The Effect of Incidental Advertising Exposure on Online Impulse Buying

The Effect of Incidental Advertising Exposure on Online Impulse Buying

Amira Bel Haj Hassine (Faculty of Economic and Management Mahdia, Tunisia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6220-9.ch011


The purpose of this chapter is to explore the influence of the incidental exposition located in the peripheral zone of vision and perceived “without consciousness” in online impulse buying. The authors demonstrate that the advertised brands appearing in the peripheral zone of vision are perceived “without consciousness,” and the participant does not remember being exposed to this ad recently. They test if this exposure has an effect on the purchase of the advertised brand. This chapter also studies the effect of individual self-control on impulse buying and explores the post-purchase reaction to its occurrence. An incidental exposition of a brand was adopted amongst 247 participants. The results show the incidental exposition to a brand facilitates the impulse buying of this brand.
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Impulse buying is a salient aspect of the consumer lifestyle. Retailers remark about the importance of this phenomenon and have attempted via promotions, product packaging, and store layout to develop impulsive consumers (Dholakia, 2000). Through the years, impulse buying has been facilitated by technological innovations such as credit cards, telemarketing, and television sales channels (Rook, 1987). The availability of purchases via the Internet has contributed to an increase in the online purchase and especially impulse buying on the Internet. The buying opportunities on the Internet have expanded by increasing the accessibility to the product and services and facilities to make purchases. Additionally, the Internet usually eliminates the constraints of time and space in comparison to the context of traditional trade (Eroglu et al, 2001). Therefore, buyers on the Internet may be more impulsive in nature than traditional buyers (Donthu & Garcia, 1999).

With the increase in impulse purchases, we find that advertiser expenditures also continue to rise. The effects of advertising on the occurrence of a purchase have been shown in several studies. However, little research has explored the reception and influence of advertising by the receptors, including those in the peripheral visual field of the receiver, but to which the receivers did not allocate attention. Researchers, interested in receiving and influence of persuasive communication, have mainly studied situations in which the receivers focus their attention on messages (Derbaix & Gregory, 2004; Meyers-Levy & Malaviya, 1999). However, given the multiplicity of media using the advertisements, situations in which participants do not allocate attention to the ad are much more frequent than those in which they focus attention.

The objective of this research is to demonstrate using a rigorous method that messages of commercial brands which appear in the peripheral visual area, and which are not determined visually or perceived with attention in a context where the receivers are unable to “recognize” the brands which were listed in the ads, cause a positive effect on judgments, purchase intent, and actual purchase of the advertised brand. For this purpose, we use an experimental method that shows the presence of positive effects of advertising messages seen “without conscience” on the selection and formation of preferences towards brands advertised.

After stating the theoretical background and a presenting a synthesis of previous research on this issue, we specify the objectives and hypothesis of our research and explain the methodology employed. We then present the results, discussions and conclusions by investigating some new prospects for future research. Finally, we assess the limitations of the study.

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