There is growing concern that worldwide cultures of consumption have had detrimental consequences for individual wellbeing and sustainability of the environment. The term “overconsumption” exemplifies the tension between mutually beneficial producer–consumer exchange and the damaging effects of excess. In search of a pathway toward reducing overconsumption practise, sustainability literature is often interested in better understanding not only why overconsumption occurs, but what facilitates it in particular consumer markets. Young adults are one group of consumers where transitioning identities and lifestyles see impulsive consumption of goods that are often termed “non-essential”, such as fashion and apparel products. This study explores the impact of a set of impulse enabling financial tools (buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) credit schemes) on impulse buying tendency in an online fashion shopping context, for young adult female consumers. The paper contributes a consumer perspective on the impact of BNPL on unsustainable consumption behaviour in the online retail setting, which the literature currently lacks, by considering consumers’ impulse buying tendencies in such a setting. Findings demonstrate that BNPL users have a higher online impulse buying tendency than those who do not use BNPL, and a clear link is identified between online impulse buying tendency and sales conversion tool sensitivity, thus promoting overconsumption in this setting.
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