Factors influencing impulse buying behaviour amongst Generation Y students
Impulse buying is regarded as an important phenomenon in the context of retail business and marketing. Impulse buying is regarded as an important marketing tool for maximising revenues for businesses as it signifies an extensive amount of products sold in the retail environment. This is because impulse buying has significant influence on consumer buying behaviour and consumer decision making. As a result, impulse buying behaviour has been identified as a key research concern amongst marketing scholars and marketing practitioners. Impulse buying behaviour is an often-arising phenomenon experienced by consumers when purchasing products. For example, in 2013, South African consumers spent, on average, R13.5 billion a month on impulse items. Most consumers buy impulsively at one time or another. The literature indicates that impulse buying behaviour is influenced by external and situational factors. External factors are defined as the attempts to entice consumers into a purchasing behaviour by marketing cues that are placed and controlled by the marketer or storeowner. External factors include in-store atmosphere, in-store browsing, in-store layout, salespersons, promotions and reference groups. Situational factors are defined as the actual or perceived time available for shopping and the amount of spending power of consumers. In other words, situational factors include time and money availability. The subjects of this study were Generation Y students. Generation Y consumers are an important marketing segment in the global marketplace, because they account for 40 percent of South Africa‟s total population of 55 908 000 in 2016. Generation Y students are aged 18 to 24 years. In particular, Generation Y students are spending more than the other generations in South Africa. The average student is spending R3 510 per month, which amounts to R42 120 per annum per student. Therefore, due to the population size of South African students, at approximately 938 000 students, together they have the potential to spend R39.5 billion per year, which makes Generation Y students an attractive segment to target. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that influence impulse buying behaviour amongst Generation Y students. The study employed a quantitative approach in realising its objectives. The target population of this study comprised of full-time undergraduate Generation Y students, aged between 18 and 24 years and enrolled at South African registered public higher education institutions (HEIs). The sampling frame comprised the 26 registered South African public HEIs. A non-probability judgement sample was utilised to select two HEI campuses, a traditional university and a university of technology, located in the Gauteng province, from the sampling frame. For the purpose of this study, the sampling method used was a non-probability convenience sample of 400 students (200 per institution). Convenience sampling was used to select the participants from two HEI campuses situated in the Gauteng province. The primary data were obtained by means of a survey method, using a self-administered questionnaire, which was hand-delivered to the contacted lecturers at each of the two HEIs. The questionnaire requested the students to indicate on a six-point Likert scale the level of their agreement and disagreement on 49 items designed to measure what factors they found the most influential, as well as to provide certain demographic data. Based on the statistical analysis done in this study, marketers and businesses should focus on in-store atmosphere, in-store browsing, promotions and reference groups influencing Generation Y students‟ affective response. Retailers could use the insights from the study when designing marketing strategies to increase revenue. Findings from this study contribute to the growing body of research on consumer shopping behaviour by highlighting factors influencing impulse buying behaviour amongst Generation Y students. Marketing academics and researchers could use this study to assist in further research. Although there were other studies in the topic of impulse buying and shopping behaviour, this study (determining the factors influencing impulse buying) was the first conducted in South Africa. This study could answer questions some retailers might have. Future research opportunities could consider using credit cards, which can play a major role in impulse buying behaviour. This provides an opportunity to determine whether credit cards can be a factor influencing impulse buying behaviour.