Disentangling Consumers’ Negative Reactions to Impulse Buying in the Context of In-app Purchase: Insights from the Affect-behavior-cognition Model

Haiping Zhao, Mengli Yu, Shaoxiong Fu, Zhao Cai, Eric T.K. Lim, Chee-Wee Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Deciphering how consumers react to impulse purchases is vital for sellers to bolster consumers’ post-purchase experience and induce subsequent purchase behavior. Contextualized to in-app purchases, this study draws on the Affect-Behavior-Cognition (ABC) model to disentangle the relationships among distinct categories of negative post-purchase reactions and the moderating influence of product appeal on these relationships. Empirical data was collected from an online survey of 376 in-app buyers and Covariance-Based Structural Equation Modelling (CB-SEM) was employed to validate the research model. Analytical results indicate that awareness of breakdown in self-control exerts a positive effect on post-purchase regret while regret positively impact the negative emotions of anger and guilt, both of which in turn drive the concealment of purchased good or service. In-app product appeal is discovered to reinforce the relationships between regret and anger/guilt as well as the relationship between anger and concealment while simultaneously attenuating the relationship between guilt and concealment. This study sheds light on impulsive in-app purchases by delivering a deeper understanding of the interdependencies among constituent post-purchase reactions in the context of in-app impulse buying.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101328
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Impulse buying
  • In-app purchase
  • Post-purchase reactions
  • Affect-behavior-cognition model

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