Discussion results

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Contrast this portrayal of food shopping behaviors and settings and tactics used to lure consumers to the behaviors and settings required to make food labels and unit price information (indicated by small tags on shelf) truly salient! The effort to collect, comprehends, and compiles contents and costs of products are high in a setting not conducive to such behaviors ( Russo, personal communication, February, 1984).

Studies of the use and effect of such information, for example, unit price labels, indicate some limited initial impact (e.g. , saving consumers 1% on food costs; Russo, 1977), and perhaps, some increased use now more than 15 years after their introduction ( Aaker & Ford, 1983). Alternative store displays, i. e. , formats such as those comparing products’ contents and prices, may slightly increase savings to consumers ( Russo, 1977; but see Goodwin ; Etgar, 1980). Obtrusive, specific markers also promote sales shifts. However, these shifts, although economically meaningful on an aggregate level, may not be very meaningful on an individual level.

They certainly do not seem to be the type of shifts associated with changes in food selections necessary for yielding health outcomes. Therefore, another testable assumption here is that only a small percentage of shoppers stop to read labels or examine unit price tags. With regard to age, based on a national sample of adults in the United States, Wood (1998) found an inverse relationship between age and impulse buying. Impulse buying increases slightly between the ages of 18 and 39 and subsequently declines. This finding is consistent with that of Bellenger et al.

(1978) who found that shoppers under 35 were more prone to impulse buying than were those over 35. Since impulsiveness is linked to emotional arousal, older adults are more apt to control their emotional expression than are younger adults (Lawton, Kleban, Rajogopal, ; Dean, 1992; McConatha et al. , 1994). This would be reflected in older consumers’ control of impulsive buying tendencies. With emotions obviously determining impulse purchasing (Bayley & Nancorrow, 1998), the present study posits that personality traits such as Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Impulse Buying Tendency (IBT) will tend to yield different impulsive buying behavior.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to adaptively perceive, understand, regulate, and harness emotions in the self and others (e. g. , Caruso, Mayer, & Salovey, 2002; Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Schutte, Malouff, Hall, Haggerty, Cooper, Golden, & Dornheim, 1998). Most research asserts that a high level of emotional intelligence contributes to success in education, work, and relationships (e. g. , Goleman, 1995; Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Tomer, 2003).

It also leads to greater emotional well being (Goleman, 1995; Saarni, 1999; Salovery & Mayer, 1990; Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995; Schutte, Malouff, Simunek, McKenley, & Hollander, 2002). Those who understand and regulate their emotions generally maintain a better outlook on life and enjoy better emotional health. Some research indicates that high emotional intelligence is associated with less depression (Martinez-Pons, 1997; Schutte et al. , 1998) and greater optimism (Schutte et al. , 1998).

The present study posits that adolescents with high emotional intelligence are less influenced by emotion, and would use a strategy based on the facts. Thus, high-EI adolescents would be less likely to yield to impulse purchasing than would low-EI adolescents. In addition to emotional intelligence, Impulse Buying Tendency (IBT) in adolescents is worth considerating. IBT has been viewed as a sub-trait of the general impulsivity construct, which Gerbing et al. (1987, p. 357) defined as “a tendency to respond quickly to a given stimulus, without deliberation and evaluation of consequences.

” According to this definition, high-IBT adolescents are more likely to be tempted to buy impulsively and to act more frequently on those urges, compared to low-IBT adolescents. Method The survey methodology was used to measure the influence of personal trait characteristics on adolescents’ impulsive buying behavior. Using a convenient sampling method in a regional shopping mall, approximately 650 adolescents, ranging from 15 to 19 years of age, were selected to participate. There were 574 subjects in the final sample pool. A 48-item questionnaire consisting of three separate sections was administered.

The first section, which collected demographic information, included five items. The second section contained nine items to measure the degree of impulsive buying tendency based on the research of Rook and Fisher (1995). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of impulsive buying tendency in this study reached 0. 89, a satisfactory level of reliability. A single measure of impulsive buying behavior was used. The item, “How often do you buy things on impulse? ” was measured on a five-point Likert scale from 1 (almost every day) to 7 (almost never). This scale was developed by Kacen and Lee (2002).

Emotional Intelligence Scale includes a 33-item self-report scale developed by Schutte et al. (2002), assesses the extent to which respondents identify, understand, harness, and regulate their emotions and the emotions of others. Sample items include “I can tell how other people are feeling by listening to the tone of their voice,” “I know why my emotions change,” “When I feel a change in emotions, I tend to come up with new ideas,” “I help other people feel better when they are down. ” Respondents rate themselves on each item from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).

The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of impulsive buying tendency in this study reached 0. 77, a satisfactory level of reliability (Chien-Huang Lin, Shin-Chieh Chuang, 2005). Results All 650 adolescents were asked to complete the questionnaire. Cleaning of the data and eliminating incomplete questionnaires resulted in a final sample of 574. Demographic information states that 48% were male and 52% were female. Regarding the amount of pocket money that respondents had each week, 36% had less than $30, 30% had $31-50, 20% had $51-70, and 14% had more than $71.

In addition, 54% indicated that their parents were their main sources of pocket money. The effect of emotional intelligence on adolescents’ impulsive buying behavior was tested by t-test. Analysis revealed a significant effect of emotional intelligence on impulsive buying behavior (t = 5. 8, p < 0. 0001). Individuals who scored low on emotional intelligence (M = 4. 45) scored significantly higher on impulsive buying tendency than those who scored high on emotional intelligence (M = 3. 81). Analysis indicated a significant difference between IBT and impulsive buying behavior (t = 6. 12, p < 0.0001).

Individuals who scored high on impulsive buying tendency (M = 4. 4) scored significantly higher on impulsive buying behavior than those who scored low on impulsive buying tendency (M = 3. 74), indicating that high-IBT adolescents exhibited more impulsive buying behavior than did low-IBT adolescents (Chien-Huang Lin, Shin-Chieh Chuang, 2005). Discussion Results of this investigation show a stronger relationship between emotional intelligence and impulsive buying behavior and suggest that people with a high EI manifest significantly lower impulsive buying behavior than do those with a low EI.

High emotional intelligence should lead to greater emotional well-being (Goleman, 1995; Saarni, 1996; Salovery & Mayer, 1990; Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995; Schutte, Malouff, Simunek, McKenley, & Hollander, 2002). Those who understand and regulate their emotions should be able to maintain a better outlook on life and enjoy better emotional health. They are also likely to control their feelings, not be influenced by emotion, and use strategies based on the facts. Consequently they will be less likely to yield to impulse buying behavior, compared to low-EI adolescents (Chien-Huang Lin, Shin-Chieh Chuang, 2005).

The results also showed a strong relationship between a personality trait of buying impulsiveness and impulsive buying behavior. This finding is consistent among both adults and adolescents (Beatty & Ferrell, 1998; Rock & Fisher, 1995). It is possible that enjoyment of shopping influences one’s tendency to buy impulsively. By the same token, one’s tendency to engage in impulse buying tends to produce more browsing and directly affects the strength of the urge to make an impulse purchase (Chien-Huang Lin, Shin-Chieh Chuang, 2005).

Adolescents’ impulsive buying is particularly important because marketing strategies target them. Shopping is a daily routine for many adolescents. Teachers and parents should be aware of this and help adolescents spend their money wisely. This study focused on exploring the relationship between personal characteristics and impulsive buying behavior. The results demonstrated that high-EI adolescents were more likely to yield to impulsive buying behavior than were low-EI adolescents.

The emotional factor (e. g., emotional arousal) may be an important mediating factor in determining the relationship between EI and impulsive buying behavior (Chien-Huang Lin, Shin-Chieh Chuang, 2005). Maximizing, satisfying, and problem solving are terms that describe deliberative behavior; each of them implies taking careful thought and weighing alternatives. By contrast, a large part of observed buying behavior appears to be non-deliberative in character, with no evidence of time spent in decision making, information gathering, or making careful comparisons.

Such non-deliberative behavior may be described as habitual, random, or impulsive, and each of these terms may be useful in explaining certain types of buying behavior within the stimulus-response model. Habitual or routine purchase choices, although non-deliberative at a particular point in time, may reflect deliberation and a conscious evaluation of buying alternatives in some previous period. Also, such choices generally reflect at least a satisfactory level experience with previous purchases of the same merchandise and a desire to avoid the uncertainties that might arise from experimenting with alternatives.

Random selection of products or brands reflects either indifference to specific product features or a belief that the available alternatives are all alike. Both habitual and random buying behavior arises, in part, because making a choice is an activity that requires time and effort. Careful choosing may be worth the trouble, and may even be interesting with respect to large purchases of durable goods. With respect to low-price consumer goods, however, the benefits available from having made superior choices may be worth less than the trouble required to discover them.

Impulse buying, on the other hand, is the simplest form of stimulus-response behavior in marketing. A specific stimulus is received by a buying unit that possesses such characteristics that a purchase decision and action focused on a particular item result almost immediately. Factors promoting Impulse Buying In recent years many surveys have been made to determine the extent to which the typical supermarket customer buys on impulse. The results seem to indicate that about seven out of ten supermarket purchases are the result of in-store buying decisions.

The objectives of packaging are to differentiate products and to appeal to the consumer, thereby making impulse buying effective. The first supermarket meat departments were the service type, consisting of one or two refrigerated cases. Merchandising in the service type departments was very limited. Impulse buying was negligible due to the lack of available variety. The customer told the butcher the type of meat she wished to purchase, and he sold her a particular cut–often explaining the best cooking method. His sales effort was directed to selling additional meat items to complete the weekly menu plan.

Variety meats, as they are known today, were usually the “push items” for the butcher. The direct customer contact in the early meat departments gave the butcher an opportunity to move slow selling items, high margin items, and less desirable cuts of meat. However, some customers hesitated to buy variety meats (especially the less desirable items) from the butcher, due to pride; and the self-service department aids the merchandising of so-called “push items. ” In the service meat department, the personality of the butcher played an important role in the success of the market.

Fresh meats were kept in the refrigerated cases, and during warm weather many smoked meat items required refrigeration. With the advent of government food inspection, the use of refrigerated cases became a requirement. Ices, and dry ice, were used prior to acceptance of mechanical refrigeration. Modern advances in supermarket lighting have kept pace with changing patterns in merchandising. Whether in new store construction or old store remodeling, lighting is a major factor for influencing visual impression and creating an attractive atmosphere.

Well-planned lighting helps develop the visibility needed to influence impulse buying in supermarkets. Standard shelving and merchandise in the stores of today are combined with numerous displays. Either direct or internal lighting may be successfully utilized to accent these displays. For this purpose, miniature spotlights can be utilized for highlighting the merchandise or the area. Internal lighting of displays such as jellies packed in clear glass containers creates an interesting and impulse buying situation. An internal source of illumination produces a uniquely effective display.

Many interior changes were mechanistic devices to reduce labor costs and to provide a higher volume of sales and faster service. Grocers introduced the price tag stamp as a means to reduce the time clerks spent writing food prices by hand on every food package. At the same time, grocery management introduced price tag molding, which illustrated the price of a product on the edge of a gondola shelf. Price tag molding was a device that not only made the customer instantly aware of prices but, according to grocers, also encouraged impulse buying.

Conclusion In terms of the factors that influence whether an infomercial purchase decision is planned or impulsive, the results suggest that consumers are more likely to make impulse purchases whether they are infrequent viewers of infomercials. This suggests that it is the infrequent viewer of infomercials who is most susceptible to making an impulse purchase. In contrast, more frequent viewers tend to be more likely to make planned decisions that are often associated with seeing the infomercial a number of times.

For impulse buyers, infomercials succeed in making consumers aware of a product, convincing them of their need for this product, and securing a purchase. Likewise, impulse buyers, having seen the infomercial, are less likely to engage in prepurchase thinking whereby they contemplate the merits of the arguments presented in the infomercial. Overall then, impulse buyers, relative to planned buyers, have seen the infomercial fewer times before purchase, have less previous interest in the product, and think less about the merits of the advertising before purchase.

These findings would appear to implicitly support the literature on impulse buying. Impulse purchases tend to be spontaneous and are acted upon without a lot of reflection or prepurchase intentions. This paper suggests that it might be dangerous for marketers to overrate the persuasive power of the infomercial as a device that prompts mainly an impulse purchase. This study shows that many purchases may be categorized as somewhat planned, especially if the consumer has viewed the advertising several times.

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