Impulse shopping, unplanned shopping, and compulsive shopping behaviors with examples

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.


Babin & Harris, (2015) have mentioned three types of shopping behaviors that the consumers may show. These three types are impulsive, unplanned and compulsive shopping behaviors. I have also witnessed different types of consumer behaviors in my shopping times but to be very hones I was unable to identify them as I was not aware of the types which I am aware now. After reading this part of the text, I think that it would be easy for me to identify a specific shopping behavior and at the same time focus on my own behavior and see which category it falls in. In this paper, I have tried to explain the three types of consumer behaviors and provide specific examples to elaborate further.

Impulse Shopping

This is the type of shopping that is not planned. I mean a shopper would not go out from their home to buy an item but would return with an item that was purchased out of different influencing factors. For example a factor would be that the consumer had seen it in the advertisement and at that time the consumer did not think that it is required but when it was spotted in the market, the consumer had an impulse and made the purchase for the item. According to Babin & Harris (2015), the consumers in such situation do not regret the purchasing decisions. In other words, I would say that such decisions are enjoyed by the consumers.


Impulsive purchases are made by many consumers each day. In a specific example, I can say that a person might go to a supermarket just to accompany his wife. At the entry of the supermarket, he might spot another person with a set of car foot mate. The person who is just accompanying his wife would suddenly feel an impulse that he also needs these kinds of foot mates for his car. In reality he already has good quality mates in his cars. Who knows as they might also be bought out of an impulse in the past? The person goes to the supermarket and comes out with the foot mates for his car. As we know that these foot mates are bought out of impulse, the person may still insist that he needed these foot mates and they look great inside his car.

Unplanned Shopping

This type of shopping is based on unplanned behavior for shopping. We already know that the impulsive shopping behavior is also unplanned but unplanned shopping is done looking at the utility of the product on the spot and making the purchase decision. So we can say that some kind of quick planning is involved but the planning is not done prior to coming to the shopping place.


An unplanned shopping behavior could be explained with the example of buying a printer when a person has been to the electronic store to buy a computer. What might be going on in the mind of the person is the fact that a printer is a good utility to be at home if you have a computer. The printer could be used to print document hence minimizing a dependency on going out to get a print that is both time consuming and expensive compared to an owned printer.

Compulsive Shopping

Compulsive shopping is done when the shopping behavior is used as a replacement for some internal negative emotions. For example if someone is feeling angry or sad, they might go on compulsive shopping and make purchases. They might not be aware that the shopping is done to fulfill the emotional emptiness that has been created by the negative emotions cause by different negative stimuli.


People with compulsive behavior make disastrous financial decisions. For example a person may go out and buy an expensive car that he never needed. This could produce a lot of stress on the person’s financial resources and end up being a bankrupt.