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Exploring Impact of Consumer and Product Characteristics on E-Commerce Adoption: A Study of consumers in India

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The paper aims at examining the impact of various consumer and product characteristics on adoption of e-commerce among consumers in India.
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  INTRODUCTION M arketing as a business function has witnessed several changesduring the last three decades. One key change relates to adop-tion of internet technology for carrying out marketing and busi-ness functions. With more and more customers opting for online transac-tions, traditional brick and mortar retail formats have started giving way toemergence of virtual stores that exist in the cyberspace and offer merchan-dise and services through an electronic channel to their customers with afraction of the overhead required in a brick-and mortar retail store (Chen Exploring Impact of Consumer and ProductCharacteristics on E-Commerce Adoption: AStudy of Consumers in India Abstract The paper aims at examining the impact of various consumer and product characteristicson adoption of e-commerce among consumers in India. The study is based on primarydata collected through survey of consumers residing in and around Delhi. A structured-non-disguised questionnaire has been employed for collecting the information from therespondents about their demographics, shopping orientations, security and privacyconcerns, technological familiarity, past online shopping experiences and intentions tobuy various types of products through internet in future. Past online shopping satisfaction,recreational shopping orientation, education and income emerge as significant factorsaffecting consumer past online purchases. In respect of future online shopping intentions,only three consumer related factors viz., past online shopping satisfaction, past onlineshopping frequency and education, are found as significant predictors. Amongst product characteristics, product expensiveness is found to be negatively related to consumer  future online purchase intentions. While consumers appear quite willing to buy servicesonline that are high in their intangible value proposition, they appear somewhat ambivalent in their intentions to buy online the 'frequently purchased products'. Some of the consumer and product characteristics do influence consumer adoption of e-commerce. Study findings entail interesting implications for the marketers. They need to give adequateattention to consumer and product characteristics while designing their e-marketingstrategies. As compared to goods, the surveyed respondents have expressed greater willingness to buy services online in future. Services thus appear to be more promising product category for sale through internet channel in future. Sanjay K. Jain  Delhi School of Economics, Delhi Manika Jain  ARSD College, Delhi Journal of TechnologyManagement forGrowing Economies Vol. 2 No. 2October 2011pp. 35-64©2011 by ChitkaraUniversity. All RightsReserved.  Jain, S.K.Jain, M.36  Journal of Technology Management for Growing Economies,  Volume 2, Number 2, October 2011 et al., 2004). India is no exception to the phenomenal growth of e-com-merce. Business firms have started increasingly embracing e-commercetechnologies and the internet in the country. Even though internet usage isnot that wide spread in India as is the case with many other countries, e-commerce sites have fast come up everywhere to sell everything fromgroceries to bakery products, books and computers (Asia Today, 1999).Growing popularity of e-commerce as a means of marketing goodsand services to the consumers has drawn considerable attention of research-ers in the past few years. A wide array of issues relating to e-commerceadoption among the business firms (e.g., Premkumar et al., 1994; Iacovouet al., 1995; Igbaria et al., 1997; Min and Galle, 1999; Grewal et al., 2001;Chong, 2004; Joo and Kim, 2004; Kaynak et al., 2005; Alam et al., 2007;Bakker et al., 2008) and consumers (Jarvenpaa and Todd, 1996; Alba etal., 1997; Li et al., 1999; Swaminathan et al., 1999; Tan and Teo, 2000;Lee et al., 2001; Lynch and Beck, 2001; Li and Zhang, 2002; Cheung etal., 2003; Heijden, 2003; Koyuncu and Lien, 2003; Lim, 2003; Park andJun, 2003; Su, 2003; Yoh et al., 2003; Chen et al. 2004; Constantinides,2004; Dillon and Reif, 2004; Monsuwé et al., 2004; Yang, 2005; Ghazaliet al., 2006; Lee, 2006; Liao et al., 2006; Lopes and Dennis, 2006; Richardsand Shen, 2006) have been examined in the past.Identification of consumer and product related characteristics that af-fect e-commerce adoption among consumers has been a thrust area of pastresearches (Jarvenpaa and Todd, 1996; Alba et al., 1997; Peterson et al.,1997; Li et al., 1999; Swaminathan et al., 1999; Phau & Sui, 2000; Lynchand Beck, 2001; Li and Zhang, 2002; Cheung et al., 2003; Koyuncu andLien, 2003; Lim, 2003; Park and Jun, 2003; Su, 2003; Yoh et al., 2003;Dillon and Reif, 2004; Monsuwé et al., 2004; Yang, 2005; Ghazali et al.,2006; Richards and Shen, 2006). Despite growing popularity of e-com-merce in the country, it is disconcerting that not much empirical work hasbeen done in the field in India. In the absence of such studies and authen-tic information about the characteristics and behaviour of e-shoppers, it isdifficult for the e-marketers to correctly identify the target customers anddesign appropriate marketing mix strategies. The present study aims atfilling this gap. More specifically, the study aims at an empirical examina-tion of the impact of consumer and product characteristics on e-commerceadoption among consumers in India. The paper is organised around five

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