Consumers' decision-making process has been changed with the
introduction of the Internet as an alternative channel for shopping.
E-tailing or Internet retailing is the process of buying and selling
products, services, and information over computer networks (Turban, Lee,
King and Chung 2000). The new wave of consumerism coupled with
increasing urbanization and burgeoning middle class with paradigm shifts
in their demographic and psychographic dynamics have driven consumers
frequently to use retail websites to search for product information
and/or make a purchase of products. Presently, Internet retailing in
India is growing by 29 per cent CAGR and expected to be 48 per cent and
the same is valued as INR 27 billion by 2010 (Euro Monitor Retail
Report, 2007) from INR 4 billion in 2005-6 (Sinha and Kar 2007). Web
shopping is envisioned as an alternative retail channel for various
conspicuous reasons such as speed of transaction, selection and price,
convenience, time and space neutrality, choice, fun and enjoyment, easy
and comfortably obtained information about products and services (Rowley
1996; Donthu and Garcia 1999). But the Indian scenario is quite
different from that of the West. It has become difficult to discern the
ever-demanding and discriminating enigmatic consumer behaviour in the
globalized era. The internet customer is very hard to predict and is
different from the normal customer. The consumer behaviour in Internet
retailing is influenced by a variety of factors comprising
consumers' trust in Internet shop based on perceived size and
reputation of its physical store network, perceived privacy and quantum
of risk, perceptions of convenience as manifested by the opportunity to
shop at home for twenty-four hours in seven days a week (Hofacker 2001).
The web store environment and shopping enjoyment mostly influence
shoppers' behavioural intentions (Dailey and Heath 1999). Empirical
studies show that good customer service positively influences the
overall evaluation of products (Babin et al. 1995) and contributes to
satisfaction with the purchase experience and future purchase intentions
(Taylor and Baker 1994). Empirical studies in the recent past indicate
that many online firms still do not completely understand the needs and
behaviour of the online consumer (Lee 2002) while many of them '...
continue to struggle with how effectively to market and sell products
online' (Joines et al. 2003: 93). Since Internet retailing has
become an alternative channel for shoppers as well as retailers in the
changing trends of Indian retail environment, understanding Internet
consumer behaviour has assumed significance and emerged as a focal
research area for academicians and marketers. The objective of the
present study is to explore the determinants of web shopper behaviour,
and the study empirically examines the influence of determinants such as
convenience, web store environment, shopping enjoyment, customer
service, and trust on willingness to buy and patronage of online retail
stores. The structure of the study is as follows: first, the
introduction followed by review of relevant literature, research
methodology, statistical results and discussions, marketing
implications, limitations and future research, summary and suggestions,
and lastly references.
Review of Literature
The interactive nature of the Internet and web offers opportunities
galore to increase the efficiency of Internet shopping behaviour by
improving the availability of product information, enabling direct
multi-attribute comparisons, and reducing buyer search costs (Alba et
al. 1997). Review of existing empirical studies has revealed that
consumers have multiple concerns that influence their behaviour. Fears
and concerns, real or perceived, inhibit online consumers'
purchasing decisions and are relevant in their decision process (Rao
2006). Moreover, a survey by Donthu and Garcia (1999) indicate that
online shoppers are more impulsive than others. In these circumstances,
as these have the ability to explain and predict consumers' online
purchase behaviour, the literature survey has been done to identify and
understand them that will provide insights into consumers' online
purchase behaviour. The present review of literature lays focus on
several determinants (such as convenience, web store environment, web
shopping enjoyment, customer service, and trust) of consumer behaviour
towards willingness to buy and patronage of e-tail stores.
Convenience in E-tailing
Convenience is one of the key factors influencing consumer
behaviour in e-tailing. According to Hofacker (2001), consumers'
perceptions of convenience as manifested by the opportunity to shop at
home twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week is expected to
influence the adoption of online retail stores. In this time-crunched
environment of today with multiple-earner households, a 'person
living in Florida can shop at Harod's in London (through the web)
in less time than it takes to visit the local Burdines department
store' (Alba et al. 1997: 41). Since consumers rarely visit
multiple physical retail stores prior to purchase (Childers et al.
2001), interactive shopping can lower the costs of acquiring
pre-purchase product information while at the same time increase search
benefits by providing a broader array of product alternatives at a small
incremental cost (Bakos 1991). These benefits in the reduction of search
costs accrue particularly when the consumer is under time pressure
(Beatty and Smith 1987) making the accessibility advantage of
interactive shopping especially advantageous to consumers. This
convenience in interactive shopping increases search efficiency through
the ability to shop at home, by eliminating such frustrations as
fighting traffic and looking for a parking space, and avoiding long
checkout lines, while also offering single-stop shopping that eliminates
travel to and from a variety of stores (Childers et al. 2001). Consumers
who perceive the online environment as offering greater convenience by
reducing shopping's psychological costs are more likely to consider
online retail stores for purchase of products and services and intend to
patronize online retail stores. Hence, the following hypotheses are
H1a Consumer perceptions of convenience positively affect consumer
behaviour on willingness to buy from online retail stores.
H1b Consumer perceptions of convenience positively impact consumer
behaviour on patronage of online retail stores.
Web Store Environment
Retail store environment plays a dominant role in influencing
consumer behaviour. During the last few years, retail stores over the
Internet have considerably evolved to satisfy the increasing consumer
needs while serving varying customer behaviours. It is observed from
previous research studies that positive and pleasing store environment
enhances a shopper's engagement in the shopping activity (Kim et
al. 2007). A positive link between store environment and consumers'
affective states of pleasure and arousal has been empirically supported
(Sherman et al. 1997). Similarly, Yoo et al. (1998) found that
consumer's emotional responses were induced by the store
environment. In terms of e-tailing, web store atmospherics significantly
influence shoppers' behavioural intentions through altering
consumer affect (Dailey and Heath 1999). Moreover, web store layout
producing easy navigation leads to a higher level of online
entertainment (Vrechopoulos et al. 2004). Bitner (1992) conceptualized a
positive association between 'servicescapes' and approach
behaviour (e.g., desire to stay). Previous research reveals that web
atmospherics influence the shopper's attitude, satisfaction, and
approach/avoidance behaviours towards the online retailer, mediated by
emotions (Eroglu et al. 2003). Another web atmospherics study showed a
positive linkage between website quality and shoppers' behavioural
intentions (i.e., return to the store) (Lynch et al. 2002). Richard
(2005) also found that navigational characteristics of the website are
positively related to visitor's exploratory behaviours on the site.
Novak et al (2000) found a positive influence of website characteristics
on the cognitive and emotional states of the consumer while shopping
online. Thus, consumers may have more desire to stay when the online
retailer has more pleasing atmospherics. Hence, the following hypotheses
H2a Web store environment positively affects consumer behaviour on
willingness to buy from online retail stores.
H2b Online store environment positively impacts consumer behaviour
on patronage of online retail stores.
Web Shopping Enjoyment
Besides the greater convenience and pleasing web environment, web
shopping enjoyment also highly influences consumer behaviour towards
e-tailing. In-store retail formats provide more benefits to consumers
than simply having merchandise readily available and helping them to buy
it. It is indeed a place for entertainment and social interaction and
can be a stimulating experience for some people. As against this,
Internet retail formats are limited in the degree to which they can
satisfy these entertainment and social needs (Levy and Weitz 2001).
However, with increasing advances in technology and communication,
Internet retailers are creating the most attractive and inventive web
pages and video clips which are as exciting as the displays and
activities in a Disney or Nike town store (Levy and Weitz 2001:84). Some
of the auction sites like eBay.com are making shopping a real game of
chance and treasure hunt and making shopping a fun and entertainment
(Berman and Evans 2002). Dailey and Heath (1999) find that website
atmospherics significantly influence shoppers' behavioural
intentions through altering consumer affect, especially pleasure. More
recent online atmospherics research demonstrate that there is a positive
relationship between the design of website and pleasure experienced by
online shoppers of apparel products (Mummalaneni 2005). The quality of
the shopping experience has been found to have a significant effect on
shopping intentions (Swinyard 1993). Recent studies provide evidence
that pleasure experienced from online shopping has a direct effect on
approach responses towards online shopping (Eroglu et al. 2003; Fiore et
al. 2005). Menon and Kahn (2002) found that consumers who experienced
higher levels of pleasure from the Internet site exhibited higher levels
of approach responses towards the online retail site, including store
patronage intentions. In addition, Koufaris et al. (2001-2) concluded
that enjoyment from product search functions influenced new web
customers to return to the site. Hence, the following hypotheses are
H3a There is a significant impact of web shopping enjoyment on
consumer behaviour towards willingness to buy from online retail stores.
H3b There is a positive relationship between shopping enjoyment and
patronage intention towards an online retail store.
Customer Service in E-tailing
Customer service generally refers to organization's ability to
meet customers' needs and wants (Howardell 2003), but meaning of
customer service varies to a great extent depending on customers and
situations. Interactive service is an important aspect of online stores
(Jarvenpaa and Todd 1997). Previous research supports the critical role
of a sales person on customers' satisfaction (Babin et al. 1995).
Extensive personal contact between a sales person and a customer is the
essential requirement and nature of retailing and this interpersonal
interaction is significant, because it may affect customer perception of
quality of service, satisfaction with a purchase experience, and future
purchase intentions (Ibid.). However, a sales person who serves
customers at traditional retail stores is generally not present at
virtual stores, even though online shoppers may expect and need customer
services and assistance similar to what they can receive in store
shopping. Online shopping can be a difficult and frustrating experience
without a salesperson's assistance (Levy 2000). Some customer
service issues (such as facilitating information flow, facilitating the
planning process, dealing with automated process, and providing shopping
support) are particularly important in internet retailing (Berman and
Evans 2002). According to Hermes (2000), 72 per cent of the online
shoppers responded that customer service is a critical factor in
shopping satisfaction. Additionally, Datamonitor reported that 7.8 per
cent of online transactions initiated by consumers are abandoned because
of poor customer service (Ibid.: 7). Customer service should be
considered a high priority as it impacts the long-term relationship
between the customer and Internet retailer (Harris and Goode 2004). In
this study, it is proposed that attitude towards online customer service
is a function of one's salient beliefs about online customer
service. A consumer's salient beliefs about customer service may be
largely influenced by their previous service experiences in traditional
retail stores and other retail formats both in the presence and absence
of a sales person (Minjeong and Leslie 2005). Hence, attitude towards
online customer service may reflect the relative importance of various
online customer services desired or expected by online shoppers. The
more an individual believes that specific online customers will lead to
positive outcomes such as a satisfactory shopping experience, the more
favourable his or her attitude will be towards online customer service.
In Internet retailing, the more favourable the attitudes towards online
customer service, the more likely one is willing to purchase and
patronize the particular retail store (Taylor and Baker 1994).
Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed:
H4a Customer service positively impacts consumer behaviour towards
willingness to buy from online retail stores.
H4b Customer service positively influences consumer behaviour
towards patronage of online retail stores.
Trust in E-tailing
Online trust is one of the issues researchers, as well as
practitioners, frequently associate with the success or failure of
online ventures. While many researchers do not see any fundamental
differences between the traditional and online buying behaviour, it is
often argued that a new step has been added to the online buying
process--the step of building trust or confidence (Liebermann and
Stashevsky 2002; McKnight et al. 2002). According to Harris Interactive
Inc. (2001) around 70 per cent of the US web users are seriously
concerned about the safety of their personal information, transaction
security, and misuse of private consumer data because of hacking, fraud,
spam, and online scams frequently raising security concerns as well as
scepticism and mistrust. The physical distance, lack of personal
contact, and the anonymity of the Internet are also factors further
increasing the consumers' anxiety and risk perceptions. The
multidimensional character of online trust makes it a complicated issue
and despite considerable research attention several online trust issues
are still very little explored. A study by Grabner-Krauter and Kaluscha
(2003) underlines the complexity of this subject. Based on an extensive
review of research work done in this field these researchers identified
trust constructs reflecting '... both institutional phenomena
(system trust) and personal and interpersonal forms of trust
(dispositional trust, trusting beliefs, trusting intentions and
trust-related behaviors ...' (Grabner-Krauter and Kaluscha 2003:
783). Trust and perceived risk (Jarvenpaa et al. 2000; Ruyter et al.
2001) have been widely investigated in the study of consumer online
purchase intention. Consumers' perceived or real lack of trust and
online privacy in giving personal information and security for payment
through credit card transactions influences shoppers' behaviour
towards willingness to buy and patronize online retail store (Whysall
2000). Transaction security and customer data safety are principle
concerns of online customer purchasing products or services
(Constantinides 2004). But these security risks have not arisen in
actual usage because almost all Internet retailers use sophisticated
technologies to encrypt communications (Caragata 1999: 34). The
perception of risk is diminishing as credit card companies promote the
use of their cards on the Internet and inform customers that the latter
will not be responsible for security lapses (Idbi.: 35). Hence, the
following hypotheses are developed:
H5a Trust positively affects the consumer behaviour towards
willingness to buy from online retail stores.
H5b Trust positively affects the consumer behaviour towards
patronage of online retail stores.
The present study is an empirical enquiry into the influence of
consumer behaviour towards willingness to buy and patronage of
electronic retail stores. The construction of research framework is
shown in Figure 1. The study is purely based on primary data as well as
necessary secondary data to reinforce the model. The population of the
study was online retail customers in the city of greater Hyderabad
(India). For data collection purposes, the researcher approached online
customers who were all employees from five major software companies in
Hyderabad. The purpose of selecting software employees is based on the
assumptions that they are cash-rich and time-poor and also the fact of
their association of interactivity with Internet and websites. Besides,
it is also more convenient for busy double income group (both wife and
husband are employees). A total of 200 customers were surveyed through
simple random technique for testing the hypotheses. All participants met
the requirement of having previous experience of purchasing products
through the Internet. A total of 150 respondents completed and returned
the questionnaire. This is a 75 per cent response rate. Out of this,
only 135 were usable as the remaining fifteen were rendered unusable
because of incomplete data.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
A structured non-disguised questionnaire containing customer's
demographic profile and measures estimated by using dichotomous
questions, multiple-choice questions, seven-point Likert-type scales (1:
'strongly disagree' to 7: 'strongly agree'), and
open-ended questions was administered to the respondents. It was framed
in a prearranged order with variables adopted from different sources for
the purpose of primary data. To measure the online store perception
variable, five items were adopted from Wakefield and Baker (1998) and
modified to suit the Indian online retailing. To measure the convenience
of shopping variable, the scale consisted of three items. Online store
environment consists of four items adopted from Mummalaneni (2005) and
Eroglu et al. (2003). To measure online shopping enjoyment variable, six
items were adopted from Zaichkowsky (1985). Trust variable consisted of
five items adopted from (Cheung and Lee 2001). Customer service variable
consisted of seven items adopted from E-Retail intelligence program
(Retail Forward Inc. 2001). And lastly, to assess the willingness to buy
and patronage intention towards an online retail store, six items were
adopted from Wakefield and Baker (1998), Fiore and Jin (2003), and Kim
and Stoel (2005). The secondary data were collected from various
national and international journals, reports, textbooks, and websites.
Various statistical tools and techniques like mean, standard deviation,
correlations, regression analysis, t-tests, and analysis of variance
were applied through SPSS 14.0 version to predict relationships among
Statistical Results and Discussions
A review of the online customers' demographic profile reveals
that 58.5 per cent of the respondents were male and rest 41.5 percent
were female. Sixty-eight per cent of the respondents were between
twenty-five and thirty-five years of age, 24 per cent were between
thirty-five and forty-five and 8 per cent were over forty-six years old.
Seventy per cent of the respondents were graduates and the rest 30 per
cent were postgraduates. The average number of years of computer
experience was 5.8 and the median was 4.5. The average number of years
of Internet experience was nine and median was seven. Participants
reported spending an average of 3.2 hours per week on all types of
shopping activities. Seventy-four per cent of the respondents had
purchased products from an online store. Twenty-six per cent visited
online stores but not purchased any product. Forty-eight per cent of the
respondents had purchased more than once from online stores. Most of the
participants (63 per cent) reported that they had purchased consumer
durables like computers--both desktops and laptops, cell phones, and CD
players. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents purchased consumer
durables, apparels and books. All the respondents had income above Rs
25,000 per month. Participants, thus, were familiar with using computers
and particularly interactive shopping on the web. These results also
proved that respondents had a significant level of willingness to buy
and patronage of online retail stores. The statistical tool
'correlation' was used to examine the strength and direction
of relationship among all five predictor variables (Convenience-CON, Web
Store Environment-WENV, Web Shopping Enjoyment-WENJ, Customer
Service-CS, and Trust-TRS) and two outcome variables like Willingness to
Buy-WTB and Patronage of Online Retail Store-PAT. The statistical
significance of correlation was indicated with double asterisk marks for
significance less than 0.05 and single asterisk marks for significance
less than 0.1. The mean, standard deviation, and correlation among the
variables are shown in Table 1. The internal consistency of the
instrument was tested through reliability analysis. Reliability
estimates (Cronbach's Alpha) for the construct's variables
are: Convenience (0.86), Store environment (0.78), Shopping enjoyment
(0.72), Customer service (0.70), Trust (0.68), Willingness to buy
(0.78), and Patronage of online retail store (0.72), revealing a high
degree of reliability. All reliability estimates were well above 0.60,
the lower limit of acceptability (Hair et al. 1998).
Regression Analysis of Convenience, Store Environment, Shopping
Enjoyment, Customer Service and Trust and Willingness to Buy from Online
The hypotheses of association between variable influencing consumer
behaviour and willingness to buy from online retail stores were tested
by hierarchical multiple regression analysis. The results are analysed
to show that convenience, store environment, shopping enjoyment,
customer service, and trust contribute significantly and predict 49 per
cent ([R.sup.2]= 0.49) of variation in willingness to buy towards online
store as reflected in Table 2. The corresponding ANOVA values for the
regression model shown in Table 2 indicate significant predictors of
willingness to buy from online retail stores: F (5,129) = 24.832,
p<0.001. The coefficient summaries as shown in Table 3 reveal Beta
values of Convenience (CON) = 0.281, p< 0.01, Web Shopping Enjoyment
(WENJ) = 0.268, p<0.05, Web Store Environment (WENV) = 0.183, p<
0.01, Customer Service (CS) = 0.167, p<0.05 and Trust (TRS) = 0.105,
p>0.05 which have conspicuous impact on willingness to buy from
online stores. Here, convenience (CON) has emerged as a major
influencing variable followed by shopping enjoyment, store environment,
customer service, and trust. All predictor variables except trust have
significant impact on willingness to buy from online retail stores. The
positive sign of the estimates show that the greater the extent of these
variables, the more is the willingness to buy from online retail stores.
Thus, there is validity for hypotheses H1a, H2a, H3a and H4a. But in the
case of the fifth variable, trust is insignificant though Beta
coefficient is positive. Hence, the hypothesis H5a is rendered invalid
as its p-value is more than 0.05.
The convenience factor created by time and space neutrality has
direct and positive effect on consumer behaviour towards willingness to
buy products from Internet retail stores. Empirical research supports
that interactive shopping increases search efficiency through ability to
shop at home, by eliminating such problems as travel time to go for
shopping, facing the irritating sales people, long checkout lines, and
parking space problems. The findings also support the perceptions of
online store environment and shopping enjoyment having direct and
positive influence on consumer behaviour towards willingness to buy from
online retail stores. These results confirm the consistency with
previous research (Donovan et al. 1994; Eroglu et al. 2003).
Consumers' attitude towards online customer service is positively
related to willingness to buy from online retail stores. In spite of
absence of human factor in customer service, web shoppers are content
with online services. But in the case of trust, the consumers'
attitude and behaviour are indifferent towards willingness to buy from
online stores because of lack of adequate trust in privacy of their
personal information and security in online payment transactions.
Regression Analysis of Convenience, Store Environment, Shopping
Enjoyment, Customer Service, and Trust and Patronage of Online Stores
The results of the regression analysis shown in Table 4 prove that
convenience, online shopping enjoyment, store environment, customer
service, and trust contribute and predict 41.9 per cent ([R.sup.2]=
0.419) of the variation in the patronage of online retail stores. The
corresponding ANOVA values for the regression model shown in Table 4
indicate significant predictors of patronage towards online retail
stores: F (5,129) = 18.630, p<0.001. The coefficient summaries as
shown in Table 5 reveal Beta values of Convenience (CON) = 0.249, p<
0.05, Web Shopping Enjoyment (WENJ) = 0.231, p<0.05, Web Store
Environment (WENV) = 0.180, p< 0.05, Customer Service (CS) = 0.122,
p>0.05 and Trust (TRS) = 0.102, p>0.05, which have conspicuous
impact on consumer behaviour towards patronage of online retail stores.
Here also, convenience (CON) has emerged as a major influencing variable
followed by shopping enjoyment, store environment, customer service, and
trust. All predictor variables except customer service and trust has
significantly correlated and influenced consumer behaviour towards
patronage of online retail stores. The positive sign of the estimates
show that the greater the extent of these variables, the more
inclination towards patronage of online retail stores. Thus, there is
validity for hypotheses H1b, H2b, and H3b. But in the case of the fourth
variable (customer service) and the fifth variable (trust), both these
are insignificant though their Beta coefficients are positive. Hence,
hypotheses H4b and H5b are rendered invalid as their p-values are more
Consumers' behaviour towards patronage of online retail stores
is highly influenced by convenience, web shopping enjoyment, and web
store environment. These three variables had a direct and positive
impact on creating shopping involvement and intention of patronage
towards online retail stores. These results confirmed the previous
empirical findings for patronage of online retail stores (Menon and Kahn
2002; Wakefield and Baker 1998). Consumers' behaviour towards
customer service provided by Internet retailers is indifferent and
insignificant towards patronage of online retail stores. Moreover,
consumers become pessimistic towards patronage of online stores because
of lack of ease in searching and comparison shopping, lack of
availability of personalized shopping and product updates, and lack of
availability of in-stock status information. Consumers' perceived
trust levels towards online retail stores are very low. Lack of
consumers' trust in privacy and safety regarding passing on
personal information and security in online payment transactions hold
back consumers towards patronage of online retail stores forever.
The empirical analysis and findings of the present study have
yielded important insights and implications for online retailers and
marketers. Convenience factor has emerged as the prime determinant in
both willingness to buy and patronage of online stores. Since Internet
retailing is a nascent state and still in the stage of evolution in
India, online retailers need to adopt advanced web technology in order
to increase the ease and convenience for navigation of products and
services. The findings also prove that web store environment and web
shopping enjoyment are crucial for increasing customer satisfaction.
Online apparel retailers may adopt a higher level of 3D virtual
technology model to enhance product examination and improve consumer
perceptions of the web store environment. Since word-of-mouth
communication spreads very fast through Internet, online retailers may
exercise caution in implanting customer service aspects which are
pivotal for influencing consumer attitudinal and behavioural changes
towards willingness to buy and patronage of online retail stores.
Consumers' trust levels are very low towards online retailers. It
is a great challenge for online retailers to convince and persuade
online customers about the issues related to the privacy and security of
personal information and mode of payment. Online retailers need to adopt
integrated mechanism in order to enhance consumers trust in safeguarding
their personal information and avoidance of misuse of credit card mode
Limitations and Future Research
Although the objectives of the present study were fully met, a few
limitations were identified in the course of this study. The limitations
of empirical research provide the foundation for continued research to
improve the understanding of the factors leading to consumer behaviour
and use of interactive retail shopping.
* Firstly, the present study focused on a narrow demographic
representation of software employees in leading software companies in
Hyderabad. This could limit the generalization of findings and
inferences to the entire online consumers. This creates an ideal
opportunity to consider more diverse demographic groups of online retail
consumers for the purpose of the study.
* Since customer satisfaction and customer service are cardinal for
understanding the attitudinal and behavioural changes towards patronage
of online retail stores, customer satisfaction variable is to be
included in future research for appropriate measurement of patronage
* Limited variables were used in the present study. This has
created an opportunity for future research in this area by using other
variables such as responsiveness, reliability, assurance, tangibility,
navigation, incentives and rewards, web atmospherics, web store design,
and online store perceptions.
* Other statistical tools like factor analysis could be used in
future research for clear analysis of factors influencing consumer
behaviour. And Chi-square could be used in analysing the test of
independence and goodness of fit for the demographic factors influencing
consumer behaviour towards Internet retail outlets.
* Though the sample size is acceptable, it is indeed required to be
increased to the maximum so as to get the exact attitudinal and
behavioural perceptions towards Internet retailing and further
generalization and inference of the findings to the whole population
* Future research is required to clearly assess consumer behaviour
by collecting representative multi-city and/or cross-country data.
Summary and Suggestions
E-tailing is an emergent area as an attractive alternative to the
organized brick-and-mortar stores. Continuous innovation and adoption of
novel technologies will drive the growth of Internet retailing as
today's web shoppers are more discriminating and demanding. This
empirical study investigated the impact of consumer behaviour towards
willingness to buy and patronage of online retail stores. Some important
mind-boggling revelations have been made by using the responses provided
by 135 online retail customers in Hyderabad. The study finds that
convenience, online store environment, shopping enjoyment, customer
service, and trust are vital in influencing consumer behaviour towards
willingness to buy and patronage of online retail stores. It is observed
that customer service and trust levels are low and there is an urgent
need to address the concerns of online retailers in this regard. Some of
the suggestions, that this research study has observed for the fledgling
e-tailing in India are:
1. E-tailing in India can be a success if the e-tailers change
their business models and understand their consumers' behaviour.
E-tailers should create economic value for the customer rather than a
2. Lack of trust and privacy concerns prevent a lot of consumers
from making online purchases. It is the need of the hour for e-tailers
to adopt security measures and inculcate a sense of trust among online
shoppers that data provided during online transactions will not be
3. Adequate attention needs to be paid towards customer service,
distribution, and logistics and these should be integrated seamlessly
not only with the company's existing website, but the
company's entire operations, online and offline.
4. Other service features such as free return shipping, alerting
customers of their order status through email and recommending other
products that they may genuinely be interested in (cross-selling and
up-selling) are the means to customers' delight and loyalty.
5. Online retail stores do not have standardized designs in
comparison to the physical retail stores and product catalogues.
Therefore, different user behaviours (navigation schemes) need to be
learned for each e-tail store in order to avoid navigation hiccups.
6. Since shopping is still a 'touch-feel-hear
experience', e-tailers need to create such environment as it is in
physical store by creating novel web designs and portals, sophisticated
web atmospherics, e-mail updates, and live interaction over the
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Ch. J. S. Prasad * A.R. Aryasri **
* Research Scholar, School of Management Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru
Technological University, Hyderabad (India). Email:
** Professor and Director, School of Management Studies, Jawaharlal
Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (India). E-mail:
Table 1: Descriptive statistics and correlations of convenience,
web shopping enjoyment, web store environment, customer service,
trust, and willingness to buy and patronage of online stores
Sl. No. Variable Mean SD
1 CON 4.03 .61
2 WENJ 3.97 .62
3 WENV 3.88 .65
4 CS 3.73 .69
5 TRS 3.54 .72
6 WTB 4.05 .61
7 PAT 3.98 .64
Sl. No. 1 2 3
2 .736 ** 1.000
3 .652 ** .568 ** 1.000
4 .389 ** .335 ** .316 **
5 .219 ** .268 ** .212 **
6 .634 ** .519 ** .345 **
7 .536 ** .508 ** .337 **
Sl. No. 4 5 6 7
5 .198 * 1.000
6 .265 ** .185 * 1.000
7 .198 * .164 * .725 ** 1.000
* Correlation is significant at the 0.1 level (2-tailed).
** Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Table 2: Regression model and ANOVA summary for willingness to
buy as dependent variable reliability assessment
Adjusted of the
Model R R Square R Square Estimate
1 .700 (a) .490 .471 .458
Model R Square F Sig. F
Change Change df1 df2 Change
1 .490 24.832 5 129 .000
(a.) Predictors: (Constant), CON, WENJ, WENV, CS, and TRS
(b.) Dependent Variable: WTB
Table 3: Coefficient summaries for willingness to buy as
Model B Std Error
1 (Constant) 0.676 0.034
CON 0.269 0.099
WENJ 0.268 0.104
WENV 0.153 0.056
CS 0.157 0.067
TRS 0.105 0.045
Coefficients t-value Sig.
1 (Constant) 1.987 0.049
CON 0.281 2.717 0.007
WENJ 0.268 2.579 0.011
WENV 0.183 2.737 0.007
CS 0.167 2.354 0.020
TRS 0.105 1.548 0.127
(a.) Dependent Variable: WTB
Table 4: Regression model and ANOVA summary for patronage for
online store as dependent variable reliability assessment
R Adjusted of the
Model R Square R Square Estimate
1 .648 (a) .419 .397 .50552
R Square F df1 df2 Sig. F
Model Change Change Change
1 .419 18.630 5 129 .000
(a.) Predictors: (Constant), CON, SENJ, SENV, CS, and TRS
(b.) Dependent Variable: PATR
Table 5: Coefficient summaries for patronage for online store
as dependent variable
Coefficients Std Error
1 (Constant) 0.777 0.376
CONV 0.247 0.109
WENJ 0.239 0.115
WENV 0.158 0.062
CS 0.163 0.059
TRS 0.095 0.051
Coefficients t-value Sig.
1 (Constant) 2.668 0.041
CONV 0.249 2.258 0.026
WENJ 0.231 2.081 0.039
WENV 0.180 2.554 0.012
CS 0.122 1.789 0.905
TRS 0.102 1.653 0.101
(a.) Dependent Variable: PATR