Home Cyberpsychology & Technology Inspiration on Social Media Fuels Impulsive Buying, Study Reveals

Inspiration on Social Media Fuels Impulsive Buying, Study Reveals

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A recent study offers new insights into how social media influences impulsive buying, a phenomenon that has significantly transformed consumer behaviour in the online world.

Impulsive buying, historically linked with in-store shopping experiences, has found a new domain in social media. This shift has garnered the attention of researchers, leading to a comprehensive study that delves into the intricate psychological processes underpinning this behaviour.

The study, published in the journal Industrial Management & Data Systems, investigated the catalysts of impulsive purchases in the realm of social media, focusing on the concept of customer inspiration.

The research identifies three key factors that influence customer inspiration on social media: source characteristics, platform characteristics, and personal characteristics. These factors collectively shape consumers’ psychological inclination towards impulsive buying.

Source credibility emerges as a significant determinant of customer inspiration. The study breaks down source credibility into three components: attractiveness, expertise, and trustworthiness. It found that while attractiveness and expertise significantly influence the inspired-by state, trustworthiness surprisingly does not hold as much sway.

Social presence on social media platforms plays a pivotal role in nurturing customer inspiration. This sense of human connection fosters a sociable and warm environment, which is essential for impulsive buying. It’s this feeling of warmth and sociability that makes social media a fertile ground for impulsive purchases.

The study also highlights the impact of personal traits, specifically customer innovativeness, a quality reflecting openness to new experiences and products. This trait significantly affects the inspired-by state, indicating that more innovative individuals are more susceptible to inspiration-driven impulsive purchases.

The research further explores how these factors lead to the ‘inspired-by’ state in consumers, which impacts the ‘inspired-to’ state and ultimately leads to impulsive buying. This process underscores the psychological journey from being inspired by social media content to the actual act of making an impulsive purchase.

The findings of this study have significant implications for both marketers and consumers. For marketers, these insights are invaluable in developing targeted strategies for social media platforms to enhance sales through impulsive buying. Consumers, on the other hand, gain a better understanding of the psychological triggers behind their impulsive purchases, potentially leading to more mindful consumption.

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