Effects of Online Shopping Attitudes, Subjective Norms and Control Beliefs on Online Shopping Intentions: A Test of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Article excerpt

The study examines the online shopping intentions of consumers from the perspective of planned behaviour theory. 92 online users and 134 non-online users completed a specially derived questionnaire. Using structural equation modelling, consumers' attitude towards online shopping, particularly their 'perceived behaviour control' beliefs were found to significantly influence their shopping behaviour. Further, the influence of these control beliefs was stronger than that of the consumers' online shopping attitudes on their shopping intentions, while the subjective norms of the consumers had no influence on their online shopping intentions. The Implications of the findings for online shopping are discussed.

1. Introduction

Consumers' shopping habits have changed. According to Continental Research In 2003, 13.8 million British consumers had experienced online transactions such as online shopping or paid downloading. The Institute for Information Industry Internet Information Center (FIND, 2004) estimated that the amount spent on online shopping in Taiwan in 2003 was NT 20.4 billion, with a 30% increase to NT 26.6 billion expected for 2004. In 2005, the amount spent on online shopping amount is predicted to be NT 50.1 billion, an increase of 88% from 2004. At present, 20% of Taiwanese Internet subscribers purchase goods online.

A number of models have been proposed to explain consumer behaviour, including the Nicosia Model (Nicosia, 1996) and EBM Model (Engel, Blackwell & Miniard, 1993). Such consumer behaviour models are useful for analyzing usual or traditional consumer shopping behaviour. However, since online shopping behaviour is different from traditional shopping further study is required to understand online shopping behaviour. In addition, most of the existing studies on online shopping only Investigated consumers' purchasing intentions and offered no clear solution to the problems encountered actual online shopping. Further, the topics for discussion were obtained from actual observation without the support of precise theory, thus restricting their usefulness in explaining the phenomenon.

This study attempts to understand and explain consumers' online shopping intentions

from the viewpoint of social psychology, using the well-developed theory of planned behaviour. In addition, it intends to provide online shops with suggestions and ideas for improving their approach to customers.

The remainder of this paper is structured as follows. Section 2 describes the research frameworks as well as the research hypotheses and sampling processes. The research results are presented in section 3. The final section addresses the conclusion and managerial implications.

2. Research Methodology

2.1 Theory of Planned Behavior and hypotheses

The Theory of Planned Behaviour-TPB (Ajzen, 1985, 1988, 1991) is a theory developed by extending the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen,1975; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). TPB is not only a cognitive psychology theory within an expectancyvalue framework, but also a social psychology theory for explaining human decision processes. Assumptions made by the theory of planned behaviour are basically the same as those made by the theory of reasoned action; the main difference being that TPB suggests human behavioural decision-making is only partly, not fully, under the control of the people concerned, thus adding the determinant of uncertain time and uncertain opportunity, the so-called 'perceived behavioural control' factor. Such a factor can influence behaviour Indirectly through Its impact on intentions as well as directly.

Behaviour intentions (BI) refer to the attitudes or motivations when one intends to take specific action. The theory suggests that behaviour intentions are the most direct, dominant factor in determining the decision to take a specific action or not, and that all factors which may influence actual behaviour are a manifestation of the indirect influence of intentions on behaviour. …