Online Shopping Behavior

Topics: Risk, Internet, World Wide Web Pages: 20 (6348 words) Published: April 15, 2011
Search mode and purchase intention in online shopping behavior

Per E. Pedersen1 Professor

Herbjørn Nysveen2 Associate Professor


Per E. Pedersen, Professor, Agder College, Grooseveien 36, 4876 Grimstad, Norway, +47 37 25 32 19 (phone), +47 37 25 31 81 (fax), 2 Herbjørn Nysveen, Associate Professor, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Breiviksveien 40, 5045 Bergen, +47 55 95 95 37 (phone), +47 55 95 95 40 (fax),

Search mode and purchase intention in online shopping behavior

Abstract This study focuses on the effect of website visitors' goal-oriented search mode on purchase intention in online environments. In a study of 874 respondents recruited from 13 online shops representing a diversity of product categories and customer segments, the effect of visitors' goal-oriented search mode on purchase intention is found to be moderated by product involvement and product risk. Furthermore, product involvement, product risk, product knowledge and Internet experience are found to have positive effects on the degree of goaloriented search mode of the visitors. Also, product knowledge and Internet experience are reported to have direct positive effects on purchase intention. The results point to the importance of understanding the characteristics of website visitors, and to customize the support and search services offered on the website to the characteristics and preferences of the individual visitor. Customization of this kind may partly be based on immediate visitor history (referrer) and may be used to increase purchase intention, and eventually online sales.

Keywords: search mode, purchase intention, product knowledge, product risk, product involvement, Internet experience

Search mode and purchase intention in online shopping behavior

1. Introduction Understanding customers' objectives when they visit a web site is of vital importance to assist the individual consumer effectively by offering support that is in accordance with the customers' specific needs (Ariely, 2000). Supporting customers' search behavior may lead to more satisfied customers and increase purchase intention among the visitors. It is therefore of vital importance to know the objectives and plausible search mode of consumers when they visit a web site. Categorizing customers depending on their objectives of visiting a web site therefore seems to be a useful strategy. Several suggestions have been made on categorizing customers' online search mode. Hoffman and Novak (1996) divided online customers' search process into goal-directed and experiential. Li et al. (1999) tried to categorize customers by their online "shopping orientations", but focused on the demographic determinants of "shopping orientations" rather than on buying behavior. Koufaris et al. (2001) focused on the type of search mechanisms used online, but did not provide any typology of search behaviors. Based on the customers` mind-set, Dholakia and Bagozzi (2001) suggested differentiating between goal-oriented and experiential mind sets. The two mind-sets are furthermore divided into sub mind-sets. Although the authors discussed the typology related to digital environments, they did not discuss antecedents of the mind-sets or effects of the mind-sets on purchase intention. Moe (2003) divided online customers into four categories based on customers' search behavior (directed versus exploratory) and customers purchasing horizon (immediate versus future). Moe (2003) also related the online search behaviors to purchase intention, and made interesting findings indicating that online search mode is closely related purchasing intention.

Building on the work of Moe (2003), the purpose of this article is threefold. One purpose is to focus on the antecedents of customers` search behavior when visiting a web site. We argue that customers' search mode is a psychological construct, and that it should be measured as...
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