Services purchased at brick and mortar versus
online stores, and shopping motivation
Rajasree K. Rajamma
Charles F. Dolan School of Business, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA, and Audhesh K. Paswan and Gopala Ganesh
Department of Marketing and Logistics, College of Business Administration, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA Abstract
Purpose– This study seeks to explore the idea that consumers select a particular shopping mode – i.e. bricks and mortar versus online outlet – based on their perceptions about whether a product or service is best bought from one or the other. It aims to posit that this perception is associated with the importance allocated to various shopping motivation dimensions. Design/methodology/approach– Data for this study were collected using a self-administered mail survey from 689 internet-enabled US households. They represent a 28 percent response from 2,500 households that received the survey. Extensive non-response analysis ruled out serious bias in the data.
Findings– The results from this empirical study suggest that different shopping motivations indeed influence perceptions of service type and shopping mode congruence differently. In addition, the results also suggest that services are more likely to be associated with the online shopping mode, whereas more tangible products are likely to be associated with bricks and mortar stores. Originality/value– The findings have significant implications for services retail managers of both bricks and mortar and online service outlets in the areas of segmentations, targeting, and retail mix strategies. Apparently, consumers also tend to group related services or products into homogeneous shopping baskets based on their perception of congruence between the product or service and the shopping mode – online versus bricks and mortar store. These findings should help a manager plan for retailing mix strategies, catering to various shopping motivation dimensions, thus enhancing consumer satisfaction. In addition, the results hold important implications in the areas of segmentation and targeting decisions. KeywordsElectronic commerce, Motivation (psychology), Retailing, Perception, Consumer behaviour Paper typeResearch paper
An executive summary for managers can be found at
the end of this article.
Despite the popularity of web-based retailing and its virtues in popular media (Greenspan, 2003), doubts have been raised as
to whether it is suitable for all types of products or services (Pandya and Dholakia, 2005; Schwartz, 2002). Trade
statistics indicate that while services such as travel, tourism, financial services, and music seem to be flourishing on the
internet, the more tangible products such as groceries,
clothing, etc. have not performed as well (Halpern, 2004;
Heung, 2003). For example, by 2009, travel sales bought
online are expected to grow and reach a total volume of $91
billion or 33 percent of all travel services purchased during the year (McGann, 2004a, b; Werthner and Ricci, 2004).
Financial services have also been impacted in a significant
manner by e-commerce (Hughes and Stone, 2002; Taylor,
2002). Likewise, web-based entertainment services (e.g.
online gaming) are poised for explosive growth (Greenspan,
2004). Why do services like travel and tourism do well in a
virtual shopping environment whereas more tangible products
do not? Is it possible that consumers see a natural affinity between services that are inherently intangible and the online shopping environment, which is virtual and non-tangible?
Could it also be possible that perceived congruence between
shopping mode and service category is associated with
different consumer shopping motivation factors? This study
explores these questions by linking consumers’ shopping
motivation with the perceived congruence between service
category and shopping mode (bricks and mortar versus online
The current investigation relies on the...
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