The Internet is moving from being a communication medium to a marketing channel. One of the most astounding aspects in the past few years has been the speed at which the Internet market has expanded, representing a huge and growing opportunity for retailers as well as consumers by empowering them to search and purchase products and services. Customers’ increased interest in shopping through online channels has encouraged several companies to open e-stores where customers can shop anytime and from practically anywhere, making the Internet an integral part of a multi-channel retail strategy and sometimes even an alternative channel for reaching out to the consumers.
However, although the opportunities for e-business are huge, this marketplace is highly competitive as more and more companies have begun offering their products over the Internet. Globalization and the increasing number of Internet users have furthered the emergence of a highly competitive online marketplace. Hence, in order to beat the competition and to increase business, the pure-play e-tailers, who operate exclusively through the Internet, such as Flipkart and Amazon, are not only adopting the marketplace model to increase their business by offering several options such as cash-on-delivery (COD), returns and refunds and free shipping, but are also paying attention to the possibility of numerous other business models based on their operating pattern.
There are different aspects of online retailing to understand consumer response towards online retailers, from among several factors that point towards consumers’ intention to purchase online, this article seeks to identify the effect of online retailer models in explaining how and why consumers prefer one e-store over others, since in a competitive era of retailing, retailers need to understand the importance of the store format too.
The purpose of this research was to examine the influence of online retailer models on Indian consumer’s attitude towards retail websites and their purchase intentions. Using an online shopping scenario, a case study was conducted on 240 postgraduate marketing students at an Indian university to evaluate the effects of two online shopping website factors on the user’s attitude towards retail websites and their purchase intentions. The findings of the study suggest that players in the e-tailing business should increasingly move towards multi category purchase model to increase the purchase intentions of the consumers. They also need to constantly review and upgrade the services offered to ensure increased intentions to purchase. The findings can enable online retailers in India to explore and shape the Internet as the next big business opportunity.
Assessing the Impact of Online Retailer Models on Consumer’s Attitude and Purchase Intentions
First Published December 8, 2017
From IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review