The Role of Risk Attitude on Online Shopping: Experience, Customer Satisfaction, and Repurchase Intention

Article excerpt

Risk attitude is a stable personality characteristic that is inherent in an individual, and may be the cause of differences in decisions to shop online. This article records an attempt to explore the direct and moderate effects of risk attitude on consumer behavior in the online context. The results show that risk attitude is positively associated with online shopping experience, consumer satisfaction, and repurchase intention for online shopping. Furthermore, the risk attitude promotes a positive influence of online shopping experience on satisfaction. Finally, the evaluation and emotion-based satisfaction would enhance online buyers' repurchase intention when they are characterized as having higher risk preference.

Keywords: risk attitude, online shopping experience, consumer satisfaction, repurchase intention.

Online shopping is undoubtedly riskier than shopping in a store that has been physically visited, in that shoppers cannot concretely experience or touch the goods they wish to purchase (Hansen, Jensen, & Solgaard, 2004). The objective of this study was to investigate the direct influence and moderating effect of risk attitude on online shopping behavior with purchase intention and consumer satisfaction. Risk attitude has been conceived mostly as related to decision-making behavior (Pennings & Smidts, 2000; Weber & Milliman, 1997). It may provide the explanation for the individual differences in the way people resolve decisions involving risk (Campbell, Goodie, & Foster, 2004; Weber, Blais, & Betz, 2002). Namely, different risk attitudes can illustrate why some people prefer transactions that are riskier than others. The importance of risk attitude in consumer behaviors can be clarified in two ways. First of all, the risk attitude may affect the degree of risk perceived by a consumer in either the transaction or its environment (Tan, 1999)2. Additionally, risk attitude can be viewed as an inherent personal trait that is stable over all situations and contexts (Weber et al., 2002; Weber & Milliman, 1997).2 This seems to be sufficient to support the idea that risk attitude is the critical factor for explaining how individuals differ when engaging in risky transactions. The major hypothesis in this article is that risk attitude is a determinant of consumer behavior. It leads to the managerial implications for online enterprises that they can create atmospheric cues to attract consumers with higher risk preferences by improving the webmosphere to influence shoppers' behavior (Childers, Carr, Peck, & Carson, 2001; Eroglu, Machleit, & Davis, 2003), and segment their market or select clients by consumer risk attitudes (Weber et al., 2002).

Risk attitude as discussed in this article is a stable intrinsic preference and is analogous to the definition of risk preference. Risk preference is conceived on a continuum from risk avoiding to risk seeking (Weber et al., 2002; Weber & Milliman, 1997). Although numerous studies have defined risk attitude as rooted in the expected utility (EU) framework as the shape of utility function (Pennings & Smidts, 2000), this is not consistent with the definition used in this article. The major distinction is that the risk attitude derived from the EU framework is a combination of the strength of preference the individual feels for certain outcomes as well as attitude towards risk (Pennings & Smidts). The former component is akin to marginal value for the outcomes of risky choices in the view of Weber et al. (2002). This component causes the risk attitude derived from the EU framework to be unstable across situations and domains. Accordingly, risk attitude represents a spectrum of risk preference from complete risk aversion to complete risk seeking.

HYPOTHESIS DEVELOPMENT

Previous studies have defined purchase intention in two ways. First, Doolin, Dillon, Thompson, and Corner (2005) found that actual purchase was based on purchase intention. …