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Consumers Online: Intentions, Orientations and Segmentation PDF Print E-mail
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Prof. Charles Dennis


Purpose – This paper examines the purchase intentions of online retail consumers, segmented by their purchase orientation.

Design/methodology/approach – An e-mail/web survey was addressed to a consumer panel concerning their online shopping experiences and motivations, n = 396.

Findings – It is empirically shown that consumer purchase orientations have no significant effect on their propensity to shop online. This contradicts the pervasive view that Internet consumers are principally motivated by convenience. It was found that aspects that do have a significant effect on purchase intention are prior purchase and gender.

Research limitations/implications – There are two limitations. First, the sample contained only UK Internet users, thus generalisations about the entire population of Internet users may be questionable. Second, in our measurement of purchase intentions, we did not measure purchase intent per se.

Practical implications – These findings indicate that consumer purchase orientations in both the traditional world and on the Internet are largely similar. Therefore, both academics and businesses are advised to treat the Internet as an extension to existing traditional activities brought about by advances in technology, i.e. the multi-channel approach.

Originality/value – The paper adds to the understanding of the purchase orientations of different clusters of e-consumers.

Keywords: Purchase intention, Purchase orientation, Internet, Internet retailing, Online retailing, Online shopping, e-Retailing, e-Shopping, Internet shopping

Citation: International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 35 (6): 515-599, 2007.