Online Buying Behaviour
Word Count: 1864
This essay will discuss and evaluate the subject of consumer buying behaviour online and also the traditional methods. Firstly the paragraphs below will discuss and describe the elements of both online and traditional consumer buying behaviour using relevant theorists. Secondly, using relevant academic sources an evaluation of the differences between consumer buying behaviour online and the traditional means will also be debated. Thirdly a few of the major challenges of consumer online behaviour faced by marketers will be discussed. Finally a brief summary of the major differences, as well as challenges faced by marketers in consumer buying behaviour online will be highlighted giving a recommendation for marketers. Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick (2012) argue that the attitudes and perceptions of consumers toward online buying are shaped by various beliefs and perceptions of variables such as convenience, trust and risk. Furthermore these variables can be very important and determine what, where or how a consumer purchases its products from various options available online. On the other hand Solomon et al (2010) suggest that traditional consumer behaviour can be influenced by in-store factors such as packaging, in-store promotions and even the sales person. In addition traditional consumer behaviour is affected by tangible factors for example: sampling the product whilst online behaviour is more focused on intangible factors such as the look of the product online. According to Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2010) when consumers want to make a purchase, precisely a new or luxurious product, they usually follow the process shown in exhibit 6.1. Furthermore both online consumers and traditional in-store consumers follow the process which shows the step by step stages consumers have to make before and after they make a purchase. In addition, a purchase is not always made when the decision process is engaged and not all consumers go through all five stages (Pride and Ferrell, 2010). This simply means that some consumers don’t have to go through all the five stages of the decision making process before they make a purchase. In addition some consumers who are previous buyers already know what product they need and just go ahead and make a purchase. Source: Lamb et all (2010)
In exhibit 6.1 above, need recognition is the first stage of the consumer decision making process. Gordon, Bruner and Pomazal (1988) suggest that Need recognition is the initial stage of the consumer buying behaviour process, where the consumer acknowledges that they have the need for the use or consumption of a product. In addition this initial stage relates both to online and traditional buying behaviour as both consumers have to recognize the need for a product before searching for information on how to fulfil such a need. Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2010) illustrate an example of a consumer needing new shoes due to old weary shoes causing blisters. With a consumer having the problem of blisters and breaking shoes, a need arises prompting the consumer to purchase a new pair of shoes. Finally before the consumer makes his purchase he/she tends to research information about the purchase they want to make. Information research in exhibit 6.1 is the next stage were the consumer researches information about their intended purchase. Hoyer and Macinnis (2008) argue that after the consumer recognizes their need, the consumer then attempts to process information about the product required. Online consumers search for this information online, while traditional consumers may either go in store or alternatively search this information online. Hoyer and Macinnis (2009) further suggest that the consumer processes this information internally (from memory) or externally (outside environment...