Original Research

Exploring the internal antecedents that prompt consumers’ impulsive behaviour in experiential retail contexts

Miriam-Miri Retief, Alet C. Erasmus, Daniel J. Petzer
Acta Commercii | Vol 18, No 1 | a597 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v18i1.597 | © 2018 Miriam-Miri Retief, Alet C Erasmus, Daniel J Petzer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 February 2018 | Published: 30 July 2018

About the author(s)

Miriam-Miri Retief, Department of Consumer Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Alet C. Erasmus, Department of Consumer Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Daniel J. Petzer, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: Experiential settings are becoming more popular to differentiate conventional brick-and-mortar retailing which now faces fierce competition from multiple other retail platforms.

Research purpose: The study aims to identify and explain the internal driving forces that positively predict consumers’ impulsive behaviour in experiential retail settings.

Research design, approach and method: This quantitative investigation entailed a retrospective assessment of consumers’ experiences at diverse experiential retailers. An electronic survey approach enabled the collection of 402 usable questionnaires based on a purposive sampling technique whereby a heterogeneous sample of consumers 18 years and above who have visited one of the identified experiential retailers were recruited. Stepwise regression analyses were conducted to test the hypothesised relationships between the independent and dependent variables.

Main findings: Results suggest that consumers’ mood and emotions, adventure, gratification and social shopping motives as well as their desire for recreation are conducive to certain impulsive behavioural outcomes, namely irresistible desire creation, impulsive purchases and impulsive participation. A significant finding is that impulsive actions are not necessarily preceded by an irresistible urge. However, the urge to act on impulse is regarded a separate impulsive behavioural outcome.

Practical/managerial implications: Impulsive behaviour should be regarded as a valuable outcome in terms of an understanding of consumers’ behaviour in experiential retail contexts. Not only does it offer retailers competitive advantage possibilities but it also constitutes more satisfying experiences for consumers.

Contribution/value-add: A theoretical contribution is made in terms of an integration of literature on experiential retail and impulsive behaviour.


experiential retail contexts; mood; emotions; hedonism; recreational shopping; impulsive behaviour


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