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Title: Happiness and impulse buying : an exploration into the perceptions of female consumers aged between 18 and 35 in Germany
Author: Siekmann, Anja D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2681 8425
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2009
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Impulse behaviour in general and impulse buying in particular have a long history of negative associations in research. Consumers are advised by the popular press to refrain from impulse buying. Marketing practitioners, on the other hand, strive to further increase consumer impulse buying expenditures, which have already been on the increase for decades. This may be an indication that impulse buying makes consumers feel happy. Although the topic happiness has received considerable attention in various fields of research, there is little evidence of an in-depth empirical exploration of the role of happiness in impulse buying, which was addressed by this study. This thesis was based on the phenomenological paradigm and adopted a subjective stance, exploring happiness in female consumers' impulse buying experiences. In this inductive exploratory study, qualitative data were collected from focus groups and individual interviews with female consumers aged between 18 and 35 years in Germany. This research sought to investigate how happiness evolves over the impulse buying experience, which was addressed by the longitudinal nature of collecting data over a period of three months in weekly individual interviews. The empirical evidence showed that the pursuit of happiness is one of the major motivations for impulse buying and the subsequent evaluation of the purchase. For instance, the presentation of a newly acquired item to other people with the intention of receiving positive feedback is one of the eight themes which emerged from the iterative process of data analysis. The findings indicate that impulse buying is often appreciated by consumers as an enjoyable experience which may yield positive emotions even after careful reflection some time after the purchase. Impulse buying should not generally be devalued as the dark side of consumption. This research underlines the complexity of impulse buying and indicates overlaps and interdependencies with planned buying. Suggestions for marketing practitioners and retail managers on how to increase impulse buying activities are implicit in these findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available