Online Buying Behavior

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Contemporary Management Research
Pages 3-16, Vol. 2, No. 1, March 2006

Online Shopping Behavior: Key Dimensions and Research Synthesis Dong Shen California State University, Sacramento E-Mail: Craig A. Kelley California State University, Sacramento Adjunct at Queensland University of Technology E-Mail: Joseph Richards California State University, Sacramento E-Mail: Claudia Bridges California State University, Sacramento E-Mail: ABSTRACT A growing body of research has emerged related to the online shopping. In this study, the current literature related to media factors that influence online shopping behavior is extensively surveyed by identifying key dimensions. Four dimensions of the online shopping channel, including informativeness, convenience, customer service, and experiential uniqueness, are proposed based on the literature review and expert judgments. In addition, these key dimensions are discussed in the context of the established traditional channel literature; and the relationships between the traditional channel behavior and online shopping behavior are discussed. This research would help investigators to compare and contrast the developments in online shopping literature and the more established traditional shopping channel literature. The potential directions of future research on online shopping are addressed too. Keyword: Online Shopping Channel, Key Dimensions, Research Synthesis INTRODUCTION A growing body of research has emerged related to the choice criteria that consumers use when choosing to shop online. For example, Lee and Tan (2003) hypothesized consumer choice to shop online versus in a store was due to their efforts to maximize their utility from the purchase while minimizing risk. Alba, Lynch, Weitz, and Janiszewski (1997) proposed consumer attraction to alternative retail formats was determined by the number of alternatives considered,

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the ability to screen the alternatives, the amount of information needed to select from the consideration set, ordering and fulfillment requirements, and other external benefits. Ward (2001) found consumers make decisions regarding shopping channel based on the minimization of expected transaction costs. Kaufman-Scarborough and Lindquist (2002) reported online shoppers differ their perceptions of convenience from non-online shoppers. Palmer (2000) found delivery, shopping availability, product display, time spent shopping, and price interacted to choice of retail format. A sample of the available literature as listed above shows a great variety of studies in the online shopping area. However, as the literature on online shopping phenomenon balloons, there is a need to understand the substantial underpinnings of the phenomenon. This paper is an attempt toward that end. In particular, the contribution of this paper is mainly of three facets. First, we did a state-ofthe-art review of the current body of knowledge related to media factors that influence online shopping behavior followed by identifying the key dimensions or constructs of this growing area of retail shopping. Second, we reviewed these key dimensions of online shopping behavior in the context of the established traditional channel literature and highlighted the key connections that serve as bridges between traditional and online shopping channel behavior. Third, we proposed the possible directions for the future studies in the online shopping area based on the dimensions developed in part one and the comparisons done in part two. These three facets will not only help academic researchers better understand online shopping format and where this new shopping format stands in the traditional shopping literature, but benefit those retailers who intend to develop their online business based on their brick and mortar format. KEY DIMMENSIONS OF THE ONLINE CHANNEL With the growing interests in...
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