Purchase intentions are frequently measured and used by marketing managers as an input for decisions about new and existing products and services. Purchase intentions are correlated and predict future sales, but do so imperfectly. I review and summarize research on the relationship between purchase intentions and sales that has been conducted over the past 60 years. This review offers insights into how best to measure purchase intentions, how to forecast sales from purchase intentions measures, and why purchase intentions do not always translate into sales.
Consumers' Purchase Intentions and Their Behavior reviews the relevant literature on purchase intentions in marketing, and more generally on the intentions-behavior relationship in social psychology, since purchase intentions are a particular form of the more general construct of intentions. Starting with the importance of purchase intentions to marketing managers, the author then focuses on reviewing the literature that provides an understanding of how strong the relationship between purchase intentions and purchasing is, what factors influence the strength of the relationship between purchase intentions and purchasing, and how a marketing manager should best use purchase intentions to forecast future sales.