Online Consumer Behaviors
Consumer Perceptions of Online Shopping and how this Influences Purchasing Decisions
Exploring Online Consumer Behavior
Internet usage has increased rapidly in the past few decades. Accompanying this trend has been the increase in online retail shopping by consumers. However, many consumer behaviors, motivations, and attitudes toward shopping via this medium are still being researched and there are many opportunities for further research. This paper will examine the following research questions: (1) How do factors previously researched affect the online purchasing behavior of consumers and (2) what are the significant consumer behaviors both positive and negative that affect internet consumerism? The purpose of this research paper is to integrate the varied research information together and draw coherent linkages to how consumer thoughts, attitudes and motivational behavior affect online buying, thus building a broader framework of analysis in which to build upon. By identifying these relevant factors, a new research strategy can be developed in which both consumers and vendors can gain knowledge and understanding of behaviors which exist.
Behaviors Associated with Internet Consumerism
There are many variables to consider when outlining behaviors of Internet consumerism. According to Vazquez and XU (2008, p.409) online consumer behavior is affected by three main things: “attitudes towards online shopping, motivations, such as price, convenience and hedonic motivations, and online information search.” If a person maintains a positive perception about regarding the experience of shopping on the Internet then that attitude will help facilitate purchasing online. Also online consumers feel empowered when they can search and compare vendors’ offers with relative ease; for example, items such as prices and special offers. This price comparison can be, in itself, a great motivational tool. The fact that more information is available online concerning products also may allow the consumer to feel more confident in their purchasing decisions. However, there is room for further research to provide insights into exactly what relationships might be present regarding these factors.
Research was conducted through a self-given online questionnaire. Data was collected concerning the scale items of attitude, motivations and searches of information. The group consisted of students in three different age categories. The first grouping consisted of individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, the second group was between 25-34 years old, and the last group fell between the ages of 35 and 44. The 35- to 44-year-old group was rated as first in Internet buying. The 25- to 30-year-olds were next, followed by the younger group. Further data was also collected through email and administered questionnaires. A sample of two hundred students was asked to complete a survey in person and 300 students who were also asked to completed in an email survey. Between the two groups, 406 respondents completed the survey. Quantitative data analysis was conducted as well as a reliability analysis to test the data obtained. Furthermore, a canonical analysis was also used to help understand the data and build a framework around online consumer behavior.
The analysis showed that 49.8% of those surveyed were women and 50% were male. The group under age 24 made up a little less than two thirds of the total. Those over 24 accounted for the rest. Respondents who had used the Internet for five years or more represented 79% of the study. The results clearly showed that online shopping motivations, information searches, and attitude all had a significant effect on online purchases.
Vazquez, D., & Xu, X. (2009). Investigating linkages between online purchase behaviour variables. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 37, 408-419. doi: 10.1108/09590550910954900
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