I see it, I click it : a model of online consumption impulse development


Student thesis: Master's Thesis

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  • Po Lun HO

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Awarding Institution
Award date4 Oct 2004


Past research on Internet retailing mostly focused on rational purchasing decision process. Little research has been done to study impulse purchase behavior in online environment, in particular the formation process of this fast-acting decisions. Understanding such an unexplored area about Internet retailing has the potential to further pushing the sales volume in e-shopping. This study investigates the process of online consumption impulse development by examining two general IT strategies - real-time push advertising and multimedia. It seeks to answer the following research questions: 1. Is browsing enjoyment an important determinant of online consumption impulse? 2. How do different IT strategies (e.g., real time push advertising and multimedia) induce browsing enjoyment? 3. How does real-time push advertising tactic impact the online consumption impulse? 4. Are there any moderating effects of Impulse buying tendency on the development of online consumption impulse? Marketing literature on impulse buying and IT literature on website designs were reviewed. The marketing literature provides a thorough psychological background of impulse purchase behaviors, while IT literature proposes how IT could be applied accordingly to generate mood-relevant emotions. Based the literature reviewed, a causal model is developed for studying the impact of IT stimuli on inducing online consumption impulse through elevating positive mood state. Based on the model developed, an experiment was designed and conducted. A virtual online store was built, applying two commonly used IT strategies: real-time push advertising and multimedia. A 2x2 experimental design was employed, with four different versions of an online store. Subjects were randomly assigned to different versions of the experimental store. The data collection included web-based data monitoring and a self-reported survey. The main findings of this study are: 1. Browsing enjoyment is an important predictor of online consumption impulse. 2. Both real-time push advertising and multimedia have significant impact on the browsing enjoyment. 3. Impulse buying tendency - a personality trait, moderates the relationship between real-time push advertising and online consumption impulse. Being a pioneer study in bringing the idea of consumption impulse from offline marketing study to online environment, this study have not only built a strong theoretical foundation for future research, but also created a new avenue for research in online buying behaviors. This study has also contributed to the practice by providing specific design guidelines to practitioners. We believe that this study could act as a key to unlock the uncovered area of online impulse purchase in the ever going Internet environment.

    Research areas

  • Teleshopping, Impulse buying