Consumer Behaviour in Online Shopping
In recent years, with technological advancement and invention of internet, online shopping has become popular among consumers. As the online shopping has developed into a new medium of transaction, the numbers of cyber shoppers are increasing significantly (Hasslinger, Hodzic & Opazo 2007). The rapid increase is illustrated by the growth in the use of internet with a change in consumer behaviour (Oppenheim & Ward cited in Hasslinger, Hodzic & Opazo 2007). According to Tombs and Seamons (2013), the definition of consumer behaviour is “the buying behaviour of final consumers which consists of individuals and households that buy goods and services for personal consumption”. The model of buyer behaviour contains 3 parts: the environment, buyer’s black box, and buyer’s responses. And there are 4 aspects of factors influencing consumer behaviour: cultural (culture, cultural group, social class); social (reference group, family, roles and status); personal (age and life cycle stage, occupation, economic situation, lifestyle, personality and self-concept); psychological (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes). In terms of online shopping, three main factors have been found to influence consumers purchasing behaviour. Firstly, based on personal influence, it is convenient for consumers. Generally, online shopping is available and accessible for customers all day long without having to worry about opening hours. Some companies have online customer services available 24 hours. Therefore, even after business hours, customers can seek assistance if they encounter any problems or have questions about the products. As such, customers often find shop from the website that is offering convenience can reduce their psychological costs (Prasad & Aryasri 2009). Secondly, based on social influence, Tombs and Seamon (2013) stated that reference groups can influence a person's attitudes or behaviour. Consumers tend to purchase goods online when there is a reference group, such as reviews from other customers. Besides the information that may be retrieved online, consumers can also benefit from products’ reviews by other customers which may provide further insight and help in the decision making. Thirdly, based on psychological attribute, the beliefs and attitudes of consumers, such as brand image and trust, play an important role in influencing consumers to purchase goods online .According to Hahn and Kim (2008), consumers tend to purchase goods online from brands they trust. The following paragraph will describe these influences by using the example of Amazon. , Amazon is an American multinational electronic commerce company. It is the world's largest online retailer with separate retail websites for 10 countries providing international shipping. As mentioned earlier, one of the factors influencing consumers to purchase online is "personal influence". The lifestyles of people in recent days give consumers more opportunities to access to e-commerce, which provided a premise for success of Amazon. Moreover, according to Tombs and Seamon (2013), a person has several needs in any particular time. When these needs are strong enough, they will become motivations. Compared with bricks-and-mortar stores, Amazon offers a convenient and flexible shopping process to consumers without limitations of time and where they are. That means Amazon can meet this motivation in time, but bricks-and-mortar stores cannot. Additionally, Wasserman (2009) notes consumers like to read what other consumers' statement about the products they intend to buy. When people are shopping on Amazon, they can easily find "customer reviews" which shows other people's views about products. Therefore, Amazon provides a reference group for its customer. Besides, Amazon also offers "customers who bought this item also bought" to consumers. Sometimes people "just read a great book and want to read something similar,...
References: Hahn, KH & Kim, J 2009, ‘The effect of ofﬂine brand trust and perceived internet conﬁdence on online shopping intention in the integrated multi-channel context’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 126-141.
Hassling, A, Hodzic, S & Opazo, C 2007, ‘Consumer Behaviour in Online Shopping’, Thesis, Kristianstad University, Sweden.
Prasad, C & Aryasri, A 2009, ‘Determinants of shopper behaviour in e-tailing: An empirical analysis’, Paradigm, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 73-83.
Tombs, A & Seamons, O 2013, Foundations of Marketing, 2nd edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest.
Wasserman, T 2009, ‘Why Can 't Shopping Be Like Online Shopping?’, Brandweek, vol. 50, no. 27, pp. 26-26.
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