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Internet Shopping Behavior of Turkish Customers: Comparison of Two Competing Models

Article excerpt

Abstract

In this Internet age, information technologies are increasingly penetrating our daily lives. Internet Shopping has become a daily activity for most of us. However, there are very limited studies to investigate cognitive factors influencing individuals' online shopping behavior in a developing country context. In this study, two widely used socio-psychology based theories, the extended version of Technology Acceptance Model (e-TAM) and Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), have been tested in Internet shopping context and the results are compared for a Turkish sample. The results have revealed significant theoretical relationships for all of the proposed paths in both theories, yet the Theory of Planned Behavior presented better fit indices and proven to be a more detailed explanatory framework.

Keywords: Extended technology acceptance model, Theory of planned behavior, Comparison of theories, Structural equation modeling, Turkey

1 Introduction

Due to the significant and important changes in the last couple of decades in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the Internet and personal computers have significantly penetrated our daily lives. Coupled with changing consumer preferences and technological advances, individual shopping behaviors have also altered significantly. A new concept of technology-enabled shopping, called "Online Shopping," emerged after the first Internet web browser back in the 1990s. Since then, Internet Shopping has attracted significant attention by both academics and practitioners alike.

Although online sales are increasing, not everyone prefers to shop online. It is a questionable experience in a developing country. As Internet business becomes more competitive, it has become more important to understand the antecedents of customer acceptance of online shopping [74]. It is important to know why some still prefer not to buy online, though they might use Internet regularly and frequently. Whereas ICT adoption and usage have been widely researched in developed countries, these findings usually cannot be applied to a developing country context [74].

Online shopping has important aspects in terms of individuals' preferences to use new ICTs. Better understanding of consumers' preferences and attitudes of adoption of different technologies would give valuable insights to both scholars, as well as firms, to better design their theories, products offerings, and web sites. Intention based theories such as the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Theory of Planned Behavior, have been developed by and widely used in social psychology. These theories are also employed by Management Information Systems scholars to assess, explain, and predict cognitive and psychological factors behind consumers' preferences and including the preference to or not shop online.

It is useful to compare the capabilities of different models to predict technology acceptance and adoption. In general, existing evidence largely indicates that TAM is a powerful predictor of individual technology adoption. Few studies investigated TPB, which is also a significant framework as an explanatory theory in technology usage [25]. Therefore, it is not surprising that no research using TPB has been published in the Turkish setting so far. Although there are number of studies addressing technology adoption in a developing county context, there is relatively little research in a developing county context [25]. Given the lack of resources and the continuous struggle to enhance resource utilization, developing countries would benefit from knowing more about technology adoption and use in their own context.

In this study, the two most widely used cognitive based theories, extended version of TAM, e-TAM, and TPB are tested and compared to explain Turkish customers' online purchasing behaviors. This study compares two prevailing intention based theories, namely the TPB and extended version of TAM, and draws conclusions regarding their use to explain and predict the online shopping behaviors of Turkish customers. …