Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Online Shopper

In today's day and age, people use computers numerous times each day. Most people have several computers in their home, a computer at work, and a smartphone in their pocket that acts as a computer. These devices have become part of us and we rely on them to research many products and services that we are unfamiliar with. Because so many more customers are buying products online than ever before, companies must design effective ways to create an enjoyable online experience for the customer. These companies want the customer to find the information that they are searching for in a timely manner, and easily make an online transaction without any hassle. A good experience will influence a new customer to return to the same site in the future and make another purchase.
The findings in this study show that the experience of a new customer looking to purchase a product online differs from the experience of a returning customer. New customers seek enjoyment and perceived control when they explore a new website in search of purchasing a product. On the other hand, repeat customers are not influenced by these factors, instead they want a value-added experience. These results are extremely important considering the fact that it is much more expensive to gain a brand new customer than to keep a current customer coming back. E-commerce companies must find the formula to attract new customers to their site while keeping returning customers content. This is obviously easier said than done, otherwise companies would not be forced to invest thousands and millions of dollars into researching how to improve user website experience.
Different consumers take different factors into consideration when they decide whether to purchase a product online or not. For example, some consumers are influenced by the perceived risk of purchasing a product online. We have probably all heard stories of an individual's private information being stolen after purchasing a product online. No matter how safe websites become, there will always be people that are too afraid to get their identity stolen and avoid buying online altogether. Another important factor that consumers consider is the ease of use of the website. This is especially important for people who are visiting a site with the purpose of learning about a product versus actually buying it. Some sites offer different interfaces depending on the user's behavior and this leads to improved user performance. Unfortunately, it does not reflect customer satisfaction, so it is not as effective as one might think. Companies must continue to design new programs that will not help them learn more about their customers and convince them to return. Unlike in a brick and mortar store, the business cannot have as much control of the purchasing process, so they must find other ways to make the experience effective and enjoyable.

Consumer Behavior in Web-Based Commerce: An Empirical Study
Marios Koufaris, Ajit Kambil and Priscilla Ann LaBarbera
International Journal of Electronic Commerce , Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter, 2001/2002), pp. 115-138
Published by: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27751014


  1. Security issue is the biggest problem that online shopper concerns about. If the website is not safe enough, shoppers are more willing to shop in brick store even though the product costs more in brick store than online store.

  2. I understand that security is a big issue, but in todays day and age, a consumer cannot be afraid of the internet to conduct business. Companies who take pains to keep their sight engaging and fresh will attract more repeat business. It may be hard for a company to keep everyone happy, but with word of mouth, maybe they can spread some positive vibes to others, so even if they are lost, another will jump in there place.