34.046*]. In addition.41. four important implications can be drawn. and Peter and Olson (1999). which showed the two groups were signiﬁcantly different in their reminder impulse buying score [Mean(pd) = 3. The implications of this observation can provide a useful insight for further academic research. Moreover. The interaction effect of sales promotion strategy (monetaryoriented vs. Before deciding to use a promotion.78 Utilitarian Type of Product Appeal Hedonic Figure 1 Two-way interaction of types of product appeal and promotion strategy.56. 282 International Journal of Consumer Studies 33 (2009) 274–284 © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . the interaction effect of sales promotion strategy and product appeal on reminder impulse buying also provides a useful insight for practitioners. the most popular free gifts could be considered ﬁrst. SD(p) = 1. for the prudent consumers. more utilitarian goals and less regret response than those who participate in pure impulse buying do. and a 2 (type of promotion: monetaryoriented vs.63. Mean(p) = 3. The t-test showed that the two groups’ reminder impulse buying scores were not signiﬁcantly different [Mean(pd) = 3. thus. but there is no signiﬁcant difference between the two kinds of promotions for prudent consumers. The differences between the price discount (pd) promotion and the premium (p) promotion invoked reminder impulse buying under the prudent consumers condition. marketers can use the beneﬁt-matching framework – that is. 208) = 2. SD(pd) = 1. H8-1 was not supported. First.400. SD(p) = 1. The differences between the price discount (pd) promotion’s and the premium (p) promotion’s invoking the reminder impulse buying under the hedonic consumer condition were tested with a t-test.02 4. Based on the results.001***]. P < 0. hedonics) two-way ANOVA showed that the interaction effect was signiﬁcant [F(1. Further. nonmonetary-oriented) ¥ 2 (individual differences: prudents vs. marketers should use instant-reward promotion tools rather than delayedreward promotion tools. Liao et al. the supplemental study of Study 1 also supports that the consumers who engage in pure impulse buying have more emotional motivation and more hedonic goals than those who participate in reminder impulse buying do. the facial treatment mask was most popular. utilitarian product beneﬁts map to monetary-based promotions and hedonic product beneﬁts map to nonmonetary-based promotion – to select appropriate promotion tools. nonmonetary-oriented) and consumer traits on reminder impulse buying is also signiﬁcant. when using reminder impulse promotions. This can be explained by noting that. which could be the main reason for the insigniﬁcant difference between the two kinds of promotions. it is possible that the incentive of free gift as well as the incentive of a price discount could invoke the same effect on reminder impulse buying. A utilitarian product appeal with a price discount promotion can promote stronger reminder impulse buying than with a premium promotion. but the results also show that reminder impulse buying is unique in the consumer behaviour ﬁeld. Hedonic consumers prefer nonmonetary-based promotion over monetary-based promotions. Third. Mean(pd) = 2.69.78. SD(p) = 1. This ﬁnding is consistent with the previous research of Rook (1987). and a hedonic product appeal with a premium promotion can promote stronger reminder impulse buying than with a price discount promotion. General discussion The interaction effect of promotion strategy and consumer traits on reminder impulse buying Table 4 shows that the interaction effect of promotion strategy and consumer traits on reminder impulse buying is not signiﬁcant [F(3. most people have the experience of buying products without planning to do so because they are reminded of the need to buy an item upon seeing it on sale.133]. P = 0.Impulse buying S. These ﬁndings are consistent with the previous research of Keaveney and Hunt (1992) and Chandon et al. P = 0. Quelch (1989).44 3. SD(pd) = 1. Mean(p) = 4. marketers should ﬁrst identify whether the product value is utilitarian or hedonic in the marketplace. The managerial implications from the results of the present study are valuable for marketers using promotion tools to fulﬁll their marketing objectives. H8-2 was supported. 220) = 6. (2000). the empirical results of Study 1 revealed that the impact of reminder impulse buying is different from pure impulse buying in the purchase decision-making process. Therefore.376. monetary and nonmonetary.05*]. Second. P = 0.072]. in the real world. SD(pd) = 1.70. Discussion of Study 2 One of the most important inferences from these ﬁndings was that the inﬂuence of sales promotion strategy on reminder impulse buying is signiﬁcant. therefore.54.01. Reminder Impulse Buying 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Price Discount Premium 4. These results supported H7-1 and H7-2.81. For example.41 2. the decision-making process is inﬂuenced not only by rational thinking (cost) but also by gift preference. reminder impulse buying is almost universal and exists in the daily life of most consumers.
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