The Role of Consumer Innovativeness in the Adoption of Internet Shopping in Singapore

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The Internet Business Review

Issue 1 – October 2004

The Role of Consumer Innovativeness in the Adoption of Internet Shopping in Singapore Tak Kee HUI and David WAN School of Business National University of Singapore

ABSTRACT

The objective of this paper is to examine why current users of the Internet might want to shop on the Web. In particular, we investigate the role of consumer innovativeness in the determination of online shopping. Our survey of 154 respondents in Singapore reveals that individuals with higher levels of Internet usage and those who score high on (a) open-processing innovativeness and (b) domain-specific innovativeness are more likely to adopt the Internet for shopping. Domain-specific innovativeness was found to have the biggest impact (b=0.61), followed by Internet usage (b=0.17) and open-processing innovativeness (b=0.06). Since both openprocessing innovativeness and domain-specific innovativeness have positive effects on consumer adoption of online shopping, marketers of products on the Internet may want to develop the means by which they can nurture both general innovativeness and Internet-related innovativeness among consumers.

© 2004 The Internet Business Review

1

The Internet Business Review

Issue 1 – October 2004

The Role of Consumer Innovativeness in the Adoption of Internet Shopping in Singapore

INTRODUCTION No technology has engendered a level of interest as unprecedented in the history of business as the Internet (Peterson, 1997). Indeed, the Internet seems to be the answer for impediments that plague the old business model: slow transmission lines, insecure electronic payments, and the lack of affordable full-motion demonstrations of the merchandise (Jarvenpaa and Todd, 1997). Travel time and cost are virtually eliminated for consumers, while opportunities such as charging on-line transactions and direct marketing of existing products or services present themselves to businesses. It was estimated that in 2001, there were more than 165 million World Wide Web users in the US alone (www.Nielsen-Netratings.com 2001). As such, the Internet looks set to revolutionize our lives (Sheth and Sisodia, 1997). Future commercial success of the Internet in the retail scene, however, remains to be seen. To the extent that consumers are willing to adopt this new medium for product purchase, the Internet will be a useful channel for business to reach out to consumers far and wide. The consumers’ role in the acceptance of the Internet as a retail channel therefore demands further investigation. As Singapore mores towards a knowledgebased economy and more and more of its people are Internet savvy, it is likely that over time, many of the current users of the Internet will adopt (or at least try out) this medium for online purchasing. Indeed, the government's push towards e-government has resulted in a general acceptance of the efficiency and effectiveness of having on-line communications and transactions. Much of the research on Internet marketing has focused on estimating customer base, developing customer profiles, or determining what people are buying and how much they are spending. Reasons why consumers might shop on the Web have received relatively little attention (Sim and Koi, 2002). The present

© 2004 The Internet Business Review

2

The Internet Business Review

Issue 1 – October 2004

research hopes to shed more light on why some consumers who are Internet users are more likely to use this new medium for shopping than other users. In addition, following Citrin, Sprott, Silverman and Stem (2000), we will ascertain the moderating role of innovativeness in determining the relationship between general Internet usage and Internet shopping.

LITERATURE REVIEW Internet usage In general, heavy users within the product category or those with significant experience in similar product categories are more likely to innovate and adopt related new products. This is...
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