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See, click, buy – a close look at impulse buying in online retailing

August 2, 2022

Melanie Karlinger graduated from FHWien der WKW with a Master’s degree in Marketing & Sales Management. In her thesis, which was awarded second place by edcom, she investigates the factors influencing impulsive buying behavior in online food retailing.

The share of the Austrian population that shops via the Internet is steadily increasing. At the same time, more than two-thirds of purchases in stationary food retailing (LEH) take place unplanned. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed significantly to this. Melanie Karlinger, a graduate from the Marketing & Sales Management master’s program, took this as an opportunity to take a closer look at the topic of “impulse buying” in e-commerce. In her master’s thesis, she examines the factors influencing impulsive buying behavior in online grocery retailing and thus closes an essential research gap.

How product recommendations in the check-out area affect buying behavior

In a field experiment in cooperation with an online grocery retailer, FHWien der WKW’s alumna investigated the influence of product recommendations in the check-out area on sales and click numbers. The results show an increase in sales of more than 70 percent, which could be achieved through the targeted placement of product recommendations. In addition, she conducted a post-purchase survey. According to the results, people with hedonistic shopping motivation or hedonistic surfing behavior have a higher impulse buying tendency.

Hedonistic shopping motivation is based on positive feelings and emotions triggered by the purchase, and the use of the purchase is greatly enjoyed.

With hedonistic surfing behavior, the focus is on entertaining and enjoyable content in the online store.

If customers are already familiar with the product, impulse purchases are reduced accordingly. The results of the study indicate that online grocery shopping can be significantly influenced by targeted advertising activities in the online store.

Award for Master’s thesis in edcom Graduation Competition

In the course of the edcom Graduation Competition 2021/22 Melanie Karlinger faced an international jury of experts. Her Master’s thesis “External and Internal Factors Influencing Impulse Buying in Online Grocery Retailing” achieved an excellent second place among numerous international competitors. For those interested we attached her poster at “Downloads”, which she submitted in the final round.

The European Institute for Commercial Communications Education (edcom) promotes exchange between the European commercial communications sector and academic partners such as FHWien der WKW and supports cross-border exchange and education. The institute awards excellence in commercial communications education and research. In the course of international competitions such as the Graduation Competition or Ad Ad Venture, students of FHWien der WKW can prove themselves in an international professional competition.


>> Learn more about the Master’s program in Marketing & Sales Management