SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPULSE PURCHASE: INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

A new innovation often reshapes how people live or work (West, Ford and Ibrahim, 2010). Studies show that 30-50 per cent of new products fail to meet customer expectations; only 10-12 per cent meets commercial success (West, Ford and Ibrahim, 2010; Harmancioglu et al., 2009). Each individual thinks and reacts differently, which makes it even more difficult to accurately analyze the factors that have significant relevance to purchasing behaviour. Over the years, consumer psychology regarding buying products has been a subject of interest for scholars (Dichter, 1947; Haugtvedt, Herr, Kardes, 2007; Harmancioglu et al., 2009). Researches in the past have given us ideas about numerous reasons that can stimulate purchasing a new product.

Marketing literature; however, ignored the phenomenon of impulse buying for new products where research shows 90 per cent of the purchases (retail) people make are on impulse (Bellenger et al., 1978). Impulse buying behaviour is regarded as normatively wrong (Hausman, 2000) despite the substantial amount of new products sold on impulse. This research is intended to find out the impact of unplanned purchase for the unanticipated new products. As the success or failure of new product introduction heavily dependents on consumer innovators, marketing strategists now recognise the strategic value of segmenting (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007) and attracting attention and securing action (Starch, 1910) of innovators through promotional activities.

A study by Stern (1962) revealed that purchase of any product involves two types of decision making: planned, which is time consuming, and impulse buying, which requires no prior planning. During shopping, products’ which are unanticipated but generates an immediate urge to acquire those products falls under impulse buying (Hausman, 2000). Another prior study reveals that during impulse purchases, consumers experience stronger inclination towards the product as they follow their own intuition (Gardner and Rook, 1988).For new products, strategists focus on affect and cognition to create favourable behavioural responses, and consumers are informed about product-related attributes to increase the probability of purchase (Peter and Olson, 2005). Lancaster and White (1976) posited that the more complex a product, unique is its newness and the more the cost, the greater the shift is required in the usual way of doing things.