Online Shopping vs. in Store Shopping

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As they do offline, consumers shop online for both goal-oriented and experiential reasons; in short, they shop to acquire items, and they shop to shop. However, goal-oriented motives are more common among online shoppers than are experiential motives. Importantly, consumers report that shopping online results in a substantially increased sense of freedom and control as compared to offline shopping. Importantly, consumers report that shopping online results in a substantially increased sense of freedom and control as compared to offline shopping.

Managerial Summary

We learned a lot by doing this experiment. When you set out to try to find the trends of students, it's not an easy task. We had to carefully decide which measures to take in order to test our hypothesis that students prefer to shop online only for textbooks and not personal items. We chose to go about doing this because we feel that it is important to know the trends that are going among college students. College students spend a lot of money of personal items such as clothing and gadgets we need to know where they are shopping for these things so we know how to market certain items. In this study, we wanted to basically find out if students prefer shopping online or in a retail stores. It was also important for us to find out if the trend of online shopping will be increasing by college students so that we know whether to tell the company that hired us whether or not to focus more on online sales. When we chose to survey 100 students in a general area on campus, we thought that would be a good way to sample our population. We wanted to try our best to get a good mixture of opinions from students that attend the university so that our results would be as accurate as possible. Throughout the way, we did run into some sampling issues that had to be corrected, but in the end it all worked out for the best. Our survey really returned some good results. Once we did our pretest and figured out which questions we wanted to be thrown out and which corrections needed to be made we came up with our final survey, which had a total of 25 questions. Once all of the surveys were completed, we entered the data into the SPSS system to analyze the data. Once the data was analyzed, we found that people enjoy shopping online, but they prefer shopping in a retail stores. We did face several limitations while trying to complete this study. Many students claimed that they did not have enough time to complete our survey. In addition, some students had been previously filling out other surveys from other marketing firms so they flat out refused to participate in our survey. We also had to make sure that we got responses from students at the graduate level because they are a part of the Tennessee State University student body. Finally yet importantly, there were certain questions that students didn't know how to answer. In the future, we will continue our study at other universities to get better and more accurate results.

General Information

The number of consumers buying online and the amount being spent by online buyers has been on the rise; Forrester Research has estimated Internet sales in 1999 to be more than double that of 1998, $20 billion. In comparison, overall retail sales in the U.S. totaled $13 trillion in 1999. Thus, e-commerce sales currently account for only about 1% of retail sales, and experts and scholars have argued over the possible upper limit to the percentage of consumer online spending. Will the upper limit of online spending exceed that of other direct marketing at 15%1? Or will it be as much as one third of purchases in many retail product categories by 2010 as recently suggested by Forrester Research? Ultimately, the degree to which online shopping fulfills goal-oriented and/or experiential consumer needs will influence the amount of shopping dollars that consumers will choose to spend in each environment. While many writers are...
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