Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Customer Behavior in Electronic Commerce: A Bayesian Approach

Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Customer Behavior in Electronic Commerce: A Bayesian Approach

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1 Introduction

The emergence of the Internet has prompted enormous changes in consumer behavior [19]. Increasing numbers of consumers are using electronic commerce (e-commerce) to shop for products and services [38]. However, despite the accelerated spread of e-commerce, there are significant differences in growth, penetration and adoption of the Internet as a viable alternative to traditional shopping at a global level. According to the Global Retail e-commerce index, the United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan and Germany have an online market size over 60%, in contrast with emerging economies in Latin American countries included in the studies (Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) with an online market size of 7,9%. Never the less, despite to its small size, the study highlights a growth potential of 50% which cannot be ignored [15].

In relation to the above mentioned Latin America accounts for 10.5% of the world's Internet users [39]. It is considered a promising market [30], since its Internet penetration (49%) surpasses the global rate (38%), and shows an accelerated and sustained growth in almost all of its 20 countries [39], [40].

In the Latin American context, Colombia occupies the fourth place in Internet penetration (61.6%), and shows one of the most remarkable growth levels of online activities in the past few years [39], [40]. Colombia has jumped to the third place of Internet usage in the region (9.6%), with the second highest rate of Internet access, reflecting a greater growth in digital behavior at a regional and global level [8], [39], [40]. However, e-commerce in Colombia is still in its infancy. Although more than 60% of Colombian Internet users utilize the web for browsing, consulting, and evaluating products and service offers, only 20% of them actually complete transactions [29], [55]. In 2013, total sales for online purchases in Colombia reached $8,283,000 [18]. In 2014, sales grew 45% over those of 2013, which means that more than two million Colombians purchase online with an average purchasing expenditure of USD $146 [29].

E-commerce sales in Colombia are projected to grow in the upcoming years due to the following conditions that increase the intention and execution of online transactions: (a) an increase in digital literacy, (b) a decrease of Internet costs, (c) an expansion of Internet service suppliers, (d) an expansion of digital and non-digital goods offered online, (e) an increase of mobile device penetration, (f) an increase of penetration in banking services, and (g) an increase and diversification of payment methods. Given the relevance of e-commerce growth in Colombia and the evidence suggesting that online purchase intention is the best predictor of online shopping behavior [78], the primary objective of the present study is to determine which variables influence online purchase intention in Colombia's expanding e-commerce industry.

The proposed theoretical framework is based on the integration of the theory of reasoned action (TRA), the theory of planned behavior (TPB), and the technology acceptance model (TAM). While it is certain that in recent years, a prolific and versatile empirical research on the factors influencing customer behavior in e-commerce has been published using this theoretical framework; most of it has focused on developed economies [59], showing that research evidence is still scarce in Latin American countries.

Research in the adoption of technology, especially related to e-commerce, is still in an early phase of theoretical development [74]. Thus, the meta-analysis conducted on 109 studies about the factors affecting the adoption of e-commerce did not focus on Latin American countries [38]. This was also observed in the 2015 literature review of 174 studies based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. Finally, in a meta-analysis study which focused on mobile banking, of the 57 studies included in the review, none had been conducted in Latin America [11]. …

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