This paper “Web-based shopping: Consumers’ attitudes towards online shopping in New Zealand” details an exploratory study conducted by Gurvinder S Shergill and Zhaobin Chen, who attempted to investigate the online buying behavior of people from New Zealand. It was part of a larger study, and the central theme which it aimed to investigate was the factors which New Zealand buyers keep in mind while shopping online.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The introduction is nicely constructed, as it starts out by examining the growth of business-to-consumer E-commerce and the way in which the Internet has revolutionized shopping. Quoting research data about New Zealand, it then moves on to the importance of understanding online consumer behavior in New Zealand and then tapping this market successfully, and how this paper attempts to provide some valuable insights regarding that. The Literature Review provides sufficient detail about the concepts to be explored in the paper and summarizes the pertinent research already done on online consumer shopping effectively without bombarding the reader with useless and irrelevant information.
Its research objectives resulted in the development of two clear hypotheses:
- H1: The online buyers will perceive website design factors differently; and
- H2: Based upon the usage level, different types of online buyers will perceive these factors differently.
This was the first study that has ever been conducted to investigate the online buying behavior of New Zealand consumers and can be perceived as preliminary findings which must be explored further and fine-tuned to facilitate e-marketers in targeting these consumers. Four different website design factors as mentioned in H1 were derived from previous research, from a four-dimensional scale developed by Wolfinbarger and Gilly (2002).
These were Website Design, Website Reliability/Fulfillment, Website Customer Service and Website Security/Privacy. The classification of online buyers according to usage level (H2) was done by the researchers themselves since there were no research reports referring to such categories of online buyers. Online buyers were categorized as Trial, Occasional, Frequent and Regular. These concepts were explained sufficiently to the readers, to ensure that they were understood as implied in this research study.
The pilot study carried out prior to the actual research as a method of testing the questionnaire was a useful measure because it helped to eliminate the ambiguity of the tool and a possible source of error in the subsequent findings. Since this was a self-administered questionnaire, the pilot study contributed to removing one of the major drawbacks of such questionnaires, that is, respondents cannot ask for clarification as no interviewer intervention is available for probing or explanation.
Cronbach’s alpha was used to attain the coefficient of reliability, which was 0.9325. Since this is close to 1, this test has been shown to be significantly reliable. The hypotheses were tested, using the chi-square distribution for H1 and a series of Analysis of Variance or ANOVA tests for H2.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
The results showed that New Zealand online buyers did have different perceptions of the four factors representative of website design. The highest score here was that of reliability/fulfillment and the lowest, website security/privacy. This has important implications for e-marketers as consistent with previous research findings, this study reiterates the importance of website security and privacy as a determining factor for online shopping.
As far as second hypothesis was concerned, each of the four types of New Zealand online buyers perceived specific website elements and factors differently. Regular online buyers were the most satisfied while trial online buyers had the poorest perception of online shopping. In my opinion, this finding does not really say much, because it follows from common sense that the regular online buyers are regular mainly because they are satisfied with the website elements and factors and have gained sufficient experience and consequently, their trust has increased and security concerns, lessened. The trial buyers, on the other hand do not cross the transition into becoming regular buyers because they are dissatisfied with these aspects and for them, trust remains a major barrier to online purchasing.
Another possible qualitative factor which determines usage frequency is the comfort level with the interface. While computer and Internet literacy is definitely increasing with every passing day, it takes some time for most people to make the change from the familiar environment of a shopping mall to the new high-tech shopping experience that the Internet offers. This was an unexplored area in this research.
One of the shortfalls of this research is that the sample size is very small, that too only from Auckland and that this is not a random sample. Hence, the results can not be generalized to the entire population. Another shortfall is that online shopping is a very broad concept as it can encompass all sorts of products and services, some to which the online shopping model can be easily applied, such as books, while others where a certain experience of touch and feel is necessary before purchase, for instance, furniture. It would be more useful that future research focuses on specific product categories to make this a more targeted, focused effort.