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Abstract

This paper discusses impulse buying behavior, focusing on internet-based unintentional purchasing patterns. It talks about emergence in technology, penetration of internet, presence of e-commerce and its role Paper looks at empirical studies and theories within the domain of unintentional purchasing, internet-based unintentional purchasing,technology and factors driving internet-based unintentional purchasing. Authors follow literature review as the main research strategy and reviews the application of literature through discussions within the South Asian context focusing on Supermarkets industry of Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Supermarkets industry was selected because the industry nature demands higher interaction with the end-consumer, hence it is ideal to judge the mass acceptance of the concept Paper concludes highlighting the significance of online impulse buying behavior using theories, empirical studies and practices. It further recommends future areas of research which can add significantly towards creating new knowledge and encourages to undertake such future researches.
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Online Impulse Buying Behavior: A Review on Conceptual and Practice
Perspectives
Oshan Liyanage
Doctoral Student of Business Administration, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
&
C.B.Wijesundara
Senior Lecturer University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
Correspondence: Oshan Liyanage. Tel: 94-07-7252-6446. Email: oshannl@gmail.com
Abstract
This paper discusses impulse buying behavior, focusing on internet-based unintentional
purchasing patterns. It talks about emergence in technology, penetration of internet, presence
of e-commerce and its role
Paper looks at empirical studies and theorieswithin the domain of unintentional purchasing,
internet-based unintentional purchasing,technology and factors driving internet-based
unintentional purchasing. Authors follow literature review as the main research strategy and
reviews the application of literature through discussionswithin the South Asian
contextfocusing on Supermarkets industry ofSri Lanka, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Supermarkets industry was selected because the industry nature demands higher interaction
with the end-consumer, hence it is ideal to judge the mass acceptanceof the concept
Paper concludes highlighting the significance of online impulse buying behavior using
theories, empirical studies and practices. It further recommends future areas of research
which can add significantly towards creating new knowledge and encourages to undertake
such futureresearches.
Keywords: Impulse buying, Internet, Online impulse buying, South Asia, Technology
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1.0 Background
Impulse buying is a broadly discussed area for decades. Along with sudden emergence of
ICT enabled platforms, internet-based unintentional purchasing has also surfaced to
discussion. Moreover, online unintentional purchasing has also gained fame within the
international context. In Asia Pacific the popularity of internet-based purchasing has gained
fame in contrast to more established geographies like United States, United Kingdom, Europe
as well as Japan (Rahman, Islam, Esha, Sultana, & Chakravorty, 2018)If that has been the
same within the South Asian context is at question. Reason for internet-based purchasing not
rapidly expanding in South Asian context is not studied previously. Hence we wish to explore
the conceptual and practice perspectives of internet-based unintentional purchasing behavior
in this study, with specific focus on South Asian context.
Let’s understand the concept of impulse purchasing prior exploring internet-based impulse
purchasing. A Purchase that is impulsive can be thought of as an unintended purchase.
Though the customer make a purchase, the purchase is not a planned buying decision of the
customer (Stern, 1962). An impulsive purchase goes beyond an accidental purchase as it
makes the customer emotionally craves before buying the product. The need to buy the
product comes unexpectedly and powerfully and it is difficult to overturn that decision
(Ferrell, 1998). According to Luo, 2005, Series of previous studies have found that 62% of
sales generated by supermarkets comes through unintentional customer purchases, which has
a high contribution to income (Nasreen Khan, 2016). With the introduction of internet,
internet-based shopping was enabled as a channel of shopping. 10 years ago internet was a
fancy tool but now it has become a platform to distribute content, a way to inform, and allows
trading. When electronic commerce was introduced, experts thought of a drastic change in
trades as customers might convert to internet-based platform and internet taking the middle
man away, might make some traditional businesses, not continue to remain in business.
(Thomas G. Brashear, 2009). Even though people buy products from tangible outlets, the
customers consider internet-based option as an easy one. This is due to saving time which has
a high value for highly work engaged citizens (Rahman et al., 2018)However, in depth
penetration of internet alone doesn’t mean that the internet buying will also increase,
particularly within the global context (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009). According to Korgoankar
and Wolin 1999, past studies reveal that people with high consumption of internet are not the
most mature, qualified people with grand salaries (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009). This denotes
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that the day so called younger generation earns greater amounts of money, the probability of
increased online sales could become a reality. Hence organisations needs to be aware of this.
With organisations now using online shopping as a channel of marketing their goods as well
as the facilities, this becomes vital to know if such technology driven platforms are gaining
momentum among consumers. With the frequency of customers who shop on the internet
increasing, the online trading companies will have massive sales development (Engizek,
2014) With internet penetrating across the world and customers from different parts of the
world logging into global sellers such as Amazon, unplanned online purchasing is not limited
to countries, rather it’s a worldwide trend (Kim, 2009). According to Kim 2002, e-commerce
permit customers the access to a wide range of offerings, with greater detail about the
offerings, moreover customer can enter an e-commerce site any time of the day and the
shopper can also match similar offers from online traders around the globe (Engizek, 2014)
This suggests that the online shopper might look at the above benefits and perceive that as a
convenient platform for shopping. Hence it is important that organisations focus on this
technology based trading platforms to increase its sales performance.
Business activities such as marketing has increased its reliance on information technology.
As per a study in 2012, Gardner Consultancy Company foresee 2017 and thinks an
organisations head of marketing would invest more than the organisations head of
information technology would (McLellan, 2014) This suggests that even organisations are
now having a serious look at adopting technology to meet the changes of consumer behavior
in the marketplace. With electronic trading and marketer functions expanding to displace
conventional business methods, knowing modern business methods have become vital. Fund
allocations for digital trading has increased beyond single figures and top executives consider
business-technology fund allocation as the most useful business fund allocation the
organisations could consider (McLellan, 2014)
Though unplanned purchasing patterns and conditions driving them have been reviewing
with detail, it is still not clear if the organisations have identified the internet-based
unplanned purchasing patterns of the consumers, especially within South Asian
context.Access to internet is active even in small cities of India. The younger generation has
the highest contribution to electronic based shopping in India. (Mathew, 2016)Similar to most
Asians, within Bangladesh the youth tend to discover latest methods to shop, hence internet-
based shopping has gained fame among youth of Bangladesh (Rahman et al., 2018)However
why this market is not so popular among majority of South Asian shoppers, is a question
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worth asking. There are different views to it. Although internet is largely available, shoppers
in India has lack of trust on this platform of shopping (Mathew, 2016) However there might
be other reasons also that contributes to lack of online shopping adaptation within the South
Asian Context. This is what the current read will explore, within the context of this
investigation.
1.1 Context of the Study
While internet-based impulse buying behavior was studied to some extent on global context
across different industries, this study specifically looks into online impulse buying behaviors
among supermarket customers of South Asia. Since not all supermarkets in South Asia
facilitates online shopping, majority of the major players have online shopping facility made
available to their shopper within South Asia.
However international examples will be used to explain theoretical and empirical aspects on
internet-based purchasing patterns as well as technology consumption. In all discussions the
examples will be brought within the South Asian context, which will bring newness to the
body of knowledge.
1.2 Objective of the Study
Identify, evaluate and explain main factors contributing towards Internet-based unintentional
purchasing patterns within the South Asian Supermarkets sector.
1.3 Methodology
This paper will follow a deductive approach where different arguments on Internet-based
unintentional purchasing patterns will be reviewed, discussed and applied to the context of
the study. Literature Review will be the main research tool deployed to obtain an empirical
and theoretical understanding. Discussions will be based on the South Asian Context, using
examples from countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Upon conclusion
future research areas will also be recommended.
2.0 Literature Review
Internet penetrating fast, people embracing it positively and businesses trading through
multiple platforms, customers are regularly attracted to cues that enhance unplanned,
unintentional purchasing (Kim, 2009) Therefore, identifying consumer buying patterns may
help understand the consumer better so online impulse buying can be harnessed. Tangible
shopping environments allow the consumer to assess products. Thereforebuying isn’t the
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samewith new functionalities. There is doubt, security concerns, and shopper doesn’t have a
full grip of the shopping process online (Kaur & Khanam Quareshi, 2015) However internet
based trading is gaining popularity and it can be useful to further look at unintentional buying
so that unintentional buying patterns can be identified well in traditional and electronic
shopping platforms (Sreedhar Rao Madhavaram, 2004). If the online trader has a good
credibility, the shopper might trust shopping in there electronic platform even without
considering the price, although price is important, if the transaction is safe, it is more vital for
the shopper than price (Kaur & Khanam Quareshi, 2015)The above denotes that despite the
easy access associated with internet-based shopping, the shoppers also seek for secure
shopping environments when shopping online. Mostly customers tend to purchase products
on electronic platforms, particularly on events. Often during an electronic purchase the
buying intention forms as unplanned. Quick tap purchasing, comfortable reach to goods, the
level of product detail available and clock convenience can make the commitment to
unintentional electronic purchasing (Umair Akram, 2017)
We looked at authors who have classified impulse buying to enhance the understanding of
online unintentional purchasing. “In 1962, Stern outlined 4 different categories for
unintentional purchasing: pure purchasing, reminded purchasing, suggested purchasing and
intentional unplanned purchasing” (Sreedhar Rao Madhavaram, 2004, p. 59)“Pure
unintentional buying takes place if a customer commits an unintentional transaction after
seeing an encouraging item”(John D. Wells, 2011, p. 34) During an electronic shopping
environment, unintentionally surfing iTunes for time passing, with no planned purchasing
intention, then buying a music track can be classified as a purely impulsive transaction (John
D. Wells, 2011). reminder unintentional purchasing can happen when a shopper commit a
transaction solely having realized the need to purchase after sighting that item or something
reminding that particular item”(John D. Wells, 2011, p. 34) This implies in a context where
someone browse the web, see sugar and realize that he or she has also run out of sugar. Then
you make a decision and makes an impulse purchase. To further clarify, a customer buying a
perfume while shopping online, spotting the product online and remembering that the
shopper has not enough of that perfume and therefore buying the product can be classified as
a reminder unplanned transaction (John D. Wells, 2011)“Suggestion-driven unintentional
buying takes place in a context where the shopper imagines the requirement of the item upon
initially sighting that item” (John D. Wells, 2011, p. 34). This type of purchases happen if
you see a review of a hotel that you have not visited, but when you see the review it triggers
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you to pay a visit. There you commit the impulse purchase. As an example unintentionally
buying a new arrival item at an online shopping site after seeing an endorsement of the site
can be thought of as a suggestive unintended transaction (John D. Wells, 2011)“planned
unintentional buying happens when a shopper does not have a plan to buy a specific product,
however browses, sights and commit the purchase by the attraction of the offer”(John D.
Wells, 2011, p. 34). This applies to a situation where you see a special offer of an item and
thinks buying the item can be a good idea, given the attractiveness of the deal. If we further
clarify, a person enters a shop with set of items to buy, however the motive of buying
depends on vouchers or special offers(John D. Wells, 2011)
Though the work of Stern dates back to 1962, we still see his four distinct types on online
shopping sites as well. On an e-commerce setting marketing experts often introduce
advertising approaches encouraging sales through item endorsements, recommended
products, key products, regular selling products and different special offerings. Because
supplementary and enhanced products gets picked unintentionally, unintentional transactions
on internet is a vital activity for both sellers and customers (Kim, 2009).
We try to gather the motive behind online impulse buying to further enrich the study.
Deployingreason feeling principle as an academic framework research suggests a experiential
design which address e-commerce shopper values on product display appeal, user-
friendliness of the website, shopper pleasure and online content writing quality to touch
shopper unplanned purchasing habits, intervened through shopper feelings (Tibert Verhagen,
2011). What above denotesis that even the design of the website can play a role in harnessing
internet-based unintentional purchasing. There are two important state of mind leading to an
online impulse buying behavior. Initial method goes unintentional with lesser reasoning
debate. The method gets activated after seeing an item when searching for products, it also
doesn’t create a mentally arranged approach or thought process (Tibert Verhagen, 2011).This
suggest a pure online buying decision being taken place. In the next method, feelings become
dominant when the unintended purchase happens (Tibert Verhagen, 2011). The second
instant denotes that the impulsive purchasing happens after battling with certain level of
cognitive emotions. Such emotions can be in favour or against the buying decision as well.
Furthermore, though we see a buying decision as instant call for action from the outset, a lot
of thinking happens prior converting the decision to a purchasing action, impulsively.
According to (Jeffrey & Hodge, 2007)there are two cognitive factors leading into an impulse
purchase. ‘Mental accounting and impulse purchase’ is one. Instead of selecting products
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which is increasingly useful to meet the need, shoppers frequently decide their purchase
intension by having a fund allocation in mind and comparing that with the balance funds set
in their mind for a purchase.(Jeffrey & Hodge, 2007). This implies that even if you want to
buy a pair of shoes, you might end up buying a pair of socks because the cost associated in
your mental account can only afford the pair of socks though you want a pair of shoes.
Further (Jeffrey & Hodge, 2007) identifies ‘Specific reason to purchase’ as the second
cognitive factor leading into an impulse purchase. Studies around motive driven selection
have seen customers wanting a valid motive, backing the buying intension(Jeffrey & Hodge,
2007). This implies that you might not want to buy a packet of biscuits but you still buy that
since part of the profit from that product goes for charity. In that sense, the charity was the
reasoned factor leading into the purchase.
While we analyse the thought process of an online shopper, it is equally important to figure
out the reasons why people shop or don’t shop online. According to Thomas G, Brashear,
2009, Easy accessibility, newness, avoiding the riskiness, Varity Pursuing, Suddenness,
Product Loyalty, and Price Sensitiveness seems to be things people consider when shopping
online. Not that different to other purchasing types, online purchasing is encouraged by its
convenient nature (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009)Jarvenpaa& Todd, 1997 also agrees on this
and states the following. Not like the conventional purchasing, the main difference with web-
based purchasing can be the convenient nature, hence have discovered as a key reason for
customers to purchase online (Kuan-Pin Chiang, 2003) According to SRI International 1995,
Newness is a main contributor of an electronic customer groups consisting actualized buyers
and experiential buyers (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009)As per research, online purchasing has
its fair share of concerns too. Online purchasing has been perceived as a risky task, especially
due to information security worries, personal information and bank card robbery as well as
insufficient order completions are all rated as worries (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009) Since
searching online is much easier than searching offline, internet shoppers might do extensive
searches than conventional customers would (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009). This denotes that
online shopping allows better product comparisons but also has concerns over the safety of
the transaction which might be one disadvantage. As per Alba et al., 1997 also explores this
area, hence it becomes vital to think of product features so that product categorisation can be
done within the product examination. Underlying logic is that trading arrangements change
considerably with its ability to disclose details regarding item components preferred to usage
gains (Kuan-Pin Chiang, 2003). This suggests that even the way products are organised on a
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website can have an impact on the purchasing decision. Donthu and Garcia (1999) states
main entities who trade products online to shoppers are stable and recognisedorganisations.
Such organisations already has a great reputation for its products (Thomas G. Brashear, 2009)
Advantage realising from lower cost of searching as well as visibility of prices is the
customer being able to identify the best price offered for any given item online (Thomas G.
Brashear, 2009). It is further highlighted by other researches as well.A key factor
encouraging customers to purchase over internet is the assurance that internet buying can
save some money (Kuan-Pin Chiang, 2003)The above denotes that some shoppers tend to
perceive internet-based shopping as a cost effective option in addition to being convenient.
Although Thomas G, Brashear states Easy accessibility, newness, avoiding the riskiness,
Varity Pursuing, Suddenness, Product Loyalty, and Price Sensitiveness are affecting online
shoppers it is clear that factors such as Convenience were strongly backed by other researches
as well. Even ability to easily compare products can be seen as another dimension to define
convenience in the context of product comparisons.
Electronic marketing professionals who can clearly separate electronic buying environments,
which has a good ability to enhance unplanned buying decisions will surely have the edge
over the competition subject to said marketing professionals executing their actions
advantageously using the available depth of information (Xiaoni Zhang, 2007) These seem to
recommend electronic unplanned purchasing as productive domain for companies to look at.
Provided the growth of the technology driven economics, with purchasing ease offered with
information interactions, people can aim more impulsive consumers to shop on electronic
platforms (Xiaoni Zhang, 2007)In 1999, Steyer discusses the underlying state-trait theory. As
per state-trait theory, individual conduct activities based on personal qualities, external
conditions and collaboration among both these (Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015)
Mental state has been reviewed by researches previously. Psychological conditions relating
with environment related factors, might even influence personal actions (Ceyda Aysuna
Turkyilmaz, 2015) If we apply this into an online shopping context, frame of the online site,
images used, content written, propping screens, ability to search, instant purchasing, use of
hyperlinks, media sizes, as well the website outline are site components that lead towards
activating electronic unplanned buying, a level further (Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015).
This denotes a point where the complete outlook of the e-commerce site could impact
internet-based unintentional purchasing pattern of a shopper.
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As per past work on unintended internet purchasing it is probable to site individual
characteristics (Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015). These traits are in addition to the mental
states discussed above. “McCrae and Costa, (1990) presents Big Five Model, which is
identified as a key guideline defining the characteristic literature of personalities” (Ceyda
Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015, p. 101). “The Big FiveElement can be categorised into
extraversion, ability to agree, awareness, neuroticism, and open state of mind to understand”
(Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015, p. 101). If you are one of those outgoing, energetic
personalities, who like to express yourself then you are likely to fall into extraversion. The
next trait is called ability to agree. “People who are able to agree seems to trust people,
forgive people, care about people, warm-hearted, Collaborative and they are seldom
selfless” (Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015, p. 101). This suggests they may buy their time to
build trust with an online transaction and move on with the purchase once comfortable.
Another trait is being aware about happenings. “Awareness category looks at possibilities to
achieve, believe in hard work, believe being responsible and you can depend on them”
(Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015, p. 101). This denotes that these type of people may spend
time going into detail before the actual purchase takes place, as they look at the return they
retrieve. “Neurotic people display uneasiness, display fear, feel depressing and lacks
situational mood adaptation” (Ceyda Aysuna Turkyilmaz, 2015, p. 101). This suggests that
the neuroticism trait personalities can have a fear towards the purchasing decision due to the
battling instincts of the personality trait. Openness to experience trait suggests this type of
people can be the care free, typical online impulse buying personality. What denotes by going
through the state-trait theory is that the state of mind and the five personality traits can have
an impact on internet-based unintended purchasing patterns.
In addition to the theories discussed above there might be a role that social commerce play in
harnessing online impulse buying behavior. Facebook is used for trading by most users, they
upload commercials in pages and trade product among people (Jengchung Victor Chen,
2016). How this can apply to online impulse buying among supermarket consumer of South
Asia is by maintaining social commerce material such as Facebook groups or pages as a
supporting element to drive the online sales. This can lead social commerce users to get
redirected to the website and then shop through online shopping platforms.
Through the paper we looked at what unintended buying patternsare, how internet-based
unintended buying patterns has come to light and the drivers influencing an electronic
unintentional buying decision. Though additionally internet-based shopping platforms being
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developed, people have mind sets and personality traits that could lead to the online impulse
buying behavior. Hence organisations might need to master the digital landscape to be
successful in online impulse buying behavior enhancement.
Studies conducted with top management revealed their utmost danger this year is digitally
transforming the company. Still 7 out of 10 digital efforts failed. Precisely from 1,300 million
invested in 2018, 0.9 billion was wasted (Behnam Tabrizi, 2019) Principally DT efforts
harness productivity and consumer care. However humans also have to have a positive
approach in refining the defects of the current processes, otherwise digital technology can
highlight those defects (Behnam Tabrizi, 2019). This denotes that despite the popularity that
online shopping has gained, the organisations need to approach online trading with the right
mind set to become successful and to show their customers the value it offers to them. The
day internet-based shopping captures the entire value proposition of the shopper, we mightsee
this platform gaining further acceptance.
3.0 Case Review
It was identified in the literature that internet usage is fast gaining popularity. Supportively,
according to (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2019) internet penetration in South Asian
Countries have gained popularity, with the Internet penetration population in Bangladesh is at
57.2%, Bhutan 48.1%, India 40.9%, Maldives 81.9%, Nepal 54.1%, Pakistan 35% and Sri
Lanka 34.1% (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2019)This suggests that with internet gaining
popularity, the possibility of online shopping could also gain popularity. According to the
Chairman of Cargills Ceylon PLC, A leading supermarket chain in Sri Lanka,supermarkets
has potential to grow, on estimate grocery itemsbacks one fifth businessprogression(Page,
2019) however there online presence is limited to a static website. On the other hand Keells
Supermarkets, another leading Supermarket in Sri Lanka has one of the best online shopping
platforms which has products classified to great detail and processing of transactions are also
user-friendly. LAUGFS Super, another Sri Lankan Supermarket has branded there online
shopping site as ‘Grocery Pal’ without directly associating its physical brand, which suggests
that they are focused on expanding the online presence under a different brand name itself.
The reason why we discussed three supermarkets within the same country, Sri Lanka, is to
show that even in one given country, the way organisations look at online shopping can
differ.
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Literature also looked into the types of buying behavior with specific attention towards online
buying behavior. “In 1962, Stern outlined 4 different categories for unintentional
purchasing: pure purchasing, reminded purchasing, suggested purchasing and intentional
unplanned purchasing” (Sreedhar Rao Madhavaram, 2004, p. 59). By browsing through
various online supermarket websites in South Asia, it was found that ‘pure buying’ can be
possible in those platforms as anyone can unintentionally make an online impulse purchase.
‘Reminder buying’ is also possible as most websites advertises new arrivals on their online
shopping sites and it can become a cue to the shopper. For example METRO Supermarket
Pakistan has online offers (METRO Pakistan (Pvt) Limited, 2019) the moment you land on
the home page and such a cue can trigger an online impulse purchase. ‘Suggestion buying’ is
not directly made possible on the online shopping sites as none of the websites allowed
blogging. However this can happen in their Social Commerce platforms such as Facebook
groups or pages, which might trigger a suggestive buying decision. ‘Planned impulse buying’
is possible as most of the websites have shown advertisements or special promotions on the
home page itself, meaning it can trigger a purchase. Spencer Supermarkets in India for
example has highlighted the promotional offers as best buys (Spencer's, 2019) on the home
page and categories are listed on the side bar making the navigation easier. The ‘one click’
checkout button is on the top right hand corner which the consumer will only focus when
they are done with browsing and when adding the product into the cart.
Overall, in order to trigger online impulse purchase, online shopping sites uses pop-ups of
promotions, categorise products based on the nature of the product and enable one click
online payments with the intension of generating an online impulse purchase. Even though
we discussed the state-trait theory, the factors contributing towards internet-based
unintentional purchasing patterns and thought process of a customer during an online impulse
buying decision takes place, we cannot review them from the surface by observing the design
of the website. However prior to designing a website, organisations should consider such
factors, thought processes and types of consumers. That way the organisation can increase the
effectiveness of their online shopping platform.
According to (Jeffrey & Hodge, 2007) there are two cognitive factors leading into an impulse
purchase. ‘Mental accounting and impulse purchase’ is one. For example anyone visiting
Softlogic Glomark online supermarket will have an approximate amount that they wish to
spend on the website based on how they have stored money in their ‘mental account’. Further
(Jeffrey & Hodge, 2007)identifies ‘Specific reason to purchase’ as the second cognitive
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factor leading into an impulse purchase. For example anyone visiting Sri Lanka’s Softlogic
Glowmark Supermarket website will see “Credit Cards 20% off on total bill, every
Wednesday & Friday” (Softlogic Glowmark, 2019, p. 1). Anyone visiting Nepal’s Bhat-
Bhateni supermarket will see “25% cash back for your first transaction”(BHAT-BHATENI,
2019, p. 1).Hence they can become valid reasons for them to shop online with such
supermarkets. Furthermore, anyone visiting Sri Lanka’s Keells Super will see “We believe
local tastes better”(Jaykay Marketing Services (Pvt) Ltd, 2019, p. 1) and “We are fresh,
because of you”(Jaykay Marketing Services (Pvt) Ltd, 2019, p. 1) which gives the shopper a
valid reason to shop in those online supermarkets.
Literature also stressed the convenience offered on online shopping sites as a reason for
people to purchase online. “Different to conventional purchasing, mainly identified difference
in electronic shopping is the easy accessibility which was a valid reason for shoppers to shop
in internet-based platforms” (Kuan-Pin Chiang, 2003, p. 178). This was true to all e-
commerce websites refereed during the research and discussions.
As per the state-trait theory, the state of mind the online shopper forms by looking at the
design of the website can create a perception, but it is subjective. The traits are of course in-
built into the personality, hence not able to physically review as we browse through the
website.
However when designing a website, all the physiological theories we discussed throughout
should be taken into consideration by the business leaders. Then the online impulse buying
behavior of the shopper can help organisations further growth in this platform.
For instance as we explored the online supermarkets we didn’t find an online retailer who
capture ‘big data’ of the online shoppers, analyse online shopper patterns and offer
suggestions. Electronic traders has information on buying behavior of the items they trade.
Sites like google identify what customers surf, however it may not be equivalent to what the
consumer eventually buy (Harrison, 2019) we also didn’t see an online supermarkets website
with chat bots, who are interacting with the online user on a real-time basis.
If leaders of the digital era can focus on these areas, e-commerce organisations might make
greater returns through online shopping sites, and it may also increase online impulse
shopping purchases as well. In fact there is empirical evidence that indicates an arrival of new
generation leaders with specific skills enabling digital transformation.Fresh kind of leaders
are seen with digital technology emergence: a role similar to business technology expert.
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CMT are partially strategists, partially creatives, partially high-techs, and they are partially
lecturers” (McLellan, 2014, p. 3). Hence in future if physical outlets gets outperformed by
the online counterparts, we should not be surprised.
4.0 Conclusion
Unintentional purchasing patterns have been discussed by researches for years. Triggered by
an urge, impulse buying creates a desire within a person’s mind to commit for an unplanned
purchase. Unintentional purchasing is identical with impulsive purchasing this refer to any
product bought but the shopper never planned it prior (Stern, 1962)
Previously customers didn’t buy products from any location, within various time frames with
a tap on a button (Kuan-Pin Chiang, 2003)With the introduction of the internet and its rapid
penetration around the world has surfaced a new discussion in online impulse buying
behavior. “The amount of customers using internet-based platforms to shop have risen with
and income deriving through that channel to internet-based retailers also increase quickly”
(Engizek, 2014, p. 78)Though in the global context there are researches carried in internet-
based unintentional buying patterns, we focus the current paper only to internet-based
unintentional purchasing specific towards the South Asian countries, which contributes to
new knowledge.
In order to understand the subject domain we used literature review as the main research
strategy. We used the deductive approached and identified empirical arguments relating
towards internet-based unintentional buying patterns and growth of technology. We also
explored the theories associated with internet-based unintentional purchasing such as state-
trait theory and also considers different factors contributing towards an online impulse buying
decision.
We also conducted a discussion based on the literature and reviewed how the said literature is
applied within the practical context of internet-based purchasing patterns, with special focus
directed at the South Asian market. Sri Lanka is referred as a trendy context for online
purchasing mechanisms in different industriesGayan Nayanajith, & Dissanayake, 2019).
Practical examples were brought into discussions using South Asian Supermarket chains
from countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Through the discussions, it was
found that online shopping, just as internet penetration is rapidly gaining popularity in Sri
Lanka. Siriwardena& Dissanayake, 2018). Social Customer Relationship Management
(SCRM) in Contemporary Business Era. International Journal of Business Management 9(1),
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58-64. Hence the use of this platform can increase in the years to come. Also organisations
need to consider the impulse buying behavior theories and empirical studies when designing
the e-commerce strategy for the organisation. That way the organisation can get the best out
of this modern approach to shopping.
Despite the popularity online shopping has gained, some supermarkets still refrain from
trading online. While some organisations have seriously seen the opportunity and capitalised
on it. LAUGFS Super powered Grocery Pal for example has a separate subsidiary in
“Lfinity” (Lfinity (Pvt) Ltd, 2019) which focuses on their online shopping customer.
Furthermore, even the supermarkets who have given serious thought into online shopping
such as Metro in Pakistan, Spencer in India, Keells and LAUGFS Grocery Pal in Sri Lanka
are yet to explore the ‘big data’ of online shoppers and predict or suggest products on their
online platforms. If such initiatives are to take place, we think leaders needs to think deeply
about providing strategic directives to increase sales through online platforms. Fresh kind of
leaders are seen with digital technology emergence: a role similar to business technology
expert. CMT can be partially a strategist, partially a creative, partially a high-tech, and
partially a lecturer” (McLellan, 2014, p. 3). This denotes that the day marketers seriously
look at online shopping is not too far even within the South Asian context. Initiatives such as
suggesting products by analysing online buyers buying behavior using ‘big data’ and tailoring
offers specific to the individual shopper, will take online shopping into a different level
which might even challenge the mere existence of its physical counterparts.
It is clear that online shopping is no longer a concept but it is in practice, as well it is gaining
in popularity. Hence online shopping is becoming a major channel of revenue generation at a
much lower cost than that of physically operated outlets.
Although we identified the work done within internet-based unplanned purchasing patterns
with reference to South Asian markets, the contributors leading internet-based unplanned
purchasing patterns and role technology plays within the context, we did not explore the role
a leader directs in optimizing internet-based unplanned purchasing patterns within South
Asian Markets.
Hence the part that leader does to enhance internet-based unplanned purchasing patterns can
be explored with specific focus to South Asian markets, as future areas of research, which
will bring further newness to the knowledge base.
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