Oops! I Did It Again... : Exploring consumers’ post-purchase emotions in regards to impulsive shopping and product returns online.

University essay from Jönköping University/Internationella Handelshögskolan

Abstract: Background: The expansion of e-commerce and online orders have led to companies creating new marketing strategies, where impulsive purchases are important in order to boost sales. However, this also has negative aspects concerning overconsumption and the environmental impact. Consumers are more likely to have negative post-purchase emotions when making an impulsive purchase, and thus are more prone to return products. This research aims at creating a deeper understanding about consumers’ post-purchase emotions after making an impulsive purchase and how a product return affects the post-purchase emotions.    Problem discussion: Impulsive buying is critical for online stores and retailers are actively trying to increase these purchases for all customers, but at the same time, there is a growing number of product returns. This makes it important for firms to understand how consumers think and react to an impulsive purchase, since this supposedly has an impact on product returns. By providing a deeper understanding regarding the consumer’s post-purchase emotions one can specify such reactions on shoppers and help future marketing activities preventing consumers’ negative emotions in the purpose of increasing organizational profitability and decreasing the environmental impact.    Purpose: The purpose of this research is to build a theory that will provide organizations with knowledge about the chosen segment of Swedish women in the age 18-35 post-purchase emotions after impulsive buying. The findings of this study can contribute with additional insights to previous theoretical knowledge about post-purchase emotions after impulsive shopping.   Method: This qualitative research has been conducted by using 14 semi-structured interviews with the chosen segment of Swedish females in the age 18-35 who had previously shopped impulsively online and returned products. For the data analysis, an interpretative phenomenological analysis was used, providing the research with reflections regarding the perspective of the participants’ experiences of impulsive shopping and their post-purchase emotions.  Results: This research indicates that the participants generally held a negative view of impulsive buying, where they reduced/strengthened their post-purchase emotions through three rationalizations which were named by the authors “Social Proof”, “Use-Principle” and “Limited Funds”. When making a product return, the participants either had strengthened emotions or the negative emotions were turned into positive emotions. This was connected to three themes found by the authors which were called “Income”, “Return Policy”, and “Social and Environment”. The analyzed findings were presented in a developed framework.

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