The influence of impulse buying toward consumer loyalty in online shopping: a regulatory focus theory perspective

  • Ching-Torng Lin
  • Chien-Wen ChenEmail author
  • Shu-Jin Wang
  • Chiu-Ching Lin
Original Research


In this advanced information generation, more and more people are buying products on the Internet. Therefore, all kinds of different stimuli are likely to cause impulsive buying. However, existing researches regarding online impulse buying are mainly from the psychological state of the environment, which lacks research linking to customers’ personality characteristics. Furthermore, the sustainable growth of online shopping is largely attributed to consumers’ loyalty, and understanding consumer behavior is one of the keys to maintaining consumers’ loyalty. The regulatory focus theory is primarily a psychological theory that has been used to explain several aspects of psychology, such as persuasions and motivations. Based on the regulatory focus theory, this study proposes two personality characteristics: promotion focus and prevention focus, which affect consumer’s impulse buying, cognitive dissonance, and satisfaction, and finally, lead to consumer loyalty (attitudinal loyalty and behavioural loyalty). Data from 505 customers who bought clothes on the internet are collected to test the concept model, and the results indicate that customer satisfaction is the most important factor to affect attitudinal loyalty and behavioural loyalty, followed by the promotion focus. In addition, promotion focus is found to have the largest impact on customers’ satisfaction, followed by cognitive dissonance. Hence, it is very important for Internet retailers to develop and implement a proper product strategy to attract promotion-focused customers to increase impulsive buying and enhance customer satisfaction. Finally, apparel proprietors on the internet must reduce the customers’ cognitive dissonance in order to raise customer satisfaction, and then, promote customer loyalty.


Regulatory focus theory Impulsive buying Cognitive dissonance Satisfaction Loyalty 



Research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Grant no. 106-2914-I-035-021-A1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ching-Torng Lin
    • 1
  • Chien-Wen Chen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shu-Jin Wang
    • 2
  • Chiu-Ching Lin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Information ManagementDa Yeh UniversityChanghuaTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationFeng Chia UniversityTaichungTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of Marketing and LogisticsMingDao UniversityChanghuaTaiwan, ROC

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