An Exploratory Investigation Into Impulse Buying Behavior in a Transitional Economy: a Study of Urban Consumers in Vietnam

ABSTRACT - As a transitional economy, Vietnam is opening up to many new marketing experiences. This paper considers the impulse buying behavior of urban consumers in two biggest cities of Vietnam, where this type of buying behavior is a predominantly new marketing experience. Impulse buying has been much studied in the context of western, developed economies, especially in the U.S. It has not been appreciably discussed in the context of non-western, developing economies. The research discussed here attempts to fill the gap in this area of consumer behavior.



Citation:

Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen, Kwon Jung, Garold Lantz, and Sandra G. Loeb (2002) ,"An Exploratory Investigation Into Impulse Buying Behavior in a Transitional Economy: a Study of Urban Consumers in Vietnam", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Ramizwick and Tu Ping, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 359.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2002      Page 359

AN EXPLORATORY INVESTIGATION INTO IMPULSE BUYING BEHAVIOR IN A TRANSITIONAL ECONOMY: A STUDY OF URBAN CONSUMERS IN VIETNAM

Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen, National Economics University, Vietnam

Kwon Jung, KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Korea

Garold Lantz, Monmouth University, U.S.A.

Sandra G. Loeb, Zaporozhzhia Institute of Economics and Information Technology, Ukraine

[All authors have an equal contribution to this research.]

ABSTRACT -

As a transitional economy, Vietnam is opening up to many new marketing experiences. This paper considers the impulse buying behavior of urban consumers in two biggest cities of Vietnam, where this type of buying behavior is a predominantly new marketing experience. Impulse buying has been much studied in the context of western, developed economies, especially in the U.S. It has not been appreciably discussed in the context of non-western, developing economies. The research discussed here attempts to fill the gap in this area of consumer behavior.

Vietnam is a particularly interesting place to study the concept of impulse buying as the economy is experiencing significant changes as a result of 'Doi Moi’ or economic renovation (e.g., Hoang 1999; Shultz and Pecotich 1994). Larger cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are experiencing particularly dramatic changes, including increased living standards, changes in social values and in shopping behavior. These changes result in an environment hospitable to impulse purchasing.

Extant research has focused on a variety of aspects related to impulse buying, in which most of the research has examined the underlying nature of this behavior. Impulse buying definitions range from simply unplanned purchasing (e.g., du Pontstudies 1945-1965) to the three-part definition used in this study. Here we define impulse buying as an unplanned purchase that is characterized by 1) relatively rapid decision-making (Rook 1987; Rook and Hoch 1985), 2) being hedonically complex and more emotional than rational (Bayley and Nancarrow 1998; Rook 1987; Rook and Hoch 1985), and 3) not including the purchase of a simple reminder item such as buying a gift for someone that fulfills a planned task (Beatty and Ferrell 1998).

Many previous studies have investigated the antecedents of impulse buying, ranging from mood states and emotions (e.g., Rook and Gardner 1993), product category (Bellenger et al. 1978), in-store influences (McGoldrick 1982), the individual difference variables (Beatty and Ferrell 1998; Rook and Fisher 1995), to demographics (e.g., Dittmar et al. 1995). In addition, the literature also suggests the impact of product types that are associated with self-identity (Dittmar et al. 1995; Lee and Kacen 2000).

In this paper, we examined the impact of several factors on impulse buying in a context of urban Vietnam, a transitional economy. Specifically, these factors include cultural orientation (individualistic vs. collectivistic orientation), region, and consumer demographics (age, gender and income). In addition, we investigated the susceptibility of product categories (personal-use vs. collective-use products) on impulse purchasing behavior.

An exploratory study was conducted, comprised of both qualitative and quantitative parts. Focus group and personal interviews were carried out first to develop a general understanding of impulse buying behaviors of Vietnamese consumers regarding types of impulsive products, motivation behind impulse buying (for personal- use vs. for collective-use), the trend of shopping enjoyment and its potential influence on impulse purchase, and the impact of some demographic variables. Next, a survey was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses pertaining to the impact of cultural orientation, regional difference, and demographic characteristics on impulse buying. A sample of three hundred and fifty eight consumers was drawn from two major cities of Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Most of the hypotheses received support from the data. Specifically, the results of multiple regression support that individualism and income have positive relationships with impulse buying, and age has negative relationships with this behavior. Additionally, results show that personal-use products remain the most common impulse purchase item, despite the collectivist nature of the consumer in Vietnam. Other explanations and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

REFERENCES

Bayley, Geoff and Clive Nancarrow (1998), "Impulsive Purchasing: A Qualitative Exploration of the Phenomenon," Qualitative Market Research, 1 (2), 99-114.

Beatty, Sharon E. and M. Elizabeth Ferrell (1998), "Impulse Buying: Modeling Its Precursors," Journal of Retailing, 74 (2), 169-171.

Bellenger, Danny N., Dan H. Robertson, and Elizabeth C. Hirschman (1978), " Impulse Buying Varies by Product," Journal of Advertising Research, 18, 15-18.

Dittmar, Helga, Jane Beattie, and Susanne Friese (1995), "Gender Identity and Material Symbols: Objects and Decision Considerations in Impulse Purchases," Journal of Economic Psychology, 16, 491-511.

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Lee, Julie A. and Jacqueline J. Kacen (2000), "The Relationship between Independent and Interdependent Self-Concepts and Reasons for Purchase," Cross-national Consumer Psychographics, the Haworth Press, Inc; p 83-99.

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Rook, Dennis W. and Robert J. Fisher (1995), "Normative Influences on Impulsive Buying Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, 22, 305-313.

Rook, Dennis W. and Meryl Gardner (1993), "In the Mood: Impulse Buying’s Affective Antecedents," Research in Consumer Behavior, 6, 1-28. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Rook, Dennis W. and Stephen J. Hoch (1985), "Consuming Impulses," in Morris Holbrook and Elizabeth Hirschman (Eds.), Advances in Consumer Research, 12, 23-27. Provo, Utah: Association for Consumer Research.

Shultz, Clifford J. and Anthony Pecotich (1994), "Vietnam: new assessment of consumption patterns in a (Re) emergent capitalist society," Asia Pacific advances in Consumer Research, Vol.1, 222-227.

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Authors

Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen, National Economics University, Vietnam
Kwon Jung, KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Korea
Garold Lantz, Monmouth University, U.S.A.
Sandra G. Loeb, Zaporozhzhia Institute of Economics and Information Technology, Ukraine,



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2002



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