Impulse-buying Behaviour of Groceries Online : An exploratory research of Generation Y regarding their perception of impulse purchases of groceries online

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Over the past years there has been a significant increase in the use of e-commerce and to which extent it is used. This has enabled a bigger market for consumption than ever before, and physical stores has now gained competition from the online based stores. Due to this market evolution, the consumers now have every opportunity to purchase goods at any time suitable. The concept of impulse-buying behaviour has thus become more relevant for research, as the markets are evolving, which raises questions if consumers are evolving parallelly. The commerce of groceries online is one market that has yet to be researched regarding impulse-buying behaviour, as it is a relatively new way of purchasing groceries. Members of Generation Y are the most frequent users of grocery shopping services online, which is why this is the demography of choice for this analysis. This study is inspired by previous research within the topic of impulse-buying behaviour, as well as the lack of research within this topic in regard to groceries. The research will aim to examine and identify how impulse purchases manifest themselves in an online environment when buying groceries. The study follows both classical impulse theory research as well as modern day consumer behaviour research, in order to gain a general understanding of impulse- buying behaviour of consumers. Existing research provides relevant information regarding the subject of impulse purchases; however, this study will contribute to the subject with a new perspective. Existing studies are focusing on either impulse purchase online or offline, impulse purchases or grocery shopping individually, which is why there is a research gap where these phenomena intersect. The study is expected to provide deeper understanding of how members of generation Y, or millennials, in Stockholm, act when shopping online, with emphasis on their perception of impulsive consumption behaviour. As well as examining online consumption, behaviour in physical stores will be examined and pitted against behaviour online in order to show differences and/or similarities between the two. Individual characteristics of generation Y will also be identified and compared to existing theories concerning their behavioural patterns. The study revealed that impulse purchases of groceries online is neither consistent, nor frequent, behaviour for consumers. Impulse purchases online were found to be most affected by income but also planning of the purchase made beforehand played a part. Delivery fees was an unexpected driver of impulse purchases in this research. A factor which indicated that this drives the consumer to purchase more impulsively to reach the delivery limit. Further, the study discovered that the proclivity of impulse purchases differs depending on whether shopping online or in a physical store. Individuals more prone to being affected by environmental stimuli and emotions also showed a higher probability of purchasing items on impulse in a physical store than online. Lastly, members of generation Y showed signs of materialistic, self-monitoring, risk-averse and socially aware characteristics, thus confirming many theories about the generation.

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