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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

The Dark Side of Impulse Buying: Gamified Strategies for e-tailers

Published: May 25, 2021


Carmen Abril, Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Sandra Tobon, Escuela de Ciencias Empresariales /Universidad Católica del Norte


Impulsive buying has been studied based on its determinants and drivers to properly manage the external variables that stimulate it at the time of purchase. However, impulsive buying has adverse consequences at the individual and economic level that it is relevant to analyze and try to prevent. Individual consequences include post-purchase shame, guilt, and regret; at an economic level, the increase in reverse logistics costs due to the return of unwanted products as a result of impulsive purchases. This research studies the use of gamified substitution and distraction strategies to, in a context of impulsive online buying, try to restrain it. A sample of 116 Americans participated in a 22 online experiment to analyze the proposed hypotheses. The results showed that it is possible to curb and reverse an impulsive purchase through gamified strategies. The results are analyzed in the light of Nudging Theory and its theoretical and practical application are discussed.


This project was co-funded with support from the European Commission Erasmus + Knowledge Alliance program. This publication reflects the views of the authors alone, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the informat