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ISSN : 2234-3040(Print)
ISSN : 2234-3059(Online)
The East Asian Journal of Business Management Vol.5 No.3 pp.5-15
DOI : https://doi.org/10.13106/eajbm.2014.vol5.no3.5.

Factors Prompting Impulse Buying Behavior: Shoppers in Dubai

Sanjeev Prashar*, Adeshwar Raja B.**, V. S. Parasaran***, Vijay Kumar Venna****
** Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), India.
*** Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), India.
**** Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), India.
* Corresponding Author, Dr. Professor, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Old Dhamtari Road, Sejbahar, Raipur-492015, Chhattisgarh, India.
Tel: +91-90-3903-9499. E-mail: dr.sanjeev.prashar@gmail.com.
January 02, 2015 April 15, 2015 July 15, 2015.

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to identify and rank factors that influence impulse buying behavior among shoppers in Dubai.
Research design, data, and methodology – Questionnaires were collected from 168 Dubai shoppers using non-probability quota sampling. Factor Analysis was completed to identify factors triggering impulse buying traits.
Results – Six antecedent factors were identified: hedonism, in-store influences, product related influences, socialization, promotional activities, and convenience. Surprisingly, product related influences were the most significant in stimulating impulse buying behavior.
Conclusions - This research suggests that a multitude of factors affect shopper propensity for impulse buying, with non-economic factors like product and in-store related influences having a significant impact. Hence, retail managers should concentrate on these in merchandising and promotional efforts. Against the backdrop of Dubai, one of the biggest retail destinations, this study contributes to present knowledge on impulse buying behavior. In terms of shopper inclinations and likeliness to purchase products, it highlights how shoppers respond to special in-store displays and discount offerings. For marketers, the findings regarding relative significance of various factors may help in strategies to attract consumers.


JEL Classifications: M09. M10, M31, M38.

초록


1. Introduction

  For decades, impulse purchases have been considered as a significant form of consumer buying action (Cobb and Hoyer, 1986). The researches on impulse buying behaviour have been getting intense with the retailers realizing the importance of impulse buying process & the benefits derived out of it. Consumers are prone to carry out unanticipated purchases during their shopping visits. This shopping experience results in exhibiting impulse buying behaviour that satisfies a number of needs which do not fit into the theories of economic utility (Boone and Kurtz, 1995). In the same year, Rook & Fisher (1995) pointed out that impulse purchases concern consumer’s tendency to buy spontaneously and unreflectively. High impulse buyers are likely to have shopping lists that are "open" and receptive to sudden unexpected buying ideas. However, Shoham and Brenzic (2003) confronted this posit and suggested that consumers with shopping lists also make impulse purchases. Consumers experience impulse purchases in different ways. The intensity of feeling associated with impulse buying varies and the ability to control the urge towards impulse buying also varies across individuals (Rook, 1987).

  An interesting finding claimed that nearly 70 per cent of all purchasing decisions are made at the point of purchase (Heilman et al., 2002), with impulse purchases emerging as the prominent factor in describing the substantial volume of goods that are being sold across a wide range of product categories (Cobb and Hoyer, 1986; Rook and Fisher, 1995; Weinberg and Gottwald, 1982; Zhou and Wong, 2003). An increasing trend in unplanned buying behaviour had been reported by Cobb & Hoyer (1986) and the universality of impulse buying was further substantiated by Wells (1986), which stated that most shoppers at least occasionally buy on impulse. Further researches on impulse buying attributed enhanced personal disposable incomes and availability of credit facilities as the vital factors to the growing impulse consumer behaviour (Dittmar and Drury, 2000).

  Right from the small paltry shops on the streets to the biggest retail outlets in the malls, every retailer endeavours to capitalise on the impulse buying behaviour of consumers. From the retailer’s perspective, the rationale behind impulse buying ranges from display of products to in-store promotions that stimulate the consumer, ultimately leading towards purchase. Customers perceive that impulse buying occurs as a result of an urge to buy instantaneously.

  Stern (1962) provided the basic framework for defining impulse buying behaviour, by classifying the act as planned, unplanned, or impulse. Accordingly, a planned buying involves prolonged information search followed by the rational decision making (Piron, 1991; Stern, 1962). Contrarily, unplanned buying behaviour comprises all purchases made without any prior planning. This includes impulse buying, which is distinguished by the relative speed with which buying ‘decisions’ are made. Cobb and Hoyer (1986) identified the three types of purchasers – planners, partial planners and impulse buyers. Planned purchasers have clear intentions of purchasing both product category and brand, while partial planning buyers have intentions to purchase product category only and not brand, and impulse buyers intend to purchase neither any category nor any brand.

  There is a strong tendency among market researchers to consider ‘impulse’ and ‘unplanned’ as synonyms. Some economists argued that even though the value of the impulse purchase outweighs its perceived cost, it may lead to consequent feelings of regret at a later stage of post - purchase. Similarly, psycho-analysts described the impulse buying behaviour as driven by a primitive and unreasoned instinct or force (Dittmar et al., 1996), thus pivoting the issue of impulse buying around irrationality.

  Presenting a new dimension to the study on impulse buying, Rook (1987) reported that consumers perceived the product to be ‘calling’ them and demanding that they purchase it. This emphasis on behavioural elements led to the definition of impulse buying. Accordingly, impulse buying occurs when a consumer experiences a sudden, an often powerful and persistent urge to buy something immediately. The urge to buy is hedonically complex and may kindle conflicts emotionally. Impulse buying occurs predominantly when there is subdued regard to the consequences (Rook, 1987). Furthermore, it pointed out: "Buying impulses are often forceful and urgent; contemplative purchasing is less so". Bayley and Nancarrow (1998) defined impulse buying behaviour asa sudden, compelling, hedonically complex buying behaviour in which the rapidity of an impulse decision process precludes thoughtful and deliberate consideration of alternative information and choices. While Rook and Fisher (1995) defined impulse buying trait asa tendency to buy spontaneously, unreflectively, immediately and kinetically, Hodge (2004) posited that impulse purchases are unplanned, decided "on the spot", stem from spontaneous, unanticipated and unplanned reaction to a stimulus.

  Dubai, one of the most visited cities of the world, is known for luring its tourists mainly for shopping. Having more than 70 shopping centres, including the seventh largest in the world, The Dubai Mall, Dubai’s total spending in the retail sector was expected to surpass $8 billion by 2011. Regarded as the shopping capital of the Middle East, there definitely existed a need to understand and study the impulse buying behaviour of consumers in Dubai.

  The results of this paper will thus help retailers in Dubai to have a better understanding of consumers’impulsive buying and hence shall focus on the factors identified out of this research to draw effective marketing and merchandising strategies.

  Impulse Buying has a long history associated with immaturity, primitivism, foolishness, defects of the will, lower intelligence and even social deviance and criminality (Rook and Fisher, 1995). While in the initial stages it was considered as a social stigma, some studies show that most people - almost 90 per cent - make purchases on impulse occasionally (Welles, 1986) and between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of all purchases can be classified by the buyers themselves as impulse purchases (Kollat and Willett, 1967; Bellenger et al., 1978; Cobb and Hoyer, 1986; Han et al., 1991). With the contribution from impulse purchases becoming predominant, it becomes inevitable for retailers to understand the stimulants of impulse buying among its shoppers.

  This research paper thus focuses on the following:

  • Identification of factors that influence the impulse buying behaviour among the shoppers;

  • Identifying the relative significance of these factors; and

  • Suggesting strategies for retailers to reap the most benefits from such customers.

 

2. Literature Review

  Significant amount of researches have been conducted in the field of impulse buying. In the nascent phase, these researches ranged from defining impulse buying behaviour to classifying it into one of several sub-categories. All these researches suggested that this shopping behaviour was more emotional than rational, making that to be often perceived as "bad" (Rook, 1987). However, these studies focussed on a very small number of relatively inexpensive products and had ignored a large variety of products. Recently, impulse purchases have been reported among a wide variety of products and in a broad price range, besides striving to understand why customers are carrying out impulse purchases so frequently (Cobb and Hoyer, 1986; Rook, 1987; Rook and Fisher, 1995).

  A general trend, over the last decades, indicates that the customers are exposed to a wide variety of products as shopping has turned out to be a major leisure and lifestyle activity (Bayley and Nancarrow, 1998). These consumers are subjected to stimuli in many forms and contexts, triggering impulse purchases without planning and analysis of actual needs (Silvera et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2007). This trigger involves a sudden strong, and irresistible urge to buy (Shoham and Brencic, 2003, Wood, 2005; Zhang et al., 2007; Zhou and Wong, 2003).

  The higher order needs that are identified through consumer reports are the needs of a variety, novelty and surprise factors (Holbrook and Hirschman, 1982; Hirschman, 1980). Consumers report that impulse buying satisfies a number of hedonic desires (Piron, 1991; Rook, 1987; Thompson et al., 1990). Impulse buying has been regarded as a novelty or escape and a purchase that is different from the normal buying pattern (Dittimar etall. 1996). Consequently, research findings also suggested that most of the impulse purchases had a positive impact on the mood of shoppers.

  Internal cues pertaining to impulse buying can be broadly classified as a person’s affective and cognitive state. The affective and / or cognitive way of processing internal stimuli leads to the impulsive or non-impulsive behaviour of the consumer. A consumer feels obliged to make an impulse purchase and loses control over his/her buying behaviour, whenever he/she experiences an "irresistible urge to buy". The way, in which a person’s mind thinks, understands and interprets information can also lead to unplanned buying actions, little cognitive deliberation, and no concern for the future (Youn, 2000). Often, consumers involve in impulse buying behaviour whenever they experience a strong urge to buy because they are more reactive to their affective state and less reactive to their cognitive state(Dholakia, 2000; Rook, 1987; Youn and Faber, 2000).

  The person’s affective state is manifested vide its emotional state, mood, and self-feelings (Youn, 2000). Feelings might include an "irresistible urge to buy, positive buying emotions, and mood management" (Coley and Burgess, 2003). In addition, the consumer expects his emotional support needs to be fulfilled by the social interaction, intrinsic to shopping experience. "Shopping experience uplifts feeling and energizes consumers" has been reported by several qualitative studies (Cobb and Hoyer, 1986; Rook, 1987). Weinberg and Gottwald (1982) substantiated this by suggesting that the impulse buyers demonstrated greater feelings of amusement, delight and joy without thinking about financial consequences. Concurring with these arguments, Donovan and Rossiter (1982) established that pleasure is positively associated with overspending. Hausman (2000) posited that, while shopping, consumers shop not only to satisfy their needs but also purchase products that they consider as suitable for a particular need. Any purchase that is unforeseen and unintended falls into the dominion of impulse buying behaviour. By and large, these contentions support the notion that the traits of consumers as well as the opinions of others influence impulse buying behaviour.

  The notion of some impulse purchases indicated that they were carried out simply to uplift the mood of shoppers. These factors lead to viewing impulse buying behaviour as a rational response to the complexities in the environment (Hausman, 2000). Consumers also experience negative consequences as a result of impulse buying. In a study conducted by Rook (1987), nearly 80 percent of respondents pointed out that their impulse purchases had led to some negative consequences as it involved consumer acts without any consideration of financial consequences. Researches signify that consumers tend to experience stronger feelings with impulse purchases as compared to that of planned purchases (Gardner and Rook, 1988). According to Rook (1987), impulsiveness is a "lifestyle trait"of some consumers. Furthermore, shoppers pursue impulse buying of some products as it offers them "material symbols of personal and social identity"(Dittimar et all., 1995). Hausman (2000) found that in the pursuit of fulfilling the self-esteem and self-actualization needs, consumers tend to carry out impulse purchases.

  Being more open and flexible to unexpected or abrupt buying ideas, impulse buyers respond positively and extemporaneously to buying stimuli such as products, salespeople, or in store environments. Increased exposure to stimuli also enhances the chance of recognizing product needs and leads consumers to process new product information (Iyer, 1989). The aforesaid points form the basis of providing a theoretical support linking the impulse buying behaviour and the hedonic shopping motives of a consumer.

  Price is a factor that affects impulse purchases an item with an unexpectedly low price can make shoppers feel that they are spending less than they originally planned (Stern, 1962). The number of unintended purchases could go up owing to such "unexpected" savings (Heilman et al., 2002). The professed savings offered on the low price of the product elevates the shopper’s mood. Any mental blockade against impulse purchases is reduced for the reason that low prices had reduced the shopper’s sense of overspending.

  Perceived crowding has also been studied by various researchers to determine its impact on retail (Harrell & Hutt, 1976). Eroglu et al. (2005) found that shopping values mediated the relationship between perceived retail crowding and shopping satisfaction. The effect of physical and psychological influences in a shop was studied by Philip and Bradshaw (1993) and the needs to study consumers in this environment to help develop strategies and tactics that aid impulse buying were highlighted. Further researchers have looked at various store environmental cues like music (Chebat, 2001), and the impact of music on customer behaviour. The study conducted on the effect of scent and music on consumers demonstrated that in the presence of both these factors, they exhibit higher levels of approach towards impulse buying behaviour (Mattila & Wirtz, 2001). Various studies have posited a positive impact of store atmospheric tools like lighting, music, colour-pattern and aroma in enhancing perceptions about product quality (Baker et al. 2002), strengthening brand image and positioning (Beverland et al. 2006), besides improving consumer satisfaction, leading to higher market share (Babin and Attaway, 2000; McGoldrick and Pieros, 1998). Bava et al. (2009) explored how different product placement related cues in the shopping environment affected shoppers’ behaviour.

  Many a time, it so occurs that when quality, function, and usefulness of the product are evaluated by a salesperson to the customer; it leads to an impulse purchase (Stern, 1962). Hence, the interaction between the customer and salesperson has been highlighted as an important element in marketing communication, as it augments consumer buying in the traditional retail channel (Bagozzi, 1978; Davis and Silk, 1972; Weitz, 1981). The ability of salespeople to inform and persuade the customers through effective interactions influence the purchase decisions (Grewal and Sharma, 1991). Han et al. (1991) found that impulse buying was influenced by the amount of interactions with a salesperson in the store. Salespeople can excite shoppers to execute unexpected or impulse purchases through the various interactions thereby creating more desire for the purchase of a product (Hoch and Loewenstein, 1991). Also, a customer’s purchase behaviour is persuaded by emotional reactions towards a salesperson (Babin et al., 1995). Thus, a salesperson is habitually expected to encourage or persuade customers to purchase more products in the store.

  The major in-store influences on consumer buying behaviour are store promotional activities (Gilbert & Jackaria, 2002 Smith & Sinha, 2000 Diamond, 1992). The most commonly studied cues in relation to impulse buying are use of coupons as promotional tools (Smith & Sinha, 2000 Leone & Srinivasan, 1996), impact of discounts on sales (Kopalle et al.,1999), consumer’s response to price reduction and extra product promotions (Diamond, 1992), response of consumers to price promotions of retailers on national brands versus store brands (Gupta & Cooper, 1992). Promotional events like the announcement of "Two for the price of One", and/or an attractive display showcasing the discount percentage may trigger an impulse purchase (Zhang, X., et al, 2007). However, one can recall the differences highlighted by Stern (1962) and Woods (2005) between the types of impulse buying, which are, reminder impulse buying that deals with in-store recollection of needed items) and planned impulse buying like shopping for price discounts.

  With regard to everyday stimuli like discounted prices, special offerings and special in-store displays, there is a high likelihood that consumers experience and evaluate them in the grocery store or the local mall (Rook and Fisher, 1995). Dhar et al. (2007) highlighted factors that may lead to impulse purchasesby analyzing shoppers’ reaction to such events. According to this study, a shopping "momentum"is created by certain factors which are elucidated by means of certain purchases that may trigger and boost a consumer towards more impulse purchases, which the consumers do without conscious awareness. Concerning the everyday stimuli Stern (1962) suggested that impulse buying is related to the ease of buying. When few key components like time, physical/mental effort and money to be spent are minimal, the odds of a consumer carrying out an impulse purchase are high (Stern, 1962).

  Stern (1962) identified nine product-related factors that might be influential in impulse buying, these include; low price, marginal need for the product/brand, mass distribution, self-service, mass advertising, prominent store display, short product life, small size and ease of storage. These product related factors have helped to understand how the perceived quality of the product in a consumers’mind helps elevate the mood and thus lead to an impulse purchase.

 

3. Research Methodology

  This study is cross-sectional and involves observation of some subset of a population of items all at the same time. The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase was exploratory in nature. It involved investigation of secondary data and personal interactions with select practitioners, academicians and shoppers to define the problem. It resulted in generation of a structured questionnaire. Second phase was conclusive (descriptive) that involved data collection from respondents.

  Review of literature bestowed a provisional list of attributes that influence impulse buying behaviour among shoppers in Dubai. This list of attributes was then scrutinized by a panel comprising of academicians and industry experts. Panel recommended reframing some of the statements to make the questionnaire coherent with the study. The final questionnaire comprised of twenty-seven attributes related to impulse buying. Statements were structured to assess respondents’ level of agreement/disagreement about the significance of individual attribute. Responses were to be recorded on a five-point Likert’s scale in which ‘1’ represented the least agreement and ‘5’ represented high agreement with the statement. The questionnaire was duly pre-tested and was found valid and reliable. Apart from twenty-seven variables, it also contained questions about demographics of respondents.

  Descriptive phase involved the administration of a finalized research instrument to a specified number of respondents. For successfully applying factor analysis, a number of cases must be at least five times the number of variables. So the minimum sample required for this study was 135 (Bryant & Yarnold, 1995; Hair et al, 2006). Sample size for this study was kept at 168 to rule-out any deficiency on this count.

  In this study, population was defined as all the people who visit malls for the purpose of shopping and actually carry out shopping. Sampling elements were the individual shoppers who visit malls for shopping. In this research, the extent was expressed as persons carrying a minimum of one shopping bag in their hands while coming out of a mall.

  A sampling method used was non-probability, quota sampling. It is a multi-stage restricted judgmental sampling where the first stage consists of developing control categories or quota of population elements while subsequent stages involve selection of sample elements based on convenience or judgment (Malhotra, 2004). The first stage resulted in the development of control categories or quotas in the form of four malls in Dubai. These four malls had registered maximum footfall among all the malls in Dubai during the year 2010. The malls selected for this research were similar in terms of size, age and tenant-mix. Second stage involved selecting respondents on the basis of convenience and judgment. A mall intercept method was chosen to approach the shoppers.

 

4. Data Analysis

  Demographic information collected with the help of a questionnaire was used to develop a profile of mall shoppers in Dubai using simple numbers and percentages. Data relating to mall attributes was subjected to data reduction with the help of factor analysis using SPSS.

  Sample comprises of males and females in almost 2:1 proportion. Two-third respondents are less than 35 years of age which is very close to demographic composition of Dubai. Married people are the largest segment indicating mall to be a place for a family. Malls in Dubai, to a similar extent, are patronized by people across all education groups. Employment-wise private service is the largest occupation category that goes well with the economic profile of people in this metropolitan city. The largest income group among shoppers comprised of people in the income range of AED 10,000 - 25,000 per month, representing the middle and upper-middle income class of society.

 

<Table 1> Profile of Respondents

 

  Data was checked for suitability for factor analysis with the help of correlation analysis, variable-wise measure of sampling adequacy, KMO test of sampling adequacy and Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity (Boyd et al, 2002; Malhotra, 2004). Correlation matrix from a data set of shoppers showed a significant correlation among the majority of the variables indicating the existence of a fundamental structure. Anti-image correlation matrix showing lower correlation and adequate variable-wise measure sampling adequacy (greater than 0.5) corroborated the same. KMO Test of Sampling Adequacy value of 0.718 (Annexure IA) was higher than the bench-mark value of 0.5. In Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity, the calculated value of 1909.389 at 351 degrees of freedom and 5% level of significance (Annexure IA) was higher than the tabulated value. All these results indicated that it is a fit case for factor analysis.

  Data was subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with Varimax rotation. It resulted in extraction of six factors explaining 61.741% of total variance associated with the problem. Factor output is presented in the form of Annexure I (B, C & D). However, Annexure I (D) shows that the communality value for three variables – ‘Sales Personnel Influence,’ ‘Feel Good (High) from Shopping’ and ‘Influence of Background Music’ is very low. These variables have the lowest factor loadings in the entire solution (0.451, 0.422 & 0.368 respectively). Hence, it was decided to refine the solution by sequentially deleting these variables. Accordingly, ‘Influence of Background Music’ was deleted first. Resulting output again reflected a low value of communality for two variables ‘Feel Good (High) from Shopping’ and ‘Sales Personnel Influence.’ Another refinement was done by removing these two variables from the problem leaving only twenty-four variables against a sample size of 168.

  This data set was again checked for suitability for factor analysis with another round of Principal Component Analysis and Varimax rotation.

 

<Table 2> KMO & Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity

 

  As per Table 2, value of KMO statistic is 0.701 whereas the calculated value in Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity is 1727.195 with 276 degrees of freedom at 5% level of significance. This proves to be a fit case for consideration under factor analysis.

  Communalities for all twenty-four variables are higher than 0.5 (Table 3) indicating it to be an optimum solution.

 

<Table 3> Communality Values

 

  This solution explains 65.562% of total variance associated with the problem (Table 4). Factor output comprises of six factors based on twenty-four variables (Table 5). Relevant factor loadings for each variable indicate that all the variables are adequately explained by derived factors.

 

<Table 4> Total Variance Explained for Twenty-Four Variable Problem

 

<Table 5> Rotated Component Matrix for Twenty-Four Variable Problem

 

  The given statements were condensed to a set of six factors. These factors represented specific forces that influence impulse buying behaviour. These are presented in the table given below:

 

<Table 6> Consolidated Factor Output & Allied Information

 

(a) Factor 1

  The most obvious factor emerging from this analysis explains 15.387% of total variance. It comprises of seven attributes (variables), namely free trials, surprise gift / lucky draw, discount coupon / cash coupon, promotional offers (buy 2, get 1 free), membership cards, attractive discounts and exclusive displays. Each of these variables is strongly correlated with the extracted factor as is evident from significantly high factor loadings for each of these. Each of these variables has stimulating effect on shoppers that induces impulse buying behaviour. Hence it may suitably be labelled as ‘Promotional Activities.’ Though this factor is foremost in explaining total variance, it is not very persuasive or dominant factor in influencing the impulse buying behaviour among the shoppers in Dubai (evident from average scores of 2.328 for this factor)

 

(b) Factor 2

  Second extracted factor explains 12.583% of total variance and comprises of five variables pertaining to buying behaviour. These include: shopping for entertainment, exploring new worlds, satisfying the sense of curiosity, time spent in the store and having new experiences. These variables are also highly correlated with this factor extracted as factor loadings in this case are quite high (ranging from 0.876 to 0.626). Each of these attributes refers to the hedonistic characteristics of buyers. So this factor is aptly labelled ‘Hedonism.’ Respondents have shown a moderate level of agreement for hedonism, as evident from average scores of 2.729 for this factor.

 

(c) Factor 3

  Third factor comprising of four variables (attributes) explains 11.311% of variance. The attributes are product display method, crowd in the store, ambience of the mall / store and the time spent in the billing counter. Factor loadings of these four variables are significantly high on this factor ranging between 0.747 and 0.901. It was difficult to assign a name to it as it seemed quite divergent in nature. Attractive product display methods and the ambience of the store are expected to induce prospective shoppers by portraying a distinct image and impression about the products. Collating all the variables as tactics for inducing/ attracting customers, this factor may be labelled as ‘In-Store Influences.’ This factor has an above average score close to 3.317(Ranked 2). All of its constituents are considered to be significant as their average scores lie in the range 3.30 to 3.33.

 

(d) Factor 4

  Factor number four comprises of three variables and explains 10.314% of total variance. Factor loadings in case of this factor range from 0.824 to 0.844, indicating very high correlation with the extracted factor. Variables included in this factor are: influence of friends & relatives, influence of fellow shoppers and socialization purposes. As the constituents of this factor mainly relate to the influence of the society on a shopper, it is proposed to be named as ‘Socialization.’ It is considered as one of the factors influencing the impulse purchase among shoppers. This factor is not very potent as indicated by a low average score of 2.192 (the lowest among all six factors).

 

(e) Factor 5

  This factor comprises of three variables and explains 8.864% of total variance. These variables include - purchase of alternative products, special packaging stimuli and launch of new products. Correlation with extracted factor is high as reflected through the high factor loadings (in the range from 0.872 to 0.750). This factor is labelled ‘Product Related Influences’ as the constituent variables are relating to the product to be purchased. With an average score of 3.536 for this factor, respondents have shown the highest level of agreement for product related influences.

 

(f) Factor 6

  This factor comprises of two variables and explains 6.653% of total variance. These variables include acceptance of foreign currency and credit cards. Factor loadings in this case range from 0.836 to 0.827. As all these variables add to ease of purchase for a shopper, hence it is being labelled as ‘Convenience to Shopper.’

 

  Validity &reliability of factor output was checked statistically. Reliability was established by estimating Cronbach’s Alpha for each factor (Table 6). Alpha value for all the factors is greater than 0.7 which indicates that the output is reliable.

  Convergent validity for a factor indicates that all variables constituting a single factor actually converge into it (i.e.) they share a high proportion of variance in common. Convergent validity was checked with the help of ‘Variance Extracted (VE).’ VE is calculated by adding squared factor loadings of all variables constituting a factor and then dividing it by the number of variables.

 

<Table 7> Variance Extracted By Each Factor

 

  Table 7.shows that Variance Extracted for each of the five factors is higher than 0.5. Discriminant validity establishes that the factors extracted are truly distinct from each other. It is established by observing factor loading for each variable under all factors. The final factor output shows that there is a complete absence of cross loading.

 

5. Findings

  The results from the study are really critical for Dubai, as it being tourism and shopping destination. Impulse buying behaviour among shoppers is manifestation of complex set of number of attributes/ variables. However, Product Related Influences and In-Store Influences emerged to be prominent influencers of impulse buying. Contrary to the perception otherwise, ‘Promotional Activities’ didn’t fair adequate to be referred as ‘a good influencer.’ The two non-economic factors were well ahead of the rest of four including ‘Hedonism,’which many of the researches over the decades have concluded to be core reason behind impulse buying. To leverage from impulse buying, it is imperative for mall developers and managers should take an integrated view of the influencers and work on multi-pronged strategies to derive most benefits out of consumers spending patterns. Provision of a favourable shopping environment turns out to be indispensable. These strategies may be designed in light of the following observations made in this research:

  Composition of Factors Influencing Impulse Buying Behaviour: Having a close look at the top 6 factors influencing the impulse buying behaviour, it clearly indicates that the influencers go beyond the external (cues) stimulants i.e. promotional activities and product related influences. The constituent factors that influence the impulse buying behaviour among shoppers in Dubai include Promotional Activities, Hedonism, In-Store Influences, Socialization, Product Related Influences and Convenience to Shoppers. A quick review of the factors indicate that the benefits of impulse buying behaviour can’t be garnered unless the influencers are given due importance while formulating promotional activities and offering a comprehensive shopping experience. As a matter of fact, this requires a close coordinated effort among the marketers, design, planning, and management teams.

  Differential Impact of Factors: Each of the constituent factors does not contribute equally to influence the impulse buying behaviour. Research points over to six factors for impulse buying, all of them are not equally significant. Only two among the six factors (Product Related and In-store influences) have an average score higher than three. Clearly, there is a requirement for serious rethinking on the part of shop supervisors / managers in case they aim to bring together the impact of influence buying to their balance sheets. It is indeed the responsibility of decision makers to capitalize on the key factors and decision areas emerging out of this research to yield a more than proportionate turnover.

  Composition of Factors: Table VI reflects how each influencing factors is further composed of multiple attributes. For instance, ‘Promotional Activities’ include free trial, discounts, freebies, coupons and membership cards, wherein the top contributors towards the constitution of this factor are Promotions like Buy 2, Get 1 Free and shoppers who purchase with an intent of accumulating points on membership cards with the stores, both with an average score of 2.48. The next factor to be looked upon is Hedonism, majorly constituted by the attributes like people shopping for New Experience (average score = 2.86). Cementing on the fact that Dubai had turned out to be the shopping hub of Middle East, more amount of impulse purchases can be witnessed among the consumers who spend more time in the store and hence time spent in the store (average score = 2.79) is the second major contributor towards the constitution of the Hedonism factor. This provides a clue that in anchor stores like Carrefour, a customer eventually ends up spending more time in the store thereby leading to more impulse purchase.

 

6. Conclusions

  The pioneer study in Dubai on this topic provides critical insights for mall developers and retail manager in their endeavour of leveraging from heightened impulse purchases among shoppers. The study limits to the consumers/shoppers of Dubai, as surveys were executed in the same region. The results of the research could be extrapolated to the other Emirates of UAE only if the studies are supplemented by carrying out similar researches in the respective Emirates. Future studies can be carried out by concentrating on the collection of data on the basis of the factors indicated in the current study, from consumers in different countries, at different points of time and from different demographics. The results of similar studies would be fascinating to find out if the composition and the priorities of the factors remains the same among the shoppers from different demographics.

 

Figure

Table

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