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The Impact of Sensory Marketing on Impulse Buying Behavior in E-commerce

Definition of Terms

INTRODUCTION Long gone are the days of the barter system which was once used throughout the entire world. Now, the practice of physically buying products is soon dwindling down as the digital age of technology is changing the way people purchase their goods (Cui, 2016). The popularity of online shopping is slowly dominating the way consumers purchase goods as the years go by. This creates many opportunities out there for businesses to market and sell their products effectively on online shopping platforms to be known easily and ease the way on how consumers purchase things. However, with new opportunities also comes with some possible drawbacks such as online impulse buying. Chan et al. (2017) stated that online shopping releases consumers from any physical constraints when shopping in retail and in turn, leading to impulse buying. 1.1 DEFINITION OF TERMS 1.1.1 IMPULSE BUYING BEHAVIOR Impulsive buying is defined as instigating an internal or external stimuli to make a sudden act of purchase (Sharma, 2019). Most likely their thoughts are to be unreflective, dominated by emotional attraction of the desired product, prompted by physical proximity and trusted by the belief of immediate gratification. Although in accordance with Chathuranga and Lakshika (2019), it is a persuasive, sudden and hedonically complex buying behaviour where the rapidity of an impulse decision process precludes thoughtful as well as deliberate consideration of alternative information or options. The term itself is generally considered synonymous with “unplanned buying” that describes shopping made without prior planning in advance. Building on this thought, Lönnberg and Milton (2020) perceives impulse purchases as emotional therefore non-rational, resulting in declining thoughts while consumed with the guilt of losing control. Impulse buying behavior exists in both forms of physical shopping and ecommerce (Zhang, Xu, Zhao and Yu, 2018). The latter comes with higher potential for impulse buying due to rapid social media growth, arising a new implementation of marketing efforts thus highly affecting consumer behaviour (Alalwan 2017; Dwivedi, 2015; Kapoor et al., 2018. Cited in Wu 2020). Evidently, the most severe difference between traditional shopping services and electronics are the replacement of human interactions with machines. Hence, it is perceived that the online experience is viewed as more impersonal and automated with fewer sensory stimulations (Lönnberg & Milton, 2020). Both store environments create drastically different shopping experiences even if similar products are being purchased. 1.1.2 SENSORY MARKETING The term sensory marketing is referred by Sharma (2019) as marketing that engages with a consumer's senses and affects perception, judgement as well as behaviour entirely. In the phenomenon that a human being’s five senses of taste, smell, sight, sound and touch are all engaged, it will possibly form, retain as well as revisit their past memories (Hussain, 2017). Sensory marketing plays a crucial role in influencing consumer behavior in a way that it utilizes these natural human instincts as a tactic to promote products and services by creating such an environment that appeals to senses at the point of sale. Chathuranga and Lakshika (2019) also emphasized that the stimulating positive sensorial emotional states and providing customers with favourable shopping experiences within the store have the ability to amplify the tendency of impulse purchase. Hence, sensory marketing can be beneficial for marketers, as it enhances a consumer’s awareness of the intangible attributes of a product such as its price, quality, reliability, beauty and aesthetics. Rook and Fisher (1995) study survey found that a person who is responsive to their cognitive state is less likely to engage in impulsive buying while those who respond to their affective state, show impulse buying behavior. Such that this study is further supported by results of findings that impulsive customers are more likely to put their emotions first compared to non-impulsive consumers as this affective state of mind triggers impulsive buying (Dholakia, 2000; Youn and Faber, 2000). Further in the literature, we will further extend the research of the influencing factors of impulse buying as it consists of both endogenous and exogenous factors. Endogenous factors are in-store browsing, positive or negative effects, and the spontaneous urge or impulse of buying something (Zhao et al., 2019; Beatty and Ferrel,1998). While, exogenous factors consist of environment variables (time and money) and individual differences (impulsivity and self-construction) as stated by a study by (Zhang and Shrum, 2009; White et al., 2011).  Environment variables cover the availability of money, time and the physical environment. Consumer’s decision is strongly influenced by their economic situation while time is the availability of time that a consumer has while shopping (Nandha

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