Online shopping investigation

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


1.  In what circumstance will you choose online purchasing over face to face purchasing?

2.  In average, are you conducting more online purchasing in the U.S. or in your home country? Why?

3.  It will take you longer or shorter to make a purchase decision online than that of a bricks and mortar store? Why?

4.  There are two online sellers who sell a product that you want at the same price, which factors will influence your final purchase decision?

5.  In terms of quality of products and services, do you have a lower expectation of online purchase than face to face purchase? Why? Dose is change over time when you have more successful online shopping experiences?

6.  For example, you bought a bottle of lotion from The Body Shop’s online store, but it turned out that the lotion was not as good as described. In this case, will you be less willing to buy products from Body Shop’s online store? How about its bricks and mortar store?  

Answers of Respondents:

The three respondents are all female international students, two of them from our own college, and the other one from Computer Science.

Respondent one:

A1: When the price is lower online.

A2: In U.S. I feel that U.S. online store are more credible.

A3: It will take me longer to make a decision online. Because there are more choices and I will make comparison.

A4: Customer rating, popularity, and credibility.

A5: Yes. Online, you never know who is selling you the product. There is no guarantee, and you may not find the person again after purchasing.

A6: Not the online store, but maybe the real store, if the price is competitive.

Respondent two:

A1: When I can’t find the product I want in a solid store or when I need more product information.

A2: Almost the same.

A3: More time when purchasing online, because I’m not sure about the quality of the product.

A4: Previous customer reviews and the nature of the online store. I prefer official one than individual one because of the credibility issue.

A5: If the website is owned by a famous brand, then I will have the same expectation. Otherwise, I have lower expectation of online store. I will be more confident if the last shopping experience is good. 

A6: Yes, I will still buy products from The Body Shop’s solid store and online store. But I will need some positive feedbacks about the products from others before purchasing.

Respondent three:

A1: Time, price, and credibility.

A2: In the U.S. I feel Amazon is more credible.

A3: Less time online. Because the price is always low and I don’t need to think much.

A4: Depend on who is more credible.

A5: My expectation is a little lower towards online shopping, because you can’t actually see or touch the product. Yes, I will expect more after successful online transaction.  

A6: I will feel reluctant to purchase in both online or offline store.


Most of the findings from this little survey are in accordance with Mutz’s conclusions.

1. The level of trust is an important determinant of online purchasing.  (Q2, Q3, Q4)

2. Successful online shopping experiences will influence the level of trust. (Q5, Q6)

However, the influence of online shopping on the level of trust and vice versa may not be significant, since all three respondents ranked price, convenience, and/or abundance as the most important drivers of online purchase. (Q1)

  1. luckymaggie says:

    I like your 3rd question as I always spend a lot time on doing “research” of the product I want to buy. So the last respondent does surprise me. In general online shopping asks less money to pay, but personally speaking, it costs me much more time to decide whether to buy it or not. When I am looking at my experience, I don’t think I spend 30 to 40 minutes, sometimes even an hour or so is due to lower trust level, but because of I want to reassure myself that is a good deal. I think this is the biggest thing I care about. And similar ideas are reflected in my interviews. I agree with you that positive experience does lead to higher trust level. I like sharing my good experience with my friends, and so do they. These could be evidence, I guess.

  2. ltn0913 says:

    Your last quetion is so interesting! Because I did have a similar experience. Once I bought a lotion from Elizabeth Arden’s online store, but the product didn’t meet my expectation when I got it. After that I only go to their real store to try the product first to see whether it’s right for me or not, then to decide the purchase instead of just looking the descriptions online. Besides, I think purchasing online is quite time-consuming sometimes especially to compare the prices. I personally like bricks and mortar stores more.

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  4. Wendy Brunner says:

    The time question was a very good one! Interesting–I hadn’t really thought about that. Even though I do spend a lot of time when making online purchases–doing reasearch and price comparison and such–I think I’m still saving time (and effort!) by not driving to a physical store. That’s a huge consideration for me, because I have a young daughter and I work mostly from home so I’m not out-and-about frequently, and when I am I’m dragging an 8-year-old with me so it’s a hassle. For me the convenience is well worth the inherent risk that comes along with shopping online, but as we discussed in class I have confidence in my own ability to sniff out what’s a good deal and what’s a ripoff, so I’ve had overwhelmingly positive experiences. I find Mutz’s social trust thesis very interesting and compelling, but I’m not sure I’m convinced by that particular study. Especially given how frequently our classmates reported that their results differed from Mutz’s!

  5. Just a note — I found it hard to read your post in this format, because I had to keep scrolling up and reading the questions again, and again.

  6. thanks for this nice info, it’s so useful for me. I believe all to be happy with this. Thank you for sharing with us the information.

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