Academic journal article International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies

Online Shopping Orientation and Purchase Behavior for High-Touch Products

Academic journal article International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies

Online Shopping Orientation and Purchase Behavior for High-Touch Products

Article excerpt


The development of e-Commence means that many customers are familiar with this channel. While retailers have used the online channel to increase sales some items, such as socks, are less frequently purchased this way. In this study we examine the relationship between shopping orientation and online shopping behavior in the context of sock purchase. We sample 307 online shoppers. We examine whether shopping orientation affects the behavior to purchase socks online. Our analysis also considers whether the relationship between shopping orientation and purchase behavior differs according to sock types (i.e. general or specific). Recreation orientation positively, and price negatively relates to purchase behavior. Gender and sock types affect the relationship between consumer shopping orientation and purchase behavior. Males have a higher convenience orientation than females. Customers who purchase specific socks online are recreationally oriented and not concerned about price. The results indicate that when people experience more enjoyment shopping, they are more likely purchase socks online. Making online shopping interactive increases customers' recreational value and purchase behaviors.

Keywords: Shopping Orientation, Purchase Behavior, Online Shopping


Customers' increasing interest in Internet shopping has led companies to open web-based outlets. Customers can visit and purchase from a web-based store at a time of their choosing. Customers find the ability to purchase products at anytime and from any place particularly appealing aspects of web-based stores. Web store environments also have certain limitations, in terms of products that can be sold, unlike traditional (physical) stores1.

Retailers typically do not sell socks online. This reflects customers' infrequent purchase of a product that they prefer to touch. Socks are very easy to purchase in Taiwan's drug stores or convenience stores. This means customers tend to avoid online purchases of this product.

The sock industry, a central part of Taiwan's industrialization in the 1970s, now faces increasing price competition. Businesses are responding by producing innovative new products and exploring other channels to engage with the market. Some companies want to develop new types of products that fit particular applications. The use of e-commerce can help retailers to target these custom products to appropriate customer segments. This study examines customers' online purchase behaviors in relation to these types of product2.

The dramatic growth in e-commerce has led researchers to focus on models that explain online purchase behaviors. The factors predict consumers' behavior towards use of this channel attracts specific attention2. By examining consumers' shopping lifestyle, it is possible to understand their attitudes towards different shopping channels3.

Shopping orientation research focuses on online behavior. Swinyard and Smith compare four online and four off-line shopper segments4. They find that online shoppers are more entertainment-oriented. Allred et al. extend this model by adding the fear of online financial risk and confusion over use of online technologies5. Allred et al. also segment online shoppers into socializers, shopping lovers, and e-value leaders. They segment off-line shoppers into fearful conservatives, shopping averters, and technology-muddlers. These orientations are important in relating customer preferences to different shopping channels6.

Customers' online shopping orientations differ by product types. Girard evaluated shopping orientation and purchase preference for various types of products7. They find that convenience and recreational orientations positively relate to online shopping preference for experience-1(clothing and perfumes), experience-2 (cell phones and television) and credence (vitamin and water purifiers) products. Nirmala and Dewi examine the relationship between shopping orientation and online purchases of fashion products on the Internet8. …

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