Online Shopping Procrastination: An Examination of Shopping Orientation and Impulse Buying Tendency as predictors

Bachelor Thesis, 2021

57 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Content



Theoretical Background
Online Procrastination
Online Shopping
Impulse Buying Behaviour
Online Shopping Procrastination
Summary of Research and Formation of Hypotheses

Choice of Method
Study Design
Recruitment of Participants and Sample Description

Descriptive Statistics
Results Regarding Hypotheses
Explorative Results



Interpretation and Discussion of Results


Limitations and Future Research Lines





The aim of this study was to identify possible predictors for the phenomenon of online shopping procrastination. While there exist several findings on the topic of online procrastination, also referred to as cyber-loafing, the research on procrastinatory online shopping is still very scarce. Hence, the foremost goal was to examine why this behaviour even occurs. Building upon liter­ature that suggests links between procrastination and impulsivity as a personality trait, one predictor that was looked at was impulse buying tendency. The other factor to possibly predict online shopping procrastination was chronic shopping orientation, assuming that hedonic shopping orientation would positively predict it, as past studies imply that procrastination is a behaviour that occurs to avoid task aversiveness, therefore choosing to engage in a more pleasant and enjoyable activity. The study was conducted through an online questionnaire, including four various scales, that was open for all sociodemographic groups. However, the majority of participants were female as well as students and the mean age was 25.32. Results confirmed the above-mentioned traits as predictors for online shopping procrastination, show­ing a strong positive effect for impulse buying tendency, a medium positive effect for hedonic shopping orientation and a medium negative effect for utilitarian shopping orientation as as­sumed. This means that people with higher impulse buying tendencies as well as those with a hedonic shopping orientation would engage in online shopping procrastination more.

1. Introduction

Procrastination is a phenomenon that can be described as the voluntary delay of an intended or necessary task while being aware of the possible negative consequences that would outweigh the positive consequences of the delay (Steel, 2007; Klingsieck, 2013). Char­acteristics that distinguish procrastination from simple delay are that it is unnecessary, irra­tional, and even harmful (Klingsieck, 2013). With prevalence rates of 20-25% in the general population (Ferrari, Diaz-Morales, O’Callaghan, Daz, & Argumedo, 2007) and much higher rates of about 70% among university students (Schouwenburg, 2004) it becomes clear, why studying this subject is of great interest among researchers.

In the past, there has been a lot of research in order to understand procrastination and why it occurs. One direction of research is to link procrastination to personality traits. In this field studies found a relationship between procrastination and impulsivity. For example, Quar- ton (1992), in his qualitative analysis of procrastination, indicated that the decision to procras­tinate is usually impulsive and unplanned. Another finding in this regard was made by Schouwenburg and Lay (1995) who analysed neuroticism’s connection to procrastination and found it to be “largely a matter of impulsiveness” (p. 488). As demonstrated by Steel (2007), there exists an average correlation of .41 between impulsivity and procrastination. And in 2002, Dewitte and Schouwenburg showed evidence for procrastination being related to impulsivity, as they found that “procrastination and impulsivity are closely intertwined” (p. 486), thereby giving a special mention to lack of perseverance, which could explain the variance in procras­tination in huge parts as well as successfully predicting procrastinators’ vulnerability to fun alternatives. The latter was shown to be a main reason for people to delay their tasks. Other aspects of impulsivity such as premeditation and urgency, but not sensation seeking, were also significantly correlated to procrastination. Further evidence was given by Steel and Kling- sieck (2016) in revealing that conscientiousness with its aspects, including impulsivity, has a great influence on procrastination. Similarly, Wypych, Matuszewski and Dragan (2018) could also succeed in identifying lack of perseverance as one aspect of impulsivity that is directly linked to procrastination. Interestingly, procrastination might even be an evolutionary by-prod­uct of impulsivity, as postulated by Gustavson, Miyake, Hewitt and Friedman (2014).

Another line of research links procrastination to the perceived aversiveness of tasks, meaning that people would procrastinate more on tasks that appear to be more unpleasant or unenjoyable than others (Lay, 1990). Task aversiveness can result from boring, frustrating, or stressful tasks (Pychyl, Lee, Thibodeau & Blunt, 2000) or tasks that are being resented (Blunt & Pychyl, 2000). Another aspect defining task aversiveness is the personal meaning related to a task and as how worthwhile it is viewed (Blunt & Pychyl, 2000). Due to these aspects of task aversiveness, it is likely that people experience negative affect (Pychyl et al., 2000) which would be avoided by engaging in other more pleasant and enjoyable activities. According to Schraw, Wadkins and Olafson (2007), if students perceive their tasks to be boring, irrelevant and useless regarding their long-term goals, they would become lazy and as a result, procras­tinate. In sum, they tend to delay their tasks because prioritizing personal fun is more important to them, indicating personal interest to be one of the most important self-related reasons for procrastination. Furthermore, procrastinated tasks often only promise distal rewards which makes them less attractive in the current situation, as summarized by Meier, Reinecke and Meltzer (2016).

Procrastination can appear in many different forms of behaviour, as individuals’ per­ceived gratification gained from different activities varies. Hence, they also view different do­mains as more tempting and additionally, show more impulsivity only for particular domains (Tsukayama, Duckworth & Kim, 2012). Nonetheless, a very common type of procrastination and currently much researched topic is online procrastination. Online procrastination was found to be influenced by general as well as decisional procrastination, with the effect being strongest, if a person additionally shows high levels of negative affect (Goroshit & Hen, 2018). Thus far, online procrastination has been examined generally or regarding social media use. Having said this, there has only been very scarce research yet on procrastination with online shopping. Certainly, this subject, too, should be of great interest, keeping in mind the increas­ing number of online consumers in recent years. Besides, shopping can present a very enjoyable activity for a lot of people especially so if they shop with hedonic motivations, hence serving as a fun alternative to one’s actual task. Therefore, this paper aims towards gaining new information on the topic of online shopping procrastination to reach a more accurate com­prehension of its dynamics. For this purpose, the following three research questions (RQ) will guide through this study.

RQ 1: What are the prevalence rates for online shopping procrastination for different soci­odemographic groups?
RQ 2: What are the factors that predict online shopping procrastination?
RQ 3: What effects does online shopping procrastination have on purchase behaviour?

2. Theoretical Background

2.1. Online Procrastination

As the internet has become more and more present in people’s daily lives over the years and with the help of smartphones, anything now is just a click away. Many common activities have shifted to online environments, whether it be communication, video games or even shopping. Seeing this trend, it is only natural to also shift the focus of research on pro­crastination to online activities. Online procrastination, also referred to as Cyberslacking or Cyber-loafing (Jia, Jia & Karau, 2013), was studied by Lavoie and Pychyl (2001) to explore the relationship between time spent online and procrastination. Results showed that 50.7% of the participants reported frequent Internet procrastination and 47% of their time online was spent procrastinating. Besides, a positive correlation was found between Internet procrastination and the perception of the Internet as entertaining, a relief from stress as well as an important tool. Aiming to improve their mood in the short term (Sirois & Pychyl, 2013), Internet use seems to be a relevant tool for procrastinators, as trait procrastination was significantly related to the use of Internet, especially leisure-related content (Reinecke & Meier et al., 2018).

le Roux and Parry (2021) argue that people experience goal-conflict due to the pres­ence of nonwork-related media, especially in academic settings. This leads to failure in self­regulation process which, in turn is the cause for procrastination. They point out that the devices used for procrastination are most often the same as those needed for task completion, which makes it even easier to become trapped in cycles of repeated self-regulation failure, as they term it, leading to procrastinatory behaviours. They further conclude that the purpose of gaining short-term goals through off-task media use is of hedonic nature. Another factor that is negatively related to procrastinatory media use is trait self-control, as found by Reinecke and Hofmann (2016), suggesting that engagement in the former is a representation of self­control failure. The authors explained that “media use quite frequently represents a temptation demanding self-control resources and that media use often occurs although it is inconsistent with other current goals” (p. 455). Additionally, media engagement has been found to be a frequently used tool for procrastination. Furthermore, positive outcomes associated with cyber­loafing include enhanced productivity, creativity, being entertained, and attaining social com­fort. Because it was perceived to have less negative results, although occurring due to an individual’s lack of self-control, this behaviour can be categorized as rather aimless (Kim & Byrne, 2011).

According to Hofmann, Reinecke and Meier (2016), immediate gratifications, habitual- ised use, ubiquitous availability, and attentionally demanding notifications represent digital me­dia’s affordances, responsible for an increased strength of felt impulses. Besides, high arousal and hedonic pleasure elicited by media activity has been found to further enhance media- induced task switching during work time (David, Kim, Brickman, Ran, & Curtis, 2015). Other factors influencing Cyberloafing are openness to experience as well as work meaningfulness (Jia et al., 2013). The latter is in accordance with above mentioned personal meaning of a task predicting task aversiveness. Furthermore, procrastination has a positive effect on enjoyment of online content (Myrick, 2015), while the reasons for the use of online media were identified as being mood management and stress relief. Regarding media selection for procrastination, researchers revealed a positive association between procrastinatory media use and automatic media selection. This finding indicates the key role the impulsive system plays in predicting media use for procrastination, in contrast to the reflective system. This finding also supports the role impulsivity plays in procrastinatory behaviour even in the online context. Media use for the purpose of procrastination was further increased by habit strength (Schnauber-Stockmann, Meier & Reinecke, 2018).

Specifically, previous studies have also looked at procrastination using social media. In this context, Alblwi, Stefanidis, Phalp and Ali (2019) revealed that people use social net­working sites (SNS) for stress relief and mood regulation, which in turn leads them procrasti­nate. This type of procrastination further has a significant effect on students’ academic perfor­mance, while overall being viewed as waste of time. There is only a thin line between SNS procrastination being a relief from stress and being seriously harmful. In this regard, four types of procrastination on SNS were identified by the above-mentioned authors. The avoidance type is described as the act of staying away from a necessary but rather unpleasant or unen- joyable task by delaying its start. It is often caused by lack of motivation, either intrinsic or extrinsic. While people might lack intrinsic motivation towards the task at hand, SNS presents instant rewards, therefore increasing users’ extrinsic motivation to keep on using it. Another type suggested is procrastination for reasons of escapism, therefore getting involved in SNS, to forget about problems such as anxiety and depression. The third type, emergence, refers to easily getting distracted by social media while performing a work-related task, which can then lead to procrastination. Lastly, people use SNS for procrastination with the purpose of mood modification. Additionally, the authors found three types of personal triggers leading to pro­crastination with SNS. Those are a person’s personal situation regarding boredom, avoiding reality, seeking joy or interest, low self-esteem as well as low self-control. Comparing, another study dealt with Internet procrastination on a particular social network, namely Facebook. Meier et al. (2016) discovered that low trait self-control, habitual Facebook checking, and high enjoyment of Facebook use could be determined as predictors for using Facebook for procras­tination.

2.2. Online Shopping

People engage in online shopping for several reasons, some of them being easement of online buying procedures, the wide variety of available products as well as searching for information (Saprikis, Chouliara and Vlachopoulou, 2010). Being able to shop abroad and purchasing any time of the day are further considered advantages of online shopping among finding bargains and the ability to compare shopping across various websites or even within a specific online shop.

When studying online shopping, scholars often take into consideration consumers’ shopping orientation as well as motivation (Zhou, Dai & Zhang, 2007). Regarding shopping orientation, recreation-oriented consumers are mostly motivated by personal aspects such as self-satisfaction and learning about new trends and they find enjoyment in shopping regardless of whether they purchase something or not. On the contrary, convenience-oriented consumers usually consider time, space, and effort. Another aspect defining online shopping is shopping motivation, which can be divided into either utilitarian (also termed goal-oriented) and hedonic (also termed experiential). Utilitarian shoppers’ main concern is to achieve their goals most efficiently, while hedonic shoppers are comparable to window shoppers of physical stores, searching for entertainment and enjoyment and an escape from boredom (Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001).

In the past, utilitarian motivation was given more importance in the online context, be­cause utilitarian shoppers using the web formed the largest group, as pointed out by Zhou et al. (2007). Previously, Wolfinbarger and Gilly (2000) also observed a higher prevalence for goal-oriented shopping. This was probably due to the characteristics of online shopping such as convenience, accessibility, selection as well as availability of information (Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001). However, already in 2003, Brown, Pope and Voges revealed that convenience- oriented shoppers did not form the largest group of online shoppers, instead recreational ori­entation was found to be among the two largest groups of online shoppers. Factors that influ­ence hedonic consumers to shop online are information gathering purposes, involvement with a product category, positive sociality and surprise, as well as bargain hunting (Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2001). More recently, Park, Kim, Funches and Foxx (2012) discovered that there are two types of browsing the web, one being utilitarian and the other hedonic. In this regard, one must also take into consideration the emergence of social media in the past years due to which online shopping developed into an “increasingly entertaining experience for consumers” (Fang, Wen, George & Prybutok, 2016, p. 119). Other strong motives for online shopping identified by Parsons (2002) from Tauber’s (1972) original set of non-functional motives are diversion, self-gratification, and learning about new trends.

One can expect, that either shopping orientation or motivation would have different impacts on people’s shopping and purchase behaviour. Therefore, this was studied thoroughly by various scholars. Research suggests that online consumers experience involvement but show low commitment to purchasing. They also reported feeling comfortable abandoning their shopping carts online as well as feeling “little pressure to buy online” (Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2000, p. 1364). In 2003, Arnold and Reynolds revealed that there exists a positive correlation between hedonic shopping motivations and browsing behaviour. Additionally, one type of he­donic shopping motivation, shopping for adventure, was positively correlated with flow as well as with time distortion. Interestingly, flow was also found to be positively correlated with pro­crastination (Zanjani, Milne & Miller, 2016; Gong, Wang & Wang, 2021). There also is a higher chance for experiential consumers to be more impulsive and hence, making more purchases, due to browsing stores without specific goals (Zhou et al., 2007). Additionally, a significant positive relationship between hedonic browsing and the urge to buy impulsively was discov­ered by Zheng, Men, Yang and Gong (2019). Surprisingly, the opposite might also be possible, as people shopping solely for the purpose of entertainment were found to abandon their online shopping cart more often (Kukar-Kinney & Close, 2010). However, yet another finding revealed a positive relationship between hedonism and purchase frequency (Scarpi, 2019). Concerning browsing behaviour, male as well as female shoppers seem to enjoy browsing (Kotzé, North, Stols & Venter, 2012) and shopping enjoyment was also found to be influenced by browsing, in that the effect was stronger (Kim & Kim, 2008). In traditional shopping environments, shop­ping enjoyment was shown to be positively related to the amount of time spent shopping (For­sythe and Bailey, 1996). Consequently, there also is a positive relationship between shopping enjoyment and the desire to stay on an online shopping website (Kim, Fiore, & Lee, 2007).

2.3. Impulse Buying Behaviour

Impulse buying is a phenomenon that “represents between 40 and 80 per cent of all purchases” (Aragoncillo & Orus, 2018, p. 43). Rather than the actual impulse purchase, the strong and sudden urge felt beforehand, which is often irresistible, defines this phenomenon. The definition of impulse buying by Rook (1987, p. 191) as when “a consumer experiences a sudden, often powerful and persistent urge to buy something immediately" has been extended by Beatty and Ferrell (1998) as following:

Impulse buying is a sudden and immediate purchase with no pre-shopping intentions either to buy the specific product category or to fulfill a specific buying task. The behav­ior occurs after experiencing an urge to buy and it tends to be spontaneous and without a lot of reflection (i.e., it is "impulsive"). (p. 170)

Impulse buying can be linked to the hedonic value of shopping, reflecting shopping’s potential entertainment and emotional value (Babin, Darden & Griffin, 1994). As found by Maclnnis and Price (1987) and Sherry (1990), browsing could even be more significant than the actual purchase of products, leading to a very pleasurable “vicarious buying” (Beatty & Ferrel, 1998, p. 172) experience. Hence, browsing is likely to evoke positive feelings, resulting in positive affect. In consistence with these findings, Jarboe and McDaniel (1987) demon­strated that more unplanned purchases were made by browsers than by nonbrowsers.

In their study on the precursors of impulse buying, Beatty and Ferrell (1998) found that in-store browsing seems to be positively affected by one’s impulse buying tendency and thus, positively influences one’s positive feelings as well as the urge to buy impulsively. Felt urge to buy impulsively was identified as an intervening variable in the relation between an actual im­pulse purchase and precursors such as browsing, positive affect, and impulse buying ten­dency. Shopping enjoyment impacts positive feelings, which in turn have an influence on felt urges. The positive impact of positive affect on felt urges to buy impulsively is significant. It was further indicated by Amos, Holmes and Keneson (2014) that impulse buying tendency, motivation and negative affect had the greatest impact on impulse buying.

Considering the growing number of online shoppers, 73% of European internet users in 2020 (“E-commerce Statistics”, 2021), it is important to also look at online impulse buying.

Although there is a higher prevalence for impulse buying behaviour offline than online (Aragon- cillo & Orus, 2018), one cannot neglect the latter. Because of its ability to activate all senses, the physical store can still be considered superior due to triggering emotional and unconscious responses, affecting the buying impulse more than an online store (Sharma, Sivakumaran & Marshall, 2010; Peck & Childers, 2006; Krishna, 2012). Though, the degree of impulsivity might depend more on personal factors than on channel factors, as shown by Aragoncillo and Orus (2018) who discovered that “participants who perceived themselves as impulsive in the offline channel also perceived they were impulsive in the online channel, and vice versa” (p. 55). In addition, encouraging factors such as ease of payment, the greater variety, the existence of personalized recommendations and lack of human contact were shown to have a greater in­fluence on online impulse buying than discouraging factors. Strikingly, shipping and refund costs as well as delayed gratification could be identified as further inciting this behaviour. The authors explained this relation by referring to Dittmar and Drury (2000) who argued that con­sumer’s satisfaction is a result of the buying process itself and not just possessing the product. Hence, “feeling the thrill while waiting for a product after buying it online may encourage im­pulse buying” (Aragoncillo & Orus, 2018, p. 53).

In several studies, the association between impulse buying and hedonism as well as browsing was shown to also be relevant for online shopping. The positive relationship between hedonic browsing online and urge to buy impulsively was further confirmed by Zheng et al. (2019). Furthermore, Zhang, Xu, Zhao and Yu (2018) demonstrated that browsing online is positively associated with consumers’ urge to buy impulsively which in turn affects their im­pulse buying behaviour. It was also shown that the effect of browsing on urge to buy impulsively and impulse buying behaviour is greater for consumers with high impulsivity. In addition, Widagdo and Roz (2021) showed a significant positive relationship between hedonic shopping motivation and impulse buying in the online context. In addition to this, utilitarian web browsing negatively effects impulse buying, whereas the effect of hedonic web browsing is positive (Park et al., 2012).

2.4. Online Shopping Procrastination

Thus far, several studies have been conducted on the topic of either general online shopping procrastination or procrastinating using social media. However, research explicitly regarding procrastination with online shopping is still very scarce. Nevertheless, rising num­bers for online shoppers can be observed in recent years. Therefore, it seems even more important to start researching in this area. Especially for consumers with a hedonic shopping orientation and hedonic shopping motivations, shopping represents an enjoyable activity, which was even found to be true for online shoppers. Considering this, it can be assumed, that online shopping would likely serve as an appreciated alternative to working on one’s intended task, culminating in procrastination.

Building upon previous work which studied consumers’ purchase behaviour in the con­text of (online) procrastination, this paper aims at furthering research in this direction. Since it has been established by Zanjani et al. (2016) that online procrastination leads to greater pur­chase frequency, it would be interesting to identify other factors related to shopping, such as shopping orientation, that might lead to online shopping procrastination in the first place, and further influence its relationship with purchase behaviour. Another contribution was made by Parfenova and Romashova (2019) who showed a significant role of procrastination in con­sumer behaviour. It was demonstrated that there is a significant correlation between the level of academic procrastination and the impulsivity of consumer behaviour, meaning that students who procrastinate more would also spend more than planned.

This is especially interesting because in the above-mentioned paper by Kukar-Kinney and Close (2010) on online shopping cart abandonment, it was shown that the more people use their online cart just for entertainment purposes, the more they tend to abandon it. Although cart abandonment is not going to be discussed further in this paper, this finding is insofar rel­evant as it contradicts the former mentioned, which demonstrated that online procrastination leads to greater purchase frequency (Zanjani et al., 2016). Following the positive relationship between online procrastination and purchase behaviour, one might assume that people using their cart for entertainment would not abandon it. This is due to the nature of procrastination, which often occurs to avoid an aversive task by choosing to engage in a more pleasant and enjoyable task. Hence, one could argue that online procrastinators use their online cart for entertainment purposes as well. According to Kukar-Kinney and Close they would abandon their cart, but contradictory to this stands the finding that online procrastination leads to higher purchase frequency (Zanjani et al., 2016). Therefore, it will be interesting to further examine this aspect and see whether online shopping procrastination has an effect on purchasing be­haviour, precisely purchase frequency and impulse buying. Another study revealed that online impulse purchases are often made out of boredom (Sundström, Hjelm-Lidholm & Radon, 2019). This is insofar interesting as procrastinators also aim to escape their boredom, often let due to an unpleasant task. Hence, this finding seems to be applicable to procrastinators as well. Further, it was revealed that for the purpose of feeling socially connected and fulfilling their need for relatedness, individuals are likely to engage in Internet consumption while pro­crastinating (Hinsch & Sheldon, 2013). Likewise, motivation to socialize was also found to be positively and significantly related to online shopping (Joines, Scherer & Scheufele, 2003). Therefore, it can be assumed that people would engage in procrastinatory online shopping. Considering the existence of online procrastination in general, it is also important to note that time spent online displays a significant and positive correlation with online shopping among students (Han, Ocker & Fjermestad, 2001).

Interestingly, there has not yet been much research studying the causes for online shopping procrastination. Hence, in addition to looking at the effects of online shopping pro­crastination, the foremost aim of this study will be to identify possible factors that predict this behaviour.

2.5. Summary of Research and Formation of Hypotheses

This paper has so far looked at general procrastination, identifying some of its predic­tors in personality traits such as impulsivity as well as an external factor that is task aversive­ness, resulting from boring, frustrating, or stressful tasks. Furthermore, the increasing preva­lence of procrastination with online media, also referred to as Cyberslacking or Cyber-loafing, has been identified. For the intention to shop online two main motivations, namely hedonic and utilitarian, were shown. Though, findings regarding the effect of either shopping orientation are still ambiguous. In this context, impulse buying behaviour also seems to be an interesting as­pect, as it has been shown to be impacted by shopping orientation as one predictor as well as impulse buying tendencies and positive or negative affect.

Another aspect that was looked at was online shopping procrastination. Here it was shown that there exist different results regarding the effect of procrastination on consumer behaviour. For example, shopping procrastination could lead to increased purchase frequency or even impulse buying, but it is also possible that online procrastinators are likely to abandon their shopping cart resulting in less or no purchase at all.

Online Shopping Procrastination and Shopping Orientation

As explained earlier, hedonic shopping describes exactly what procrastinators search for when they avoid an aversive task. For consumers with a hedonic shopping orientation or hedonic motivations, online shopping would serve as a more pleasurable and enjoyable alter­native than the task at hand. Hence, the first goal of this study is to examine the relationship between a person’s general shopping orientation and shopping procrastination. Building upon previous research, this study suggests that shopping orientation and online shopping procras­tination would be related, such as:

H1a: Utilitarian shopping orientation would negatively predict online shopping procrastination, meaning people who are more utilitarian oriented would engage in online shopping procrastination less.

H1b: Hedonic shopping orientation would positively predict online shopping procrastination, meaning people who are more hedonic oriented would engage in online shopping pro­crastination more.

Online Shopping Procrastination and Impulsivity

Secondly, literature review revealed positive correlations between procrastination and impulsivity. Consequently, in this paper it is assumed that the same would be found for pro­crastination with online shopping as well.

H2a: There would be a positive correlation between online shopping procrastination and im- pulsivity.

In addition to shopping orientation, impulse buying tendency might also be able to pre­dict online shopping orientation. Conceivably, because the trait impulsivity is inherent to pro­crastination, as explained earlier, and impulse buying (Weun, Jones & Beatty, 1998; Youn & Faber, 2000). Because this paper deals with online procrastination in terms of shopping, it seems consequent to examine impulsivity specific to buying behaviour, namely impulse buying tendency. This proposition further builds upon literature, suggesting that individuals show dif­ferent levels of impulsivity for different domains (Tsukayama et al., 2012). Hence, it can be assumed that people choose to engage in online shopping for procrastination, because they are especially impulsive in this domain and cannot resist its temptation. Further, the effect of procrastination on impulse buying could possibly be explained through impulse buying ten­dency. Therefore, it is proposed that

H2b: Impulse buying tendency would positively predict online shopping procrastination.

Online Shopping Procrastination and Purchase Behaviour

Lastly, considering the above-mentioned studies (Zanjani et al., 2016; Parfenova & Ro­mashova, 2019), one can expect to find a similar relationship between online shopping pro­crastination and purchase behaviour. This would further by corroborated through shopping orientation, keeping in mind that hedonic orientation has positive effects on impulse buying, and that procrastinators engaging in online shopping are expected to show stronger hedonic orientation. Thus, it is hypothesized that

H3: There would be a positive correlation between online shopping procrastination and online purchase frequency.

3. Methods

3.1. Choice of Method

The method chosen for this research is a quantitative questionnaire, which was con­ducted online. It includes scales measuring various aspects such as online purchase behav­iour, online shopping procrastination, general shopping orientation, impulsivity as well as im­pulse buying behaviour. Because there has only been very scarce research on the topic at hand, the aim of this study was to identify possible mechanisms behind the phenomenon of online shopping procrastination. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to first conduct a quantitative research instead of an experimental design. Furthermore, this study only examines general behaviour and characteristics, which are not bound to a specific time or place. This could easily be measured with the used scales, which were shown to be reliable instruments in past re­search.

3.2. Study Design

The complete questionnaire consisted of several individual questions and scales which will be thoroughly explained in the next paragraph. In total, four separate, already existing scales were used in addition to sociodemographic characteristics, procrastinatory behaviour as well as only purchase behaviour. All used scales are provided in the appendix at the end of this paper. The questionnaire could be answered in approximately ten minutes. It was created with a web tool called “UniPark”. All questions were asked in German. First, participants were given general information about the purpose of the study as well as the use of their data, anonymity, and voluntariness. By declaring their consent and clicking on the button to continue, participants reached the questions regarding sociodemographic characteristics and the survey started. After that they were asked about their online purchase behaviour, types of procrasti­nation they engage in, online shopping procrastination, chronic shopping orientation, impul- sivity and lastly, impulse buying tendencies in this exact order. All questions were marked as mandatory. The study was conducted online for a time period of three weeks and participants were recruited online as well, giving them access through a link. After submitting, all data was directly saved onto UniPark.

3.3. Measures

Concerning sociodemographic characteristics, participants were asked to state their gender and age as well as their highest level of education and current profession. Next, they had to report the frequency of their online purchases in the past month. This question was posed as a 6-point-likert scale with the options being never, once a month, a few times a month, once a week, a few times a week and daily. It was followed by a question about the amount of either planned or unplanned purchases made in the same past month. Therefore, a slider was used so that participants could mark the percentage for each type of purchase summing up to a total of 100 percent. However, this question only appeared if participants did not choose never as an option for the previous question. In order to get an overview of people’s procrastinatory behaviour, and to compare online shopping procrastination with other types of procrastination, the next question was about different kinds of procrastination. Participants were shown eleven different activities which could possibly serve as a means of procrastina­tion. For each activity they were asked to select the option which best described their behaviour in general in terms of frequency. For this purpose, a 5-point-likert scale was used with the options being never, rarely, sometimes, often, and always. Apart from the eleven given options, there was also the possibility of adding extra activities by the participants.

Online Shopping Procrastination (OSP)

Following, online shopping procrastination, meaning people’s general frequency of pro­crastination with online shopping, was measured through a short questionnaire consisting of four items which were taken from Reinecke, Hartmann and Eden (2014) and Meier et al. (2016). Participants could choose from a 5-point-likert scale, consisting of the same five op­tions as in the scale previously described. Through personal communication the items were translated into German from Troll et al. (2020) and have been modified to measure a general frequency of behaviour rather than time-specific behaviour. Following are the four items in English with their German translation as used in the study. The higher a person scores on this scale, the more they tend to engage in online shopping procrastination. The consistency of the scale was very good (a = 0.96).

1) I browse online shops although I have more important things to do.

Ich stöbere in Online Shops, obwohl ich wichtigere Dinge zu tun habe.

2) I browse online shops while procrastinating upcoming work.

Ich stöbere in Online Shops, während ich anstehende Arbeiten vor mir herschob.

3) I browse online shops although I know I have an important task to complete.

4) I browse online shops although I have planned to get something done.

Ich stöbere in Online Shops, obwohl ich geplant habe, etwas erledigt zu bekommen.


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Online Shopping Procrastination: An Examination of Shopping Orientation and Impulse Buying Tendency as predictors
University of Duisburg-Essen
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Der vollständige Fragebogen befindet sich im Anhang.
online shopping, procrastination, impulse buying, shopping behaviour, shopping orientation, procrastinatory behaviour
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Anila Arif (Author), 2021, Online Shopping Procrastination: An Examination of Shopping Orientation and Impulse Buying Tendency as predictors, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free