Online shopping is defined as a system, which allows consumers to purchase a real-time goods and services from a seller over the Internet by using a web browser . Online shopping can facilitate consumer shopping experience, by in one-hand saving effort and time and on the other hand, meet consumer demand for convenient shopping . Most online consumers are attracted by the convenience, timesaving and affordable prices of online shopping, and for the most of them are concerned about security and not knowing exactly what they are getting . In addition, researchers mentioned that online shopping lowers the cost of distribution and consumer search, thus lowering entry barriers and encouraging price competition . Other researchers highlighted that the time-saving issue and product-matching features of the online market can also support consumer enthusiasm to look up for price information, causing consumers to become more price-sensitive .
Multiples researches about online shopping behavior had emerged since last century. Some of those researchers deal with the main factors shaping online shopping by studying the effects of demographics, website attributes, and online shopping quality. Scholars claim that demographics affect attitudes on online purchases, channels, and shopping orientations, which affect buying decisions for online purchase frequency . Other researchers highlighted the behavioral, cognitive and affective motives for online purchases. Factors such as web search behavior, web shopping adaptions and attitudes are other studied factors affecting online purchase .
The frequency of purchase for online shopping is outlined as specific purchasing amount per specific time. Different consumers may purchase goods and services online regarding different factors. Moreover, researchers are found that online purchase frequency varies among countries. As an example, Chinese shoppers purchase online more than once a month . And on the other hand in the U.S, most of the shoppers browse once a month or more .
Payment is another topic when it comes to online shopping, mainly due to trust issues. Trust, which is defined by the Oxford dictionary as a firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something. Scholars had suggested that trust could lead to preference when shopping online. It is the case of Chen and Barnes that claim that online initial trust and familiarity with purchasing online have a positive effect on buying . Consumers have an important issue when it comes to online payment, the risk of exposing their private information and also a risk of fraud might occur to them. Online shopping consumers cannot control the security and safety of their personal information or credit card numbers . Payments online are made in one hand, by direct money transferring through national or international financial institutions mostly banks and in the other hand by cash on the delivery when the products or services are fully paid when the buyer received the items . Multiple surveys had also shown that online consumers are really anxious about sharing their personal information and credit cards online. Based on telephone interviews conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International in 2007, 75% of Internet users are either concerned (39%) or strongly concerned (36%) about sharing online their credit card numbers or private information . Another survey, such as the one done by Australia’s NSW Fair Trading reveals that the vast majority (88%) of online shoppers with no history of shopping online, cite security as the main concern .
Previous studies have defined that behavior is a multi-dimensional construct and has been conceptualized in different ways . Many scholars measure the consumer’s behavior through different dimensions. According to Gozukara et al. , the first dimension refers to consumer’s attitude towards a utilitarian motivation (convenience, variety seeking, and the quality of merchandise, cost benefit, and time effectiveness). The second dimension states about hedonic motivation (happiness, fantasy, escapism, awakening, sensuality ; enjoyment), and Baber et al. mentions the third one as perceived ease of use, and usefulness. Another dimension covers perceived risk, which determine consumer’s behavior towards online shopping.
Furthermore, Li & Zhang mentioned that there are two different types of perceived risk involved in determining consumer’s behavior during online shopping process. It is further described as the first category of perceived risk involved in online product and service i.e. financial risk, time risk, and product risk while the other category of perceived risk involved in e-transactions including privacy and security.
Many researchers argued that perceived risk like financial risk, product risk, non-delivery risk, time risk, privacy risk, information risk, social risk, and personal risk have a negative and significant effect on consumer’s online shopping behavior.
Another dimension of consumer’s behavior is trust and security on e-retailers, Monsuwe et al. suggested that positive shopping experience builds consumer’s trust on e-retailers and reduces the perceived risk.
Kumar & Dange suggested that there are two components of perceived risk that are involved in online shopping which are uncertainty and the significance of the consequences of particular purchase. Uncertainty is related to the possible outcomes of positive or negative behavior and undesired results of these consequences. Uncertainty is also linked with the possible loss of money while making a financial transaction for a particular product on the internet.
Furthermore, Adnan mentioned that the customers perceive different risk factors before transferring money to online merchant. These factors could be financial loss, security and privacy. Naiyi claimed that different dimensions of perceived risk such as e-retailer source risk, purchasing process & time loss risk, delivery risk, financial risk, product performance risk, asymmetric information risk, and privacy risk regarding online shopping intentions have negatively impacted consumer’s online shopping behavior.
Furthermore, the Internet business have created more competitive environment, understanding features of online shoppers’ behaviors have been more important. Moreover, it should be analyzed by online sellers that ‘why some still prefer not to buy online’ .
Consequently analyzing behaviors of online consumers have carried a crucial part for marketing science . Moreover, businesses and academics are aware of these issues critically therefore over years, increasingly many studies are represented.