Online impulse buying: Understanding the interplay between consumer impulsiveness and website quality

John D. Wells, D. Veena Parboteeah, Joseph S. Valacich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

247 Scopus citations


With the proliferation of e-commerce, there is growing evidence that online impulse buying is an emerging phenomenon, which has been the focus of researchers from a variety of disciplines. This paper reports on two empirical studies that examine the interplay between a consumer's inherent impulsiveness to buy and website quality. Specifically, consistent with past online impulse buying research, website quality manifests as an environmental cue that directly influences the likelihood that a consumer will experience an urge to buy impulsively. Further, highly impulsive consumers can be both positively and negatively influenced by varying degrees of website quality. Thus, while the objective quality of an e-commerce website is important, the inherent impulsiveness of a consumer is also a critical factor for understanding how and why individuals react impulsively to varying degrees of website quality. The implications of the results for both future research and the design of electronic commerce websites are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-56
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Consumer Behavior
  • Electronic Commerce
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interface
  • Impulse Buying
  • Website Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications


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