Research Article: 2019 Vol: 18 Issue: 5
Jorge Figueiredo, North Lusíada University
António Cardoso, University Fernando Pessoa
Margarida Pocinho, Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra
Pedro Rodrigues, North Lusíada University
Isabel Oliveira, North Lusíada University
Attitudes, Behaviour, Motivations, Online Shopping, Internet, Satisfaction.
The Internet provides a personalized interactivity, which is increasingly multimediatic, since it can incorporate new combinations of text, images, moving images and sound.
The relationship between companies and customers through digital platforms has acquired a new meaning, enabling a rapid and precise response to the content of certain information or comment. Clients can immediately and interactively communicate with the company or add complementary facts. This system of an interactive experience exchange between the participants allows the user to decide, reacting actively and intervening critically. The transfer of competences, in which the audience provides information about the products, according to their intentions, allows the creation and segmentation of products following their image.
The new digital technologies have imposed certain forms of commercialization on the market, which, in turn, lead to different types of online behaviours. These customer relationships on the Internet are undoubtedly driven by motivations that encourage the consumer to establish an interactive relationship with companies and their products (Chen et al., 2017; Hellier et al., 2003; Ramkumar & Woo, 2018)
A significant range of studies related to consumer shopping motivations which focus exclusively on utilitarian perspectives, consolidated by rational shopping experiences, have already been published. Currently, there is a tendency for the phenomenon of emotional satisfaction in the Internet shopping process, such as pleasure, aesthetics, emotion and fun as motivations for additional purchases, to be studied as well. Korgaonkar & Wolin (1999) studied consumers’ positive attitudes (motivations) and negative attitudes (resistances or concerns) about the Internet, based on the theory of gratification, and on the studies on the benefits that consumers acquire through the media.
This observation concluded that various types of motivations and resistances regarding the Internet have a direct relation with the demographic characteristics of the users. There are five favorable motivations or attitudes that are related to the characteristics of the Internet: “Social escapism” that has to do with the desire to abstract from the physical world by performing entertaining and enjoyable activities on the Web that awaken feelings and emotions; the satisfaction of the information and education needs, in an easy, fast and economic way; the control over the online environment, enabling the client to decide what to see, when, how, where and with which company / product he can interact and that interactivity allows him a customized experience, and can provide a greater bonus; the socialization provided by the relationship on the web; the need to purchase goods and services through the possibility of comparing high value goods before making a decision to purchase the product (Dermentzi & Papagiannidis, 2018; Papacharissi & Rubin, 2000; Solomon et al., 2008).
The theory of the three needs (need for achievement, affiliation and power) is the model that best supports the motivations of buying and accessing the Internet. The needs of achievement refer to the will to achieve something difficult to access that requires a pattern of success, mastery of complex tasks and overcoming others. This characteristic belongs to consumers, who in addition to individual success also have pretensions to gain recognition of the group. With regard to the needs of affiliation, they are associated with the will to establish relationships, friendships and avoid conflicts. These needs are of a social nature and empathic approach that go beyond professional practice. As for the needs for power, there is the will expressed in individuals, of leadership, of having authority and influencing or controlling others.
According to Lendrevie et al. (1980) the analysis of purchasing behaviour at the level of individual variables has three main approaches: perceptions, needs and motivations; attitudes; psychological characteristics of the individual. In the perception, the subject selects the sensations, organizes them and interprets them; according to their needs, filters what they consider relevant to the purchase, in order to perceive what will be most appropriate for their claims.
The knowledge of this motivational problem is fundamental to the applicability of the persuasive techniques that companies can implement with online consumers, when they use the animation and creativity in the creation of the website (Papacharissi & Rubin, 2000).
The motivation can be triggered when the stimulus has personal importance and is involved in the life of the consumer. It is influenced by specific values, goals and needs. The values watch over their conduct and guide the interest of the information, so that it meets its principles; the objectives are specific to a particular behaviour or action and correspond to what is intended to be achieved in a given situation; the needs, which are the internal forces that create tension in individuals, and each need presents a level of equilibrium that corresponds to a state of satisfaction. It is the driving force that stimulates action and reflects intention, but it is not the fulfillment of goal or action itself (Childers et al., 2001; Edbring et al., 2016; Schiffman & Schiffman, 2000).
When the need is discovered, the motivation can be either utilitarian (linked with product functionality) or hedonic (related to multisensory, emotional, fantasy, or experience aspects). Hedonic or intrinsic value is the measure of a consumer's pleasure in researching a product and/or buying it (Yeo et al., 2017).
It is these motivations that will determine each consumer's use of the Internet. But when a disagreement is created between the present state and the desired state, a tension is created that defines the need or urgency of the consumer to satisfy the need. This same need is conditioned by many factors inherent in their experiences and values imposed by their culture (Shapiro et al., 2017; Solomon et al., 2008; Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001). E-commerce interactivity promotes utility actions, ease of information search, and lower search costs. However, there is an increasing tendency for individuals to value entertainment-related aspects more during online shopping and research, effectively adhering to hedonic consumption (Howie et al., 2018).
Unlike utilitarian consumers, who are more concerned with an efficient and hassle reduction purchase, the hedonic buyers give emphasis to the pursuit of pleasure, fun and fantasy. The utilitarian online shopping buyers are looking for a purchase process that stresses the performance of the website based on the services obtained while accessing the website, highlighting its value and usefulness when accomplishing their needs. This form of relationship seeks the purchase efficiency and enhances the feelings of control and freedom in the choice of its products (Howie et al., 2018; Jeong & Lambert, 2001).
Since the hedonic behaviours seek high levels of entertainment, it often drives them to time and again exploit the websites. The positive stimuli provided by the research process are frequently more important than the product acquisition and the greater the positive impact on the consumer’s mood, the higher the levels of satisfaction and the possibility of impulse buying. The hedonic aspect has more affluence to websites where the client has a continuous visual motivation and look for the unpredictability, exclusiveness, enthusiasm, socialization / community and involvement (Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001).
Arnold & Reynolds (2003) identify six types of hedonic motivation categories: adventure (shopping is stimulating); buy for self-gratification (shopping is a way to relieve stress); buy for others (I like to buy for others, because when they feel good, I feel good too); buy value (I like to buy when there are discounts); social (I go shopping with friends or relatives to socialize); avant-garde (I like to buy to keep abreast of news).
Whereas there are two motivational ways of turning to websites, it should be considered that there may be consumer involvement in activities that have both utilitarian and hedonic motivations, and both can bring benefits to the user while selecting the product (Carrera, 2018; De Farias et al., 2008; Sihi & Lawson, 2018).
The proximity between the company and the client appears as one of the most important elements to create consumer satisfaction. As Kotler (2003) points out, if the organization does not care about the customer, someone else will do it for them.
Munari et al. (2013) indicate that customer satisfaction is the best way to assess the relationship with the market and a means of constant monitoring of operational policies, which will be decisive for their reputation. There are several factors that determine the Internet browsing experience, such as speed and ease of use. In this sense, based on experience, the higher the satisfaction, the greater will be the willingness to repeat purchases on the same site (Mittal & Kamakura, 2001; Wang et al., 2018).
In addition, the content of the site, the quality and the way the products or services are presented, the clarity of the pages, the utility of the store, the interactivity with the customer, the convenience of use and the selection of available products are also important (Mittal & Kamakura, 2001; O’Sullivan & McCallig, 2012; Wang et al., 2018; Ho & Bodoff, 2014). All in all, the main objective of this study was to know the behaviour of the Portuguese online consumers, in terms of attitudes, motivations and satisfaction.
As a basic methodology, the instrument used was an online structured questionnaire, consisting mostly of multiple-choice questions. The study sample was developed in the national virtual territory (Portugal) between September and December of 2018. According to the main objective of this study which is to evaluate the Portuguese online consumer behaviour, it seeks to identify the motivations for online shopping, to evaluate the consumer's perception of the strategies used by the companies present in the digital platforms and to evaluate the consumer satisfaction.
Therefore, a structured questionnaire was developed, which was applied to a sample of 25 consumers (pre-test) in order to evaluate the functionality and possible problems in the application of the survey (Hill & Hill, 2008). The questionnaire was developed based on the literature, contemplating the following dimensions: attitudes and motivations of the online consumer. From the development of the variables and their respective indicators, a questionnaire was developed and made available on the Google doc’s platform, which was validated for the composition of the database, to be used by the statistical software and applied in the data analysis.
To evaluate motivations/reasons for online purchase, the Arnold & Reynolds scale (2003) was used; To et al. (2007). To evaluate the advantages of online shopping, the scales of To et al. (2007); Crespo & Del Bosque (2010) and Ganesh et al. (2010) that identify the advantages associated with price, variety, product quality, convenience, compatibility, access to information, fun and, negatively, irritability (Ducoffe, 1996). In order to evaluate e-satisfaction the scale was adapted from Ho & Lee (2007) and Kim et al. (2009).
Respondents indicated the degree of importance, regarding the prepositions presented, using a five-point Likert scale (1 to 5), where “1” means “totally disagree” and “5” strongly agree, of each component indicator of the pre-established model. The questionnaires were made available online, and data was collected between February and May 2018.
In general, the study population is made up of Internet users, without any restrictions. For the present research it was agreed that a margin of error of ± 5% with 95% confidence is enough as a basis for the decision, which will be taken in function of the results of the research, and it was concluded that with only 400 respondents a representative sample of the universe can be found.
405 respondents participated in the study of the 400 initially planned; being the average age of 31 ± 13.9 years (Table 1). The distribution by sex, by profession and by hours of Internet use can be observed in the table. It should be noted that the majority (199) of the respondents are students (49.1%) and 61 are teachers (15.1%), all of them acquainted with the Internet and generally collaborate in research works. It should be highlighted that most respondents use the Internet more than 4 hours a day (46.2%).
|Table 1: General Characteristics Of The Sample|
|Internet use||Up to 8h/week||43||10.6|
1. Does the consumer’s online behaviour depend on age?
Respondents who reported having purchased products online (Table 2) were significantly (p>0.05) older (M=31.7; SD=14.0) than those who never did (M=24.1; DP=11.4).
|Table 2: Have You Ever Bought Online?|
2. Does the frequency of Internet use differ according to the type of use?
To evaluate whether the frequency of Internet use was different, according to its use, either by those who usually buy online or by those who say not to do it, both answers were analyzed through the t test of Student, for independent samples. The results showed that, apart from email usage, which is higher in buyers, there were no differences between the two groups in the frequency with which they use it for news, social networks, investigate, play, downloads, watch and listen TV and radio or looking for work (Table 3).
|Table 3: Type Of Internet Use|
|Yes (n=371)||No (n=34)||gl||t||p (sig)|
3. Are the motivations for using the Internet related to online shopping?
To comply with the objective of evaluating buyer's motivation to shop online, the inferential statistics t student test was used, which revealed that the motivations did not differ according to the use of the Internet, to buy products or not to do so. Both groups present as reasons for Internet use, updating, information search, maximization of information, news stories and interaction with others (Table 4).
|Table 4: Motivation For Using The Internet|
|Yes (n=371)||No (n=34)||t||gl||p (sig)|
|Motivation to interact||3.12||1.077||2.91||1.138||1.080||403||0.281|
|Motivation to talk||3.04||1.145||3.09||1.190||-0.245||403||0.806|
|Motivation to show me||2.27||1.162||2.53||1.285||-1.211||403||0.227|
|Motivation to vote||2.85||1.149||2.71||1.115||0.684||403||0.494|
|Motivation to collaborate||2.51||1.170||2.24||1.281||1.284||403||0.200|
|Motivation for speed||3.79||1.078||3.65||1.125||0.722||403||0.471|
|Motivation to maximize||3.69||1.082||3.53||1.107||0.841||403||0.401|
|Motivation to find||3.45||1.100||3.32||1.296||0.632||403||0.528|
|Motivation be updated||3.96||1.021||3.97||1.087||-0.045||403||0.964|
4. Is the consumer's perception of the strategies used in Digital Marketing different from the perception of offline-buyers?
Table 5 shows the behaviour of online consumers when they are being persuaded to view a particular good or service.
|Table 5: Perception About Marketing Strategies|
|Yes (n=371)||No (n=34)||gl||t||p (sig)|
To evaluate consumer perception, regarding the strategies used in Digital Marketing, the t Student test was used once again to compare the results of those who have already made purchases on the Internet and those who never did. The results show that there are no significant differences between them and their behaviour when they are being persuaded to view a particular good or service.
Another point of differentiation between online buyers and offline buyers has to do with the degree of satisfaction, with the possibility of comparing prices, the ease and practicality of online purchases, the pleasure, the interest, the needs satisfaction and the spur that shopping causes. Offline buyers find web marketing strategies significantly more irritating and annoying, which accounts for the fact that online buyers have significantly higher levels of satisfaction than offline buyers (Table 6).
|Table 6: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Online Shopping|
|Yes (n=371)||No (n=34)||t||gl||p (sig)|
5. Does the feeling of security with the online buyer's store payment system differ from the perception of offline buyers?
The online buyer values factors such as trust, confidence and confidentiality of information, contrarily to the offline buyer. Items like security and confidence show statistically significant differences (Table 7).
|Table 7: Feelings Of Security, Trust And Privacy Of Online Buyers|
|Yes (n=371)||No (n=34)||t||gl||p (sig)|
The decision to buy is often more emotional than rational, and the choice between brands begins to be inextricably linked with their ability to create a relationship with consumers, it is an interactive process and not a commercial exchange (Marques, 2012). The entire web is an experience, making the purchase of a product something unique, memorable and appealing to the emotions and sensory stimuli that can satisfy and possibly hold their customers.
It has been found that, as demonstrated in the literature, there is an emotional component in the web acquisition and consumption, leaving affective traits in the consumer’s memory, which contribute to its satisfaction (Pham & Ahammad, 2017; Wirtz & Lee, 2003).
The benefits of online shopping, namely, speed, ease of use, importance of privacy, security, interactivity and brand credibility (Greening & Turban, 2000; Mittal & Kamakura, 2001; Wang et al., 2018) determine the commitment to online shopping.
The studies of O'Sullivan & McCallig (2012) and Wang et al. (2018) show the importance of the site contents, the quality and the way the products or services are presented, the pages clarity, the store utility, the interactivity with the customer, the convenience of use and the selection of available products.
We sought to know whether Internet consumption depended on age, and respondents who reported having purchased products online were significantly (p>0.05) older (m=31.7; SD=14.0) than those who never did (m=24.1, SD=11.4).
Millenium Generation has a high purchasing power and uses the Internet and e- commerce platforms as the privileged means of buying products and services (Dionísio et al., 2013; Rollot, 2012), using social networks and virtual communities to share experiences and preferences about brands, products and companies.
In fact, a review of the literature previously made possible the identification of a new digital generation, involved with new technologies, the Internet and social networks, as a result of changes in the development of personal, professional, social and economic relations (Dionísio et al., 2013; Whitehouse & Steele Flippin, 2017).
It is a mixed, educated generation (Generation Y) growing during technological convergence (Popescul & Georgescu, 2016; Temple, 2018), which is the first to immerse itself totally in interactivity (Barber et al., 2008).
As for the frequency of Internet use, depending on the type of use that was given to them, either by those who usually buy online or by those who say not to do so, the results showed that, with the exception of the use to view emails, that is higher in the online buyers, there were no differences between the two groups in the frequency with which they use it, for news, social networks, investigate, play, download, watch and listen TV and radio or search for employment.
It should be noted that easy access to the media, as evidenced by the work of Civelek et al. (2017) and Dioniso et al. (2013), allows them greater information and consequent freedom of choice, becoming more and more demanding in the personalization of the different offers of products and services determining their image.
As stated by Dos Santos Neto & Franco (2010) and Popescul & Georgescu (2016), the current technological context provides a multimedia and interactive entertainment environment where consumers can enjoy product experimentation in a much more involving and sensorial way (banalization of interactive and portable gaming consoles, online gaming with players, immersion and virtual reality simulators) fostering the experience of consumer input and, consequently, having a brand experience (Popescul & Georgescu, 2016).
The analysis of the motivations to buy online revealed that these did not differ according to the use of the Internet to buy products. Both groups present as reasons for the use of the Internet, the updating, the search for information, the maximization of the information, the news they choose and the interaction with other people.
These conclusions are in consonance with the studies identified in the literature, (Dermentzi & Papagiannidis, 2018; Hellier et al., 2003; Papacharissi & Rubin, 2000; Solomon et al., 2008; To et al., 2007) as the connections which the clients develop commercially with the Internet, motivate them to establish an interactive relationship with companies, brands and products.
Thus, To et al (2007) emphasize the utilitarian motivations (speed, convenience, ease) and emotional satisfaction in the Internet purchase process.
In fact, as emphasized in the studies of several authors (Dermentzi & Papagiannidis, 2018; Mihailovic et al., 2014) buying motivations are directly related to the characteristics of the Internet, in which the following motivations are highlighted: “social escapism” (willingness to abstract from the physical world by performing entertaining and enjoyable activities on the Web); the satisfaction of information and education needs; control over the environment (decide what to see, when, how, where and with what company); the socialization provided by the relationship on the web; the need to purchase goods and services.
The behaviour of online consumers, when they are being persuaded to view a particular good or service, is not different, according to the online shopping practice, even though, there are differences in consumer perception about the benefits that purchases on the Internet brought to them, as online shoppers consider that digital marketing actions brought significantly more benefits, in terms of access to promotions, fun, convenience, speed and downloads, unlike offline buyers.
Previous studies by Howie et al. (2018) report that e-commerce interactivity promotes utility actions, ease of information search, and lower search costs, emphasizing that there is a tendency for young consumers to value entertainment more during online search and purchase, effectively adhering to hedonic consumption.
Utilitarian consumers are concerned with purchasing in an efficient and time- consuming manner, privileging the website's performance in solving problems (Howie et al., 2018; Jeong & Lambert, 2001), as obtained in the present investigation.
Another point of distinction between online buyers and offline buyers has to do with the degree of satisfaction, with the possibility of comparing product features and prices, the ease and accessibility/availability of online purchases, the pleasure, the interest, the satisfaction of needs and the spur that shopping causes. Offline buyers find digital marketing strategies significantly more irritating and annoying, which accounts for the fact that online buyers have significantly higher levels of satisfaction than offline-buyers.
The literature depicts this division, since online shopping channel enthusiasts are Internet enthusiasts who have a higher degree of satisfaction and praise the utilitarian, hedonic, playful and social advantages provided in this rewarding experience (Howie et al., 2018; Shapiro et al., 2017; Solomon et al., 2008; Wolfinbarger & Gilly, 2001).
On the Internet emerges a new relationship space that is progressively developing and demonstrating new potentialities such as multimedia, convergence, synergy and interactivity.
Technology imposes rapid changes in the pattern of consumption, purchasing and commercial supply, and the Internet becomes a fundamental tool of competitive advantage, stimulating new forms of service delivery, with the aim of retaining its customers. Awareness with the new gadgets and user mobility is accompanied by an “always on” philosophy that allows access to information anywhere and at any time and promotes consumer interactivity with the company.
Generational changes and their relationship with technologies make the behaviour and needs of consumers increasingly differentiated and dynamic. The consumer is transforming their consumption practices, significantly, through digital platforms, due to their greater speed, convenience, quality, comfort and security/privacy, in the use of several products.
The web consumer creates connexion networks, largely structured by emotional affinities. Consumers join together as a group to share and express their emotions through rituals and practices. It is a tribal phenomenon in which buyer’s value products by their ability to connect with other members. They form “tribes” on a global scale, stimulating common spaces of interest, creating followers based on the union of people and ideas, valuing the choice of products according to their identity, acceptance, expression, freedom and ability to connect with one another.
Online behaviours are driven by consumer attitudes and motivations. Hence, the knowledge of this motivational problem is fundamental to the applicability of the persuasive techniques that companies can implement with online consumers, when they use the animation and creativity in the creation of the website and the way in which the content will be determinant to capture the attention to the researches or acquisition of the product.
Depending on the behaviour of online consumers and their motivations, it is essential to identify these audiences in order to be able to adapt and act on them, in a differentiated way, with greater efficiency. You can target in real time, creating unique value propositions for each client, depending on your needs and profile.
The close relationship between the customer and the brand is one of the most important elements to create consumer satisfaction. It is the emotional and rational evaluation that the consumer makes of the performance of the product in relation to expectations. As online consumers become savvier, their confidence increases, and they tend to buy more and become less concerned about uncertainty.
The study revealed that consumer behaviour over the Internet (e.g. online shopping) depends on age, with older people being found to consume more through this medium. The frequent use of the Internet differs according to the type of usage only regarding the use of the email, and the online buyers are the ones who use this medium most.
The motivation to buy online revealed that these did not differ according to the type of use of the Internet. The results showed that the behaviours of online consumers when they are being persuaded to the visualization of a certain good or service do not vary according to the practice of online purchases.
Online buyers’ perceptions point out access to promotions, fun, convenience, speed and download / transfer, as the main drivers to buy online, in contrast to offline- buyers.
Another point of differentiation between online buyers and offline buyers has to do with the degree of satisfaction, with the possibility of comparing prices, the ease and practicality of online purchases, the pleasure, the interest, the satisfaction of needs and the spur that shopping causes. Offline buyers find web marketing strategies significantly more irritating and annoying, which accounts for the fact that online buyers have significantly higher levels of satisfaction than offline buyers.
In terms of security, the online shop payment system found significant differences between online shoppers in relation to the perception of offline buyers, and it turned out that online buyers have a greater sense of confidence and security with this system.