Academic journal article International Journal of Management

The Impact of Web Site Image and Consumer Personality on Consumer Behavior

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

The Impact of Web Site Image and Consumer Personality on Consumer Behavior

Article excerpt

Following the phenomenon of the "Internet Bubble," the industry's planning and execution of marketing strategies have begun to show defects. The main objective of this study is to investigate the effect of website image on consumers' behavior. In addition, the effects of consumers' personality and demographics on the website image and consumers' behaviors is examined. Through surveys, the current study found that web site image has a significant effect on the purchasing behavior and purchasing intention of consumers. This study hopes to draft an effective Internet marketing strategy by adopting a strategic viewpoint and the viewpoint of the consumer, and additionally by examining the impact of web site image and consumer personality on the personal preferences of the consumer.

Introduction

Since the 1990s, the number of people who use the Internet has increased dramatically. Throughout the world, the number of Internet users was about 160 million in 1998. According the study, from International Data Corp (IDC), more than 600 million people will have accessed the Internet globally by the end of 2002 and spent more than US$1 trillion buying goods and services online (Straits Time, 2002). The Gartner Group estimates that the scale of the e-commerce market will be about $7.3 trillion in 2004, the Internet has been the emergent media with a greater developing potential than radio, TV and cable TV.

Through the Internet, businesses provide commodity and service information to attract the consumer's attention, cause their interest, arouse their purchasing desire and bring about purchasing action, which is called the AIDA mode. It is expected to make consumers purchase or get the commodity or service to meet their needs over the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost, and maximize benefits for businesses. Different from other medias, the particular features of the Internet call for special attention in marketing programs for its virtuality and its influence on consumers.

Kotler (2003) argues that people will establish faith, attitude and impression by action and reflection, which will influence their purchasing behaviors. The impression felt by individuals will impact on one's behavioral decision. Some scholars apply this concept in the retail field. For example, Kunkel & Berry (1968), Lindquist (1974) and Hansen & Deutscher (1977) explore the influence of web site image on consumer behavior and store selection, and develop many facets of web site image. For the Internet marketer, the website is his store, and web site image probably has a large effect on the behavior of consumers. But in relevant studies, the factors that make web site image attractive to consumers are rarely discussed.

The first major purpose of the study is to discuss important facets of the website image; second is the effect of consumer's characteristics and personality (as involvement, self-monitoring and perceived risks) on web site image and consumers' behaviors. Results of this study will help the development of effective Internet marketing strategies for building web site image.

The article is organized as follows. In the next section we provide the theoretical background and development for hypotheses. Next, we discuss the sample, data, and statistical procedures. The article concludes with a discussion of the results of our hypotheses testing, implications of this study for practitioners and scholars, limitations of the study, and avenues for future research.

Literature Review

Web Site Image

An Internet store indicates the web site, which provides a commodity or service for clients, a chart or sheet for making an order, and accepts online orders of clients. Many scholars advance different definitions of store image. Engel, Blackwell, & Miniard (1990) define store image as the consumer's integrated perception of the property of one store. Based on many studies and opinions, web site image in our study means consumer's integrated perception of properties and functions (such as commodity price, vast information) and psychology (as web site design) which are stressed by consumers about websites providing commodities, service and order functions on the Internet. …

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