The study of impulse buying began in the early 1950’s. Applebaum (1950) focuses on “buying which presumably was not planned by the customer before entering a store, but which resulted from a stimulus created by a sales promotional device in the store”. This early definition does not differentiate impulse buying from unplanned purchasing. Here, any item purchased that was not planned is considered an impulse. As later research on the subject follows, impulse and unplanned purchasing can be viewed as two separate constructs each with its own individual trait characteristics. The above definition mentions the presence of an external stimulus prompting the consumer to act impulsively. Here the consumer acts in an impulsive manner due to external cues as opposed to internal feelings.
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