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Buying apparel over the Internet
Ronald E. Goldsmith
Professor of Marketing, Marketing Department, College of Business, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Elizabeth B. Goldsmith
Professor, Department of Textiles and Consumer Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA Keywords Internet, Online transaction processing, Consumer behaviour, Clothing industry, Marketing Abstract Tests ten hypotheses describing characteristics that distinguish consumers who have purchased apparel online from those who have not. A sample of 263 men and 303 women students completed a survey that measured their online and offline buying behavior, attitudes and predispositions. The results showed that the 99 online apparel buyers had more online buying experience in general. Online buyers did not differ from non-buyers in their belief in how cheap buying online is, in their overall enjoyment of shopping, or in how often they bought clothing by any means. The demographic variables of age, sex and race were unrelated to online apparel buying. A further analysis showed that the online buyers used the Internet more hours per week and were more likely to buy online in the future than non-buyers. The findings are consistent with previous studies of consumer Internet behavior and with consumer theory and provide guidance for ecommerce apparel strategies.
Introduction Electronic retailing continues to grow in size and importance as increasing numbers of consumers buy online, and apparel purchases represent a significant portion of online purchasing. Not only does buying apparel online represent a new form of consumer behavior in the ``computer-mediated shopping environment'' (Hoffman and Novak, 1996), apparel e-tailers face intense competition. Thus, consumer researchers wish to extend current theories of consumer behavior into this new consumption realm, and apparel marketers and managers seek to develop effective strategies based on knowledge of their consumers (Goldsmith and McGregor, 1999). Although some research on consumer Internet behavior has begun to appear (e.g. Citrin et al., 2000), little attention has been devoted specifically to buying apparel online. Our study fills this gap by focusing on this new clothing behavior. While the number of online buyers and value of their purchases change constantly, growth is the dominant theme (Goldsmith and McGregor, 2000). Americans spent $184B on total apparel in 1999 with $1.1B or 0.6 per cent attributed to online apparel purchases (Kuntz, 2000). For 2000 the proportion of total US apparel sales online is estimated at less than 3 per cent but still nearly $3.5B (Vickery and Agins, 2001). Apparel spending in the UK was £30B (Wilson, 1999). According to one estimate, approximately 67 per cent of Americans use the Internet and 52 per cent of them buy online (UCLA, 2000). Apparel is an important category of online purchases with new sites constantly appearing (Murphy, 1999). An Internet-based research company estimated online sales in 2000 to be $37B, up from $18.6B in 1999 (eMarketer, 2000, p. 9). One estimate of total weekly online purchases in 2000 puts the number at 3.582 million, with 300,800 or 8.4 per cent of these in the apparel category (Nelson, 2000). Two separate surveys showed
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Growth the dominant theme
JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT, VOL. 11 NO. 2 2002, pp. 89-102, # MCB UP LIMITED, 1061-0421, DOI 10.1108/10610420210423464
how economical it is. and how much confidence consumers have in their ability to shop and buy online. as consumers gain experience with online buying. however. quicker. 1997). In other words. H2 is that consumers who purchase apparel online shop for apparel by any means more frequently than those who have not bought apparel online. Little is known of consumer buyer behavior online. Testing the hypotheses not only enhances our knowledge of consumer behavior by extending the scope of theory into the new shopping environment. Consumers who have bought apparel online may likely be those who buy more frequently than other consumers. speed. 1999. are likely to be systematically different from later buyers (Eastlick and Lotz. 1999. According to the standard discussions of buying frequency. perhaps with small purchases at first. 30). and they have more confidence in their ability to buy. those who have bought online feel that the Internet is more fun. safety. Goldsmith (2000) presents Likert scales to measure five specific attitudes toward e-commerce. 2000). they will be likely to develop confidence and skills that facilitate more ambitious buying (Seckler. 2000. Katz and Aspden. These attitudes were all related to online buying. Unique challenges E-commerce is expensive. H1 is that consumers who have bought apparel online will have more experience buying online in general. 2000. Goldsmith and Bridges. p. VOL. Since online buying is a new consumer activity. Selling apparel online presents unique challenges to cybermarketers. less frequent shoppers. Thus. Similarly. Thus. consumers who buy apparel frequently are likely involved with clothing as a product category. 2000. The first buyers of a new product or service. cheaper. 11 NO. Several hypotheses about buying apparel online were derived from consumer research and tested using data from a survey of student consumers. they probably spend more than less involved. 1995). Hypotheses Consumers differ in the extent of online buying in which they engage. Hence.clothing among the top six categories of holiday gifts in the USA for the 2000 Christmas season (eMarketer. compared with consumers who have not bought apparel online. they not only shop frequently. 2 2002 Previous experience . we expect that consumers who have previous experience in online buying will be more likely to buy apparel online than those who lack such experience. however. and many companies have found profits hard to come by (Harvard Management Update. and e-tailers need to attract those consumers most likely to buy in order to cover the costs of e-commerce and make a profit to justify this new form of distribution. This is because. H3 through H7 are that. Karson. Limayem et al. 2000. Thus. describing individual perceptions of its enjoyment. relatively few buyers in a product category account for the majority of purchases (Hallberg. how consumers feel about shopping in general should influence whether they shop online and specifically purchase apparel online (see 90 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. Goldsmith.. this information may help online apparel marketers improve their strategies designed to entice customers to buy online. 2000). apparel is an important consumer purchase category with a significant online component. safer. the purpose of the present study was to compare consumers who had purchased apparel online with consumers who had not purchased apparel online with regard to demographics and attitudes toward online purchasing. Thus. 2000). Online buying behaviour Several studies of consumer online behavior have shown that attitudes toward the Internet and toward online buying are systematically related to online buying behavior (Eastlick and Lotz.
nor were the mean ages of the four ethnic groups significantly different.Solomon.5 per cent). Questions and responses The questionnaire contained demographic questions asking for the participants' sex. The next section of the questionnaire contained 25 Likert-type statements reflecting attitudes toward shopping over the Internet and enjoyment of shopping in general. These Internet shopping items were adapted from a set of online buying attitude JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. The modal age was 20 years. 311-13). Although not representative of all consumers. 11 NO. Both undergraduates and MBAs participated. and whether they had ever purchased any apparel online.4 per cent) Hispanics.05) difference in mean age between the men and women.. the revised questionnaire was fielded by requesting student volunteers to complete it. and 40 (7.6 years (SD = 4. VOL. Finally. and 3 (0. 2 2002 91 Ethnic distribution . Other questions asked whether the respondents had access to the Internet.5 per cent of the respondents affirmed that they had so purchased. After correcting obvious errors and making their suggested changes in wording and organization. The students were in either marketing or human sciences classes. consumers who are more innovative and knowledgeable with regard to the Internet and its uses are more likely to buy online than less innovative and knowledgeable consumers (Citrin et al. and apparel purchase. how many hours they used it per week. 99 or 17. There were 263 (46. 2000). Limayem et al. and clarity.5 per cent) other.9).5 per cent) women in the sample.1 per cent) others. 48.8 per cent) and seniors (195. It also contained rating scales to measure their online purchasing behavior. because they are heavy buyers of clothing. This distribution is quite similar to the ethnic distribution on this campus.5 per cent) men and 303 (53. whether a respondent had ever purchased apparel online (termed EVER). 2000). 1999. with a mean of 22. ease of use. likelihood of future online purchases. 65 (11. Their ages ranged from 18 to 50.5 per cent) said that they had not. A cross-tabulation of sex by race showed that the proportions of men and women in each ethnic category were nearly identical. pp.3 per cent) graduate students. There were 419 (74 per cent) whites. Thus.. Table I shows these questions and the responses. There was no statistically significant (p < 0. with the rest being 17 (3 per cent) sophomores. 2000).. H8 is that a positive disposition toward shopping should be associated with buying apparel online. Method Survey participants The data came from a survey of 566 students at a large southern university in the USA in the spring of 2000. Silverman.5 per cent) African-Americans. This is similar to one report that 16 per cent of Internet users purchased apparel in cyberspace during the previous month (Seckler. 42 (7. influence the clothing spending of many other consumers. and represent the future of e-commerce (Hogg et al. Questionnaire An initial version of the questionnaire was pilot-tested with 39 students in a marketing research class for readability. race. age. A portion of these items appears in Table II. these young buyers are important. and 467 (82. For the chief variable of interest to this study. 2000. H9 and H10 are that online apparel buyers will describe themselves as more innovative and knowledgeable regarding the Internet than non-buyers. 34. 75 (13. 1998. and class standing. with the exception that the sample contained proportionally more African-American women and proportionally fewer white women. Most of the participants were juniors (276.
Factor analysis showed that these JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.9 36.1 5.1 29. Internet and buying questions items developed by Goldsmith (2000).4 0.0 times 14.3 0.1 3.Variable Questionnaire item Response N 562 4 99 467 4 18 119 201 224 3 6 12 30 283 232 ± 83 179 226 55 21 2 5 68 244 164 63 21 1 82 107 208 141 23 5 % 99.5 39. 1991).0 35. 2000) used to measure knowledge of the Internet.0 41.9 12.2 14.1 0.9 4.0 43.7 3. VOL.7 0.9 Yes No Yes No Very often Often Sometimes Rarely Never BUY Asked another way.1 2.6 0. Three of the shopping enjoyment items were adapted from O'Guinn and Faber (1989).7 17..5 18.3 50.7 3.7 24. A factor analysis of the six items revealed a twofactor solution.5 0. We decided to use only the three negative items as a summed scale. Internet innovativeness Finally came a section containing the Domain-Specific Innovativeness Scale or DSI (Goldsmith and Hofacker. The items appear in Table III along with a five-item subjective knowledge scale (Flynn et al. but more than once a month Less than once a month I never do TIMES How many times have you ± bought something online since January 1. with the three positive items forming one factor and the three negative items a second factor. 2 2002 92 . and one original shopping item was added for this study.5 82. about how many None Less than one hours a week do you spend One to five using the Internet? Five to ten Ten to 20 More than 20 Missing Definitely will buy LIKELY Regardless of how much you buy online now.7 31. how likely are Probably will buy Might buy you to buy online in the Probably will not buy coming year? Definitely will not buy Missing SPEND How much do you spend on clothing purchases in an average month? ACCESS Do you have access to the Internet? EVER Have you ever purchased any clothing online? OFTEN How often would you say that you purchase online? Table I.7 0.6 39.9 9.2 21. 11 NO. how often More than once a week do you purchase online? About once a week Only about once every two weeks Less than once every two weeks. This scale was included to measure Internet innovativeness.5 1.0 11. 2000? MEANS How often do you purchase Very often clothing by any means? Often Sometimes Rarely Never Missing HOURS On average.79). because this subscale (termed DSI) had the higher internal consistency (coefficient alpha = 0.
com companies out there it's confusingb I cannot get the buying information I want over the Internetb I cannot save much money buying over the Internetb Buying over the Internet is cheaper than buying in a store Buying over the Internet is quicker than buying in a store Buying over the Internet is more efficient than buying in a store It takes a lot of time and trouble to buy on the Internetb Eigenvalue 5.33 I lack the confidence to buy correctly on the Internetb I am confident in my ability to buy successfully over the Internet There are so many dot. 1998.4 1. VOL. The analysis extracted a single component with an eigenvalue of 2. 93 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.5 7. The resulting variable was labeled PURCH.67 0.32 1.30 are shown. Composite measure Results The first preliminary analysis reduced the three online purchasing questions (OFTEN.39 1.Attitude itema Fun Shop Safe Conf.40 0. format.5 2.56 I find shopping on the Internet less pleasant than shopping in storesb 0.64 0.49 0.8 Percent of variance 27.41 I get a real ``high'' from shopping 0. Summary descriptive statistics appear in Table IV. but then buy them on the Internet 0.79 I enjoy buying over the Internet 0.1 6.49 I sometimes shop for goods. 2 2002 .48 0. 11 NO.0 5. This was done using a principal components analysis of the three items (Hair et al. and TIMES from Table I) into a composite measure of the self-reported amount of online buying of each respondent.6 ±0.9 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy = 0.80 I do not mind spending a lot of time shoppingb 0.37 that explained 79 per cent of the variance in the correlation matrix of the three variables. Ch. BUY.73 0. Factor analysis of attitude items items formed a unidimensional scale (termed KNOW) with acceptably high internal consistency (coefficient alpha = 0.840 Notes: Only loadings > 0..64 0.4 0.69 Buying over the Internet is no riskier than buying in a store It is risky to buy over the Internetb Buying over the Internet is safer than buying in a store ±0. b reverse-coded items a 0.84 0.4 13.37 1.86 Shopping is fun 0.89 0.90). 3) and computing factor scores using the SPSS regression method.83 I shop because buying things makes me happy 0. Cheap Quick Buying over the Internet is more fun than buying in a store 0.8 5.55 0.1 using a five-point agree-disagree response Table II.
SAFE. safe. the Internet innovativeness and knowledge items were factor-analyzed via common factor analysis. A t-test showed no statistically significant difference in the mean age of those who had purchased apparel online versus those who had not. where the six factors represent the attitudes that shopping on the Internet is fun. CHEAP.30 are shown.79 4. the attitudes toward online buying (FUN. and SHOP. Thus.81 0. cheap and quick. I really do not know a lotb I know pretty much about the Internet Compared with most other people. The significant correlations of the DSI with Focal variables 94 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. DSI and KNOW. format. the focal variables in the study were amount of online buying (PURCH). The analysis was conducted four times. attitude toward shopping (SHOP). SAFE. The final analysis results appear in Table II.82 0.62 1.8 0. Ch. 1998. Next.88 0. The individual items were summed to form two scales. Factor analysis of Internet knowledge and innovativeness items Common factor analysis The second preliminary analysis examined the structure of the 25 attitude items by submitting them to a common factor analysis followed by an oblique rotation on the assumption that the attitude dimensions would be correlated with one another (Hair et al. I do little shopping over the Internetb In general. how often clothing was purchased by any means (MEANS). which revealed that the items loaded on two distinct factors.15 51. b reverse-coded items a Factor 1 Factor 2 0. Internet innovativeness (DSI).30) on factors made of items with similar content.55 19. The scales are labeled: FUN.30) cross-loadings on more than one factor. indicating discriminant validity for these items (see Table III). I am among the last in my circle of friends to purchase something over the Internetb Compared with my friends. VOL. The correlations in Table IV provide internal evidence for the validity of the measures. and that the respondent had confidence in his/her ability to shop online. as well as the general ``enjoyment in shopping'' scale.865 Notes: Only loadings > 0. 2 2002 .83 0.03) or sizeable (> 0. Items were retained for factors if they had sizeable loadings (> 0. 11 NO. The individual items were summed to form short scales (see Table IV). These analyses reduced the initial pool of attitude items to 20 items that combined into six easily interpretable subscales that were similar to those reported by Goldsmith (2000).4 using a five-point agree-disagree response Table III. each time identifying items that did not load on a factor with other items or which had small loadings (< 0. and knowledge of the Internet (KNOW).65 0. These analyses showed no statistically significant relationships between these variables. I am the last in my circle of friends to know the names of the latest places to shop on the Internetb Eigenvalue Percent of variance Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy = 0. QUICK.81 0. 3).Scale itema Internet knowledge (KNOW) When it comes to the Internet. I am one of the ``experts'' on the Internet Internet innovativeness (DSI) In general. and CONFIDENCE). CHEAP.. Cross-tabulation was used to assess the relationship between EVER (those who had purchased apparel online versus those who had not) and sex and race. I know less about the Internetb I do not feel very knowledgeable about the Internetb Among my circle of friends. CONFIDENCE. QUICK.
37 0.29 (0.28 0.2 ± ±0. 2 2002 Variables 22.06 0.11 0.09 0.75) 0.8 1.47 0.43 ±0.47 0.4 18.10 0.40 0.23 0.05 0.58) 0.33 ± 0.19 0.31 0. Descriptive statistics and correlations 95 .01 0.46 ±0.59 a Range 4.22 0.34 ±0.28 1 = yes and 0 = no.35 0.29 0.04 0.05 0. 5.05 ± 0.2 1.76) 0.34 ± c Notes: Correlations of 0.36 0.43 0.40 (0. 13.11 0.15 0.38 ±0.0 1.16 0. 14.12 ± 0.43 0.0 0.7 2. 11.98 2.01 0.9 2.47 0.04 0.00 0.08 0.1 9.74)c 0.04 0. 9.01 ±0.49 ±0.06 0.04 0. VOL.06 0.2 9.42 0.02 0.16 0.29 0.18 ±0.06 ±0.26 0.0 74.37 0.7 3. b Mean ± 0.03 ±0.44 0.67 0.21 ±0.31 0.15 0.44 10.08 SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 1.03 0.7 4.6 ± ± 0 3.68 1-5 4-20 3-15 2-10 3-15 4-20 4-20 3-15 5-25 0-500 1-6 1-5 (0.08 0.26 ±0.02 0.17 0.6 2.11 0.03 0. 4.79) 0.04 (0.16 0. 2.13 ±0.05 (two-tailed).16 0.40 ±0.2 6.48 0.90) 0.08 ±0.01 0.16 0. 6.18 0. 15.02 (0.5 7.25 0. coefficient alpha in parentheses Table IV.36 0.9 ± ± 1.40 (0.04 ±0.88 .8. 10.1 1 = male and 0 = female.08 ±0.39 (0.42 0.09 and larger are statistically significant at p < 0.11 0.10 0.0 3.08 0.28 0.47 0.12 0. 7. 16. 8.16 (0.5 3.17 0.20 0.04 0.01 0.05 0.45 0. 11 NO.46 ±0.08 ±0.24 0.06 0.09 0.28 0.08 ±0. ± 0.11 0.04 ±0.3 13.30 0.3 3.70) ±0.08 ±0.4 89.86) 0.02 ± 0.29 ±0. 12.JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.44 0.6 13.07 0.00 ±0. 3.35 0.56 0.13 0. Age Sex Ever Purch Means Fun Safe Cheap Quick Conf Shop DSI Know Spend Hours Likely 18-50 0-1a 0-1b ±0.
and this was confirmed by the results of the MANCOVA. but the only univariate differences were for SAFE (p = 0. The results also showed no statistically significant multivariate interaction between sex and race (F(33.266).000 0. 498) = 4.646 H9 DSI 9.6 CONFIDENT 14.468 1.1 H5 CHEAP 6.967 0.184 0. SAFE.014).033). where African-Americans rated the Internet as less safe than whites and CHEAP (p = 0.001 0.7 41.005 0.576 0.000 0.075 H3 FUN 10.000 0.126 30.9 10. Influence of age.988 139.136 0.0 0.059 1.0 0.025 0. p = 0.2 19.9 CHEAP 6.0 1.14. 1500) = 1.431 1.993 1.000 0. 11 NO.1 11.8 5.4 7. Comparisons of mean scores 96 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. 1500) = 1.000 0.060 0. so age was no longer incorporated in the analyses.3 2.0 13.001 0.7 < DSI 10.245 0.62.3 15.1 12.8 < QUICK 9.082 0.5 13.3 KNOW 19. CHEAP.7 87. they spent more on apparel than men.8 14. 2 2002 .0 0. There was a statistically significant multivariate effect of race (F(33.0 < H8 SHOP 13. These differences suggest that sex should be included in the final analysis of the differences between those who have purchased apparel online and those who have not.7 7.8.8 68.9 3. For this analysis a 2 Â 2 (SEX Â EVER) MANOVA was run with the ten dependent variables as before (see Table V).8 Notes: a Estimated marginal means.001). Univariate tests showed that women reported purchasing apparel by any means more often than men. sex and race on the dependent variables. VOL.0 0.3 1.4 0.213 0.200 0.000 0.034 0.934 0.601 0.032 0.1 32.074 0.678 0.0 0.032).5 14.002 0.052 0.40) is comparable with that reported by Flynn et al.2 19. Moreover.9 < H4 SAFE 7.1 6.000 0.005 eta2 0.126 1.000 0. The correlations in Table IV suggest that age was only significantly correlated with shopping enjoyment.422 0.06 3. and CONFIDENCE are similar to those reported by Goldsmith (2000).0 0.000 0. These differences were few and small in size. and so race was no longer included in the analyses.000 0. the correlation of the DSI with the knowledge measure (r = 0.014 Observed power 1.9 9.8 < FUN 11. (2000). A MANCOVA with sex and race as the two independent variables and age as a covariate was run with PURCH through KNOW as the ten dependent variables.5 SHOP 11. while the men reported purchasing more online than the women and felt that the Internet was cheaper than the women. QUICK.074 0.FUN.000 0.006 0.1 10.072 0.4 4. p = 0.0 0.2 Univariate main effects for EVER H1 PURCH ±0.0 7.000 0. and they enjoyed shopping more than men.4 3.089 0.021 0.0 0. p < 0.397 1.2 10.054 0.1 < H2 MEANS 3.2 18.5 < SAFE 7.8 < MEANS 3.006 0.7 < H7 CONFIDENT 13. The multivariate effect of sex was significant (F(11.008 0. The interaction term was Dependent variables Mean scoresa Men Women Fb p 0.4 3.8 < H10 KNOW 18. b df = 1.4 H6 QUICK 9. where the ``others'' rated the Internet as cheaper than both whites and African-Americans.784 0.9 12. sex and race An analysis was performed to assess the influence of age.070 0.558 Table V.798 Univariate main effects for SEX PURCH 0.3 0.110 0.75 37.0 44.
statistically significant (F(10. Follow-up univariate analyses showed that the interactions. H9 and H10 were confirmed. safer.4.4. As a final analysis. women reported that they enjoyed shopping (SHOP) more than men. online apparel buyers reported spending more time online and were more likely to buy online in the future than non-buyers. JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. H6. VOL. H4. 1996. whether a respondent had ever bought apparel online. compared with those who had not bought apparel online. The opposite effect was observed for MEANS. 313-15. 11 NO. 549) = 20. perceptions that online buying was cheaper (CHEAP). These analyses were consistent with the parametric tests. a Mann-Whitney non-parametric analysis was conducted testing whether the observations from the two groups of online apparel buyers were equivalent in location. or in shopping enjoyment (SHOP). and they were more confident in their ability to buy online. The online apparel buyers also were more innovative and knowledgeable about the Internet than non-buyers. a 2 Â 2 (SEX Â EVER. with age as a covariate) MANCOVA was conducted comparing the buyers and non-buyers on three additional variables. H1. These findings are similar to those reported in other studies of online buying. 549) = 2. There were no statistically significant differences in the self-reported apparel purchase (MEANS). H3.001). For PURCH. Finally. but men who had bought apparel online reported buying disproportionately more online than women who had bought apparel online. 374-7).3. Online apparel buyers The multivariate main effect for EVER. p < 0. The results showed that men averaged more hours online per week than women. those who had bought apparel online had more experience purchasing online in general (PURCH) and thought that buying over the Internet was more fun. H7. but men who had bought apparel online reported buying disproportionately less apparel by any means than the women online buyers. were significant for only two of the dependent variables. pp. The univariate analyses showed that. Women reported buying apparel by any means more than men. women spent more on apparel than men. 2 2002 97 Additional variables . quicker. Thus. The multivariate main effect for SEX was significant (F(10. These were: (1) the number of hours the respondent was online in an average week (HOURS). and men reported that they thought online buying was more fun. In addition to significant main effect differences for PURCH and MEANS. p < 0. and (2) how likely the respondent was to buy online in the coming year (LIKELY).001). the amount of online buying. thus violating the assumptions of MANOVA (Huck and Cormier. cheaper and quicker than the women. was statistically significant (F(10. p = 0. and the men were more likely to shop online in the future than were the women. men reported buying more than women. Because Box's test of the equality of the covariance matrices was significant (indicating that the covariance matrices were not identical across the groups of respondents) and because Levene's test of equality of error variances showed that the error variances of four of the dependent variables were not equal. 549) = 14.01). buying apparel by any means. (2) the amount of reported spending on apparel (SPEND). however.
the results suggest that their online buyers may be somewhat different from their in-store customers and may represent new customers. but by the perceived advantages of online buying and their positive predisposition toward this mode of commerce. The findings also confirm the reliability and validity of the innovativeness (DSI) and knowledge scales. they were no more likely than non-buyers to shop for clothes by other means. so this basic motivation partially underlies their behavior. Respondent demographics were also unrelated to buying apparel online. consistent with a series of studies that have evidenced their psychometric soundness (e. The findings are consistent with other studies that show that favorable attitudes are related to online buying. Online apparel buyers were more confident in their ability to buy online and were more innovative and knowledgeable about the Internet than non-buyers. That is. spending and buying by any means (0. Flynn et al. They seem.30).43). safer and quicker than non-buyers. None of these variables was correlated with amount of online buying (PURCH). and between shopping and buying (0. felt that online buying was more fun. For managers. 2000). Unique consumption activity The findings suggest that consumers are motivated to buy apparel online by a combination of factors and that the special circumstances of e-commerce make this a unique consumption activity. This should encourage researchers to use them as standardized measures of e-commerce-related attitudes. to attract apparel buyers to Web sites. Goldsmith. They might emphasize how different online buying is and not pretend that it is the same as in-store shopping. reliable operationalizations of these constructs. Joint or cooperative strategies might display apparel online. Online buyers.g. in contrast.40). and are completely safe to use. or in how often they bought apparel by any means. These findings confirm theoretical accounts of consumer behavior and extend their generality into the new realm of cyber-commerce. seeing and trying on clothes (see Seckler. 2 2002 Positive attitudes 98 . Underhill. 2000. Online apparel buyers obviously must want and need clothing.Respondent demographics Discussion The present study compared selected characteristics of consumers who had purchased apparel online with those who had not. e-marketers might focus on emphasizing the added advantages of fun. These results reveal a systematic pattern of psychological and behavioral factors that seem to facilitate online apparel purchase. but suggest that a JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. to enjoy shopping in general. VOL. to be motivated differentially by their attitudes toward the Internet. or to spend money buying clothes. From the methodological perspective. While online apparel buyers were clearly more positive on the attitudinal and psychological characteristics. however. Online apparel buyers further differed from nonbuyers in that they spent more time online than non-buyers and were more likely to buy online in the future than non-buyers. Consumers who buy disproportionately more apparel likely enjoy shopping and want the emotional and sensory pleasures of touching. 1999). The results showed that online apparel buyers purchased online more often.. they are not disproportionately motivated by clothing as a product category or by interest in shopping. appear to be motivated by their positive attitudes toward the Internet. 2000. Note the positive intercorrelations in Table IV between spending on apparel and shopping (r = 0. the attitude measures appear to be robust across studies and provide valid. Online apparel buyers did not differ from non-buyers in their belief in how cheap buying online is. in their overall enjoyment of shopping. They should first ensure that their sites are fun to use. load rapidly with prompt post-sale delivery of ordered merchandise. Thus. speed and safety. 11 NO.
. Goldsmith. Quarterly Journal of Electronic Commerce. JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. pp. 209-23. growth is a major theme of e-commerce.W. S. Accumulation of such studies would expand our knowledge of both apparel consumer behavior and consumer Internet behavior to the advantage of both consumer theory and apparel marketing. ``Profiling potential adopters and non-adopters of an interactive electronic shopping medium''. B. available at: www. because non-users are not very confident that they can buy online successfully. R. This is especially true. etc. and the results are limited to the measures employed. M. since e-commerce and online consumer behavior are constantly changing phenomena..com Flynn. L. and Stem. W. Citrin. Lack of randomness in the sample limits generalizability of the point and interval estimates to a larger population. Vol. A. Eastlick. Seckler's (2000) argument that offering price discounts may be a prime way to attract non-buyers is supported. sports clothes. 2 2002 99 Expand the scope of the findings . other researchers could make use of our measures to study buying behavior in other areas as well. pp. Advantages of the study lie in the large sample size and validity of the measures used.V. (1999). 4 No. and Tybout. and knowledge''.. specificity. References Calder. comparison shopping and combining the Internet with in-store consumption. 4. work clothes.M. As online apparel buying spreads beyond the innovative and knowledgeable consumer to the less sophisticated shopper. (1981). (2000). opinion seeking. 294-300. VOL. ``Designing research for application''. the focal topic was clothing in general and not a specific type (new fashion.R. Thus. 197-207. 323-33. (2000). Vol. 110-20. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. Online apparel buyers and nonbuyers did not differ in their perception that buying online is cheaper than offline. ``The e-holiday shopping report''. abilities and habits.J.different experience could be had in the store. A. Sprott.A.E. Jr (2000). Web sites must be made simple and easy to use. this is a minor limitation (Calder et al. 100 No. pp. Vol. 1981). 2000).E. The online buyer behaviors studied should be expanded beyond just buying to include browsing. Snapshot picture The study is limited by the nature of the sample. and Kim.. Thus. socio-economic and national groups of consumers to expand the scope of the findings. but since the main purpose of the study was to test theoretical hypotheses about online buying. Finally. 1 No. replication studies would be a valuable way to track changes in online apparel buying over time. Vol. Phillips.E. Similarly. Goldsmith. eMarketer (2000). pp. since the results suggest that many online apparel buyers will buy online again. D. where unique accessories or combinations of clothes could be seen. To attract new buyers online. measures.E. As noted in the introduction. 6. L. 27 No. No conclusions can be drawn about concepts that might be related to online apparel buying. and Lotz. September. 7. 2. 8.. ``A cross-cultural validation of three new marketing scales for fashion research: involvement. Finally. the present study is only a snapshot picture and not a longitudinal view. apparel marketers should cater to their unique tastes. Industrial Management & Data Systems. as well as consumption of specific categories of apparel. and time studied. pp.N. In-store demonstrations of online shopping might encourage non-buyers to shop online. Future research should examine online apparel using data from other demographic. Journal of Consumer Research. R. but were not measured. such as new fashions or unique sizes and needs. apparel e-tailers may have to change perceptions that online buying is unsafe (see Robinson. Vol. D.). ``How innovativeness differentiates online buyers''. Silveman. 11 NO. ``Adoption of Internet shopping: the role of consumer innovativeness''. S.emarketer.
and Hill. Simon & Schuster. 8. 30 No. (1999). and Agins. NJ.L. Goldsmith. D. T. (2001). (1999). Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. (1998). 19. E. 2. 4. January. & 100 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. 31 July. Tatham.F. (1999). ``What makes consumers buy from the Internet? A longitudinal study of online shopping''. M. Vol. Nelson. (2000). J. Vol. Hogg. (1991).R.J. (1995). ``The UCLA Internet report: surveying the digital future''. Harvard Management Update. pp. Vol. Seckler. Internet Research.C. S. W. (2000). pp. Wilson. R. The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. and Cybernetics. 3 No.E. 27 March.K. Vol. pp. 1 No. Robinson. NY. 1. Murphy. 4. S. 20. ``Retailers find Web apparel unprofitable''. 147-57. 153-61. ``Download: Internet news II''. NY.. (2000). (1996). 2. and McGregor. T. 3. 12 July. and Novak.P. 1 No. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. pp. available at: www. Hallberg. ``Click and cover''. IEEE Transactions on Systems. (2000). 3.. ``Motivations for and barriers to Internet usage: results of a national public opinion survey''. 12 September. All Consumers Are not Created Equal. Proceedings of XIX International Consumer Studies and Home Economics Research Conference. (1999). Daily News Record. O'Guinn. 4th ed. HarperCollins College Publishers. and McGregor.E. V. Women's Wear Daily. Vol. 209-21. B6. pp. pp. and Being. New York. Consumer Behavior: Buying. 7 No. Goldsmith. Man. M.. Vol. J. R. Huck. pp. ``Lessons from the online war for customers''.Goldsmith. 245-53. (1989). D. 370-6. and Faber. Hair. Vol. Belfast. G. Multivariate Data Analysis. p. 168-80. (2000). Reading Statistics and Research. ``E-tailing vs retailing: using attitudes to predict online buying behavior''.F. Vol.C.0. and Cormier. Solomon. ``Age and income play key roles in online sales''. ``Fashion brand preferences among young consumers''. 26 No. E. E.. 376-7. R. 3. NJ. 11 NO. ``Internet at a glance''. and Frini. 2 2002 . ``More women wardrobe online than ever''. 5th ed. ``Survey says Web apparel buys doubled''. Silverman. New York. Upper Saddle River. Prentice-Hall. 170-88. Journal of Marketing. S. Prentice-Hall. P. 3. 60 No. ``Keynote address''. 279. New York. Anderson. Upper Saddle River. (1996). p. M. pp. Vol. Having. Kuntz. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. R. ``Marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments: conceptual foundations''.W. R. and Hofacker. pp.. T.. John Wiley. The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. (2000). Limayem. R.. UCLA (2000). 12 September. ``E-commerce: consumer protection issues and implications for research and education''.E. Part A: Systems and Humans. ``Compulsive buying: a phenomenological exploration''. (1999). pp. W. and Black. J. C. 6 June.J. (2000). Quarterly Journal of Electronic Commerce.. pp. 421-32. 2nd ed. 4. (2000). Vickery. ``Electronic commerce: an emerging issue in consumer education''.ucla.L. 24 No. pp.edu Underhill. (1997). Khalifa. 124-7. Harvard Management Update (2000). M. 49-60. NJ. A. R. Business 2. 3 No. 16 No. pp.0. Katz. (2000). Business 2. Bruce. Wall Street Journal. ``Measuring consumer innovativeness''. J. Journal of Consumer Studies & Home Economics. Karson. (1998). p. L. p. 2. Quarterly Journal of Electronic Commerce.ccp.H. ``Two dimensions of computer and Internet use: a reliable and validated scale''. 293-300. A. Women's Wear Daily. M. P. R.E. 3-4. p. J. Goldsmith.E. Vol. VOL. and Bridges. Hoffman. 19 No. and Aspden. Journal of Consumer Research. Vol.
Some of these differences are pretty prosaic ± online buyers have fewer security worries. The remainder of Goldsmith and Goldsmith's findings throw up words like ``confident''. at present. As a result the apparent mass market for e-commerce remains a future dream. The failure to make e-retailing work sits in our court and we continue to chew away at the e-commerce bone in the hope that it will eventually come good. Those with a particular interest in the topic covered may then read the article in toto to take advantage of the more comprehensive description of the research undertaken and its results to get the full benefit of the material present Executive summary and implications for managers and executives Retailing online ± know your customer and learn from mail order marketing E-commerce and especially online retailing have received much attention. For every apparent e-retailing success. we get a massive ± and usually very expensive ± failure. Doubts persist about the security of money transfers online. understood by marketers. And. we still lack any clear understanding of the business models that can deliver success online. in general terms. . while getting the online equivalent of footfall is easy. because the chasm between these two groups remains unbridged. We are. are non-users.'' These people are different and we need to know why and. For marketers this situation is a disappointment.'' We should also note.This summary has been provided to allow managers and executives a rapid appreciation of the content of this article. Part of the resistance appears to lie in fear (characterised as being a lack of confidence). appreciate the ``quickness'' and flexibility of online buying and see the Web as making buying easier. while a great deal is said about online processes. like Goldsmith and Goldsmith. The difference between ``innovators'' and ``early adopters'' is well researched and. technology and promotion. . a great deal of thought and significant investment. Two-thirds of Americans might have access to the Internet but they are not using it to buy things ± at least not in sufficient numbers. Are you frightened of the Web? Goldsmith and Goldsmith find that there are substantial differences between e-buyers and the rest of humanity (I always knew that Web enthusiasts were strange). that the people who matter to e-retailers are those very similar to existing users who. At the same time we have raised questions about the capacity of the technology to deliver what we want. Weak links between real world distribution ± getting the product to the customer ± and the cosy virtual world get in the way of seamless service. to understand the resistance of others to e-commerce. 11 NO. the other (more psychological) factors suggest that these preferences are symptomatic of the type rather than definitional. However. E-retailing has not taken off. Underlying the study is the assumption (supported by research and largely common sense) that `` . converting these visitors to customers is a massive challenge. . consumers who have previous experience in online buying will be more likely to buy apparel online than those who lack such experience. People who do not buy online do not have a great deal of trust in JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. . We know too little about the differences between the enthusiastic innovators who buy goods online and the rest who are happy to look but do not buy. ``innovative''. Despite this. the special circumstances of e-commerce make this a unique consumption activity. Goldsmith and Goldsmith set out to compare clothes buyers who have bought online with those who have not made this sort of purchase. Our e-buyers take the view that `` . after all. VOL. 2 2002 101 . at the same time. the experts on distribution and sales channels. Know your customer ± the marketer's mantra Goldsmith and Goldsmith observe that. ``knowledgeable'' and ``fun''. We can say ± with some safety ± that the prospects for another Internet trading investment boom have gone. little is known about the actual online customer.
games etc. payment on delivery rather than payment with the order. And the direct marketer knows that profits come from repeat business rather than from the first sale. even when they use the Internet for a variety of other activities (information gathering. Bear in mind that most of us who use computers take advantage of a tiny part of the capacity of even basic software.).the medium. This seems to hold true. in the final analysis. Ease-of-use is fundamental to successful e-retailing and. Removing the fear Two elements are involved in removing consumer distrust of e-commerce. featuring low-risk entry products. . But this is just one problem and its solution lies as much in the relationship between the ordinary consumer and Internet technology as in specific marketing actions. for some businesses. 2 2002 . Nevertheless. E-commerce becomes accessible when these barriers are removed and there are many techniques available that marketers can use. (A precis of the article ``Buying apparel over the Internet''. . so far.) 102 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. because they ignored the experience of others and tried to run a business without good databases or the strategies to sustain income from existing buyers. Until these issues of fear (or trust. marketers will struggle to take the idea of e-commerce into the mainstream of retailing. . product endorsement ± by real customers. Rather than reinventing the wheel. whatever the incentive. the Internet does not change the nature of the product itself (a pair of shorts remains a pair of shorts). we still stick to basic processing. Do you want your e-retailing business to succeed? Hire an experience direct marketer and you will stand a better than average chance of success. testimonials. . . Even with comprehensible manuals. on-screen and online help and ``idiot guides''. But for most businesses and especially retailers. a different means of delivering product. grizzled (and boring) mail order people is a mistake that is probably costing you money. communications. The first is more confidence with the technology involved in buying online. and prize draws. free gifts and other order incentives. . Pretending that the e-marketers have nothing to learn from old. The second element is purely promotional and is about securing trial and reducing the distrust. product and service guarantees. no-quibble return policies. eretailers should learn from direct marketers. Mail order and direct marketers have always faced resistance to their channel. we have failed to achieve sufficiently easy systems to remove the consumer's worry about getting it wrong. E-commerce needs more confidence to sell itself successfully but. Indeed. these marketers have developed (and tested) a variety of simple techniques to secure trial and build confidence: . Supplied by Â Marketing Consultants for Emerald. or confidence) are dealt with. E-commerce represents a new channel and. VOL. Too many e-commerce operations have floundered. 11 NO. mail order people appreciate that there remains a large chunk of the population that will never buy mail order. the e-retailer does little that is different from the mail order company.
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