Consumer Shopping Behavior

Chapter 11 discusses consumer shopping behavior. For this assignment write an essay first defining impulse shopping, unplanned shopping, and compulsive shopping. Secondly, provide an example of each of the following: impulsive consumer behavior, un-planned consumer behavior, and compulsive consumer behavior and explain the characteristics of each type of behavior. 


Researchers in the field of consumer behavior target the shopping behaviors of the consumers to attempt to target their shopping patterns and influence these patterns with different marketing strategies. Some if these tactics are ethical and some are non-ethical. For example excessive speculation and exaggeration could be employed in marketing efforts to influence the shopping behavior of the consumers that in my opinion is beyond the ethical responsibilities of commercial organizations. There are three shopping behaviors usually targeted with marketing i.e. impulsive shopping, unplanned shopping and compulsive shopping (Babin & Harris, 2015). In this paper I would be defining and explaining these three shopping behavioral patterns.

Impulse Shopping

Impulsive shopping is a form of shopping behavior where a consumer would not plan to shop. They would normally see an advertisement or just something that calls to their inner needs on the way and make a purchase. This behavior is unplanned. These kinds of shopper would not necessarily go out to shop. But they would come across a shopping center or a shop and see something that they may not need necessarily. But their impulses are triggered and they have to make that purchase. These shoppers do not experience any negative consequences of the shopping that has been done triggered by their impulses (Babin & Harris, 2015).

Unplanned Shopping

This is also a spontaneous shopping pattern just like the impulsive shopping it differs in regards to the utilitarian nature of it. Unplanned shopping is characterized by situational memory that looks at the situation and makes a purchase based on the utility of the product or service instead of planning in advance to buy something.

Compulsive Shopping

Compulsive shopping has been identified as an abnormal behavior by psychologists (Black, 2007). This behavior happens when excessive shopping is done without a specific reason that could be understood by the shoppers themselves. Research indicates that compulsive shopping is a result of substituting anxiety or depression that could exist deep down in the mind of the shopper (Black, 2007). These kinds of shoppers need to contact a psychologist to discuss their shopping behavior and find out the main reasons behind shopping excessively. Unless the psychological factors are not addresses, compulsive shopping behavior is not easy to do away on itself.

Impulsive Consumer Behavior Example

I could give many examples from my personal life that are related to impulsive shopping consumer behavior. For example I bought a treadmill that I have barely used. The reason was that I watched a commercial in a shopping center with smart people doing exercise on a treadmill. I made a decision to buy a treadmill without giving it a thought. I think that it touched my impulses to make a quick decision. I didn’t even was thinking that I wanted the machine or not. I mean I did not have any obesity or other related problems. Same is the case with my new laptop. I already had a laptop but was wandering around a shopping mall where I saw an Apple MacBook. I made a quick decision based on my impulses and purchased the laptop. Till now, I have not even used it for an hour in total.

Unplanned Consumer Behavior Example

There could also be many examples of unplanned shopping behavior. What I have understood is that unplanned shopping is spontaneous just like the impulse shopping but still there is a thought given to the purchasing decision and the utility of the products or services that is going to be bought is assessed. For example I went to buy a notebook for myself in a book store and there I saw a pen holder and liked it. I made a spontaneous decision to buy the pen holder as I have been losing my pens and there was a pen holder needed on my desk.

Compulsive Consumer Behavior Example

Compulsive consumer behavior could ruin the financial resources of a whole family and the family may end up in bankruptcy. An example of compulsive shopping behavior is the patterns of getting loans from the bank to buy unnecessary items like cars, mobile phones and even a home on a mortgage.




Babin, B. & Harris, E. CB7, 7th Edition.

Black, D. W. (2007). A review of compulsive buying disorder. World Psychiatry, 6(1), 14-18.