Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Determinants of Internet Shopping Behavior: An Application of Reasoned Behaviour Theory

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Determinants of Internet Shopping Behavior: An Application of Reasoned Behaviour Theory

Article excerpt

Modern society is based on information and communication, and the information society is evolving away from the traditional mass exposure media, toward the more interactive collection of information and commercial interfaces represented by the modern Internet. Using a questionnaire survey, this study examines consumer shopping behavior and attitudes toward internet shopping among 693 college students in Taiwan. This paper uses the Theory of Reasoned Action as the framework to analyze the internet shopping behavior intentions of this sample of consumers. In this paper we develop two models of online shopping behavior, a factor model and an integrative model, and then tested them using discriminant function analysis. In the integration model, attitude toward one owns likely behavior and subjective norms discriminated most strongly between those who intended to shop online, and those who did not. In the factor model, store service image and minor reference groups were the variables that discriminated most strongly between these two groups of consumers. In this model, the nature of the merchandise, the reliability of the shopping facility and major reference groups also discriminated well. The implications of the findings for future research and management practice are discussed.

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Introduction

Online shopping is developing rapidly on the internet today, but the amount of money involved remains very low. According to the Market Intelligence Center of the Information Industry Institute, the number of web users who shopped through the Internet in 46 percent in 2004 (including service category products such as investment and finance management, on-line games and on-line education). In a recent report of the Institute for Information Industry's ACI group, domestic online purchases in Taiwan in 2005 totaled NT$51.073 billion, with forecasts for 2006, to be as much as NT$73.146 billion. However, over 70% of consumers are satisfied with their online shopping experience, while over 50% said they might shop online again in the coming half year. In consumer-to-consumer e-commerce, Taiwan's leading auction site Yahoo! Kimo had a total of NT$15 billion in transactions in 2004. Yahoo! expects 50% growth in domestic online auction sales in 2005, and for the total to reach approximately NT$25-26 billion (Ministry of Economic Affairs, MOEA, 2005). Those figures give some indication of the extent to which the internet's freedom from space and time constraints facilitates web users shopping for merchandise and placing orders online.

The application of the internet to commercial activities does not increase costs, but allows the producer to contact customers directly; this enables the producer to see market variations and consumer trends immediately. It enables managers to rapidly differentiate markets and to dynamically adjust their marketing to meet consumer demand to 'customize' their marketing efforts (Karahanna, Straub & Chervany, 1999; Schultze & Orlikowski, 2004; Ba & Pavlou, 2002; Peterson, 1997). For the producer, understanding the nature of online consumers is critical for selecting a target market to determine the appropriate marketing model to employ or use. As for research on web consumers, little has been done apart from that offered by research organizations such as the well-known GVU Center/Hermes WWW User Survey and the Commerce Net/Nielson Internet Demographic Surveys. Most research is based on consumers' descriptions. However, to model consumers' web shopping actions through such data is inadequate. Critical to understanding consumer behaviour in Cyberspace is to understand how the individual consumer makes purchase choice decisions.

Most current research on web-shopping examines consumer characteristics or products (Dholakia & Chiang, 2003; Gefen, 2000; Moon & Kim, 2001; O'Keefe & McEachern, 1998; Rosen & Howard, 2000; Vijayasarathy, 2003), or uses the uncertainty of transaction cost model and merchandise properties alone to explain consumers' shopping actions (Cases, 2002; Kalakota & Robinson, 2000; Chellappa, & Pavlou, 2002; Gefen & Straub, 2003). …

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