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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
Limayem et al. Selling apparel online presents unique challenges to cybermarketers. 2000. H2 is that consumers who purchase apparel online shop for apparel by any means more frequently than those who have not bought apparel online. those who have bought online feel that the Internet is more fun. Karson. are likely to be systematically different from later buyers (Eastlick and Lotz. 2000. Katz and Aspden. 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.clothing among the top six categories of holiday gifts in the USA for the 2000 Christmas season (eMarketer. perhaps with small purchases at first. In other words. Unique challenges E-commerce is expensive. According to the standard discussions of buying frequency. Thus. they not only shop frequently. VOL. how economical it is. These attitudes were all related to online buying. 2 2002 Previous experience . 1995). Hence. safety. 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. safer. 1999. Little is known of consumer buyer behavior online. 1999. Testing the hypotheses not only enhances our knowledge of consumer behavior by extending the scope of theory into the new shopping environment. describing individual perceptions of its enjoyment. compared with consumers who have not bought apparel online. quicker. 2000. Thus. cheaper. Thus. 2000). Similarly. they will be likely to develop confidence and skills that facilitate more ambitious buying (Seckler. 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. H3 through H7 are that. and how much confidence consumers have in their ability to shop and buy online. Goldsmith. Several hypotheses about buying apparel online were derived from consumer research and tested using data from a survey of student consumers. however. Goldsmith and Bridges.. speed. Goldsmith (2000) presents Likert scales to measure five specific attitudes toward e-commerce. 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. apparel is an important consumer purchase category with a significant online component. 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. however. 11 NO. Since online buying is a new consumer activity. relatively few buyers in a product category account for the majority of purchases (Hallberg. Consumers who have bought apparel online may likely be those who buy more frequently than other consumers. 2000). and they have more confidence in their ability to buy. Thus. this information may help online apparel marketers improve their strategies designed to entice customers to buy online. This is because. less frequent shoppers. 2000). 30). 2000. as consumers gain experience with online buying. H1 is that consumers who have bought apparel online will have more experience buying online in general. 1997). consumers who buy apparel frequently are likely involved with clothing as a product category. they probably spend more than less involved. Hypotheses Consumers differ in the extent of online buying in which they engage. p. The first buyers of a new product or service.
1 per cent) others. Thus. influence the clothing spending of many other consumers. For the chief variable of interest to this study. After correcting obvious errors and making their suggested changes in wording and organization.5 per cent) other.5 per cent) women in the sample. Their ages ranged from 18 to 50. the revised questionnaire was fielded by requesting student volunteers to complete it. 2000). 75 (13. 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. Both undergraduates and MBAs participated. 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. 2 2002 91 Ethnic distribution . and whether they had ever purchased any apparel online. 65 (11. Silverman. Questions and responses The questionnaire contained demographic questions asking for the participants' sex.. likelihood of future online purchases.5 per cent). 34. 1998. with the rest being 17 (3 per cent) sophomores. 311-13). Most of the participants were juniors (276. nor were the mean ages of the four ethnic groups significantly different.6 years (SD = 4. pp. Questionnaire An initial version of the questionnaire was pilot-tested with 39 students in a marketing research class for readability. Other questions asked whether the respondents had access to the Internet. how many hours they used it per week. and class standing. and apparel purchase. There were 263 (46. There were 419 (74 per cent) whites.05) difference in mean age between the men and women. 2000. these young buyers are important. It also contained rating scales to measure their online purchasing behavior. The students were in either marketing or human sciences classes.5 per cent) said that they had not. There was no statistically significant (p < 0. whether a respondent had ever purchased apparel online (termed EVER). 42 (7. Limayem et al. The modal age was 20 years.8 per cent) and seniors (195. 2000). Table I shows these questions and the responses. race.Solomon.4 per cent) Hispanics. age. The next section of the questionnaire contained 25 Likert-type statements reflecting attitudes toward shopping over the Internet and enjoyment of shopping in general.9). and 40 (7.. A portion of these items appears in Table II. VOL. This is similar to one report that 16 per cent of Internet users purchased apparel in cyberspace during the previous month (Seckler. 1999. ease of use. with a mean of 22. This distribution is quite similar to the ethnic distribution on this campus. and represent the future of e-commerce (Hogg et al.5 per cent) African-Americans. because they are heavy buyers of clothing. 11 NO. 2000). 99 or 17. Finally. H8 is that a positive disposition toward shopping should be associated with buying apparel online. with the exception that the sample contained proportionally more African-American women and proportionally fewer white women.5 per cent) men and 303 (53. These Internet shopping items were adapted from a set of online buying attitude JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. Although not representative of all consumers. and 467 (82. and 3 (0. A cross-tabulation of sex by race showed that the proportions of men and women in each ethnic category were nearly identical.3 per cent) graduate students.5 per cent of the respondents affirmed that they had so purchased. 48.. H9 and H10 are that online apparel buyers will describe themselves as more innovative and knowledgeable regarding the Internet than non-buyers. and clarity.
1 5.2 21.5 18. 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. We decided to use only the three negative items as a summed scale.5 82.7 3.1 2.9 9.9 Yes No Yes No Very often Often Sometimes Rarely Never BUY Asked another way.0 41. 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.79).5 1. This scale was included to measure Internet innovativeness.1 29.6 39. VOL.7 0.3 50. 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.0 35. 11 NO. The items appear in Table III along with a five-item subjective knowledge scale (Flynn et al.5 39. A factor analysis of the six items revealed a twofactor solution..1 0. with the three positive items forming one factor and the three negative items a second factor.0 43. Internet and buying questions items developed by Goldsmith (2000).7 24. 2000? MEANS How often do you purchase Very often clothing by any means? Often Sometimes Rarely Never Missing HOURS On average.1 3.9 4.4 0. Factor analysis showed that these JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.6 0. and one original shopping item was added for this study.5 0.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 % 99.9 36.7 17.9 12. 1991). 2000) used to measure knowledge of the Internet. Three of the shopping enjoyment items were adapted from O'Guinn and Faber (1989).0 11. because this subscale (termed DSI) had the higher internal consistency (coefficient alpha = 0. 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 31. 2 2002 92 .7 3.7 0.0 times 14.3 0. Internet innovativeness Finally came a section containing the Domain-Specific Innovativeness Scale or DSI (Goldsmith and Hofacker.2 14.
and TIMES from Table I) into a composite measure of the self-reported amount of online buying of each respondent. Composite measure Results The first preliminary analysis reduced the three online purchasing questions (OFTEN.39 1. The resulting variable was labeled PURCH.64 0. 2 2002 .5 7.49 0. BUY. 1998.37 1.55 0.80 I do not mind spending a lot of time shoppingb 0. Summary descriptive statistics appear in Table IV.40 0.86 Shopping is fun 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. format.1 6.4 1.30 are shown.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.5 2.1 using a five-point agree-disagree response Table II. This was done using a principal components analysis of the three items (Hair et al.9 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy = 0.41 I get a real ``high'' from shopping 0.56 I find shopping on the Internet less pleasant than shopping in storesb 0. Cheap Quick Buying over the Internet is more fun than buying in a store 0. 11 NO.4 0.0 5.90).84 0.. 3) and computing factor scores using the SPSS regression method.8 Percent of variance 27.8 5. b reverse-coded items a 0.83 I shop because buying things makes me happy 0.79 I enjoy buying over the Internet 0.32 1.37 that explained 79 per cent of the variance in the correlation matrix of the three variables. Ch. VOL. The analysis extracted a single component with an eigenvalue of 2.49 I sometimes shop for goods.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 ±0.64 0.73 0.67 0.48 0.Attitude itema Fun Shop Safe Conf. 93 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.89 0.840 Notes: Only loadings > 0. Factor analysis of attitude items items formed a unidimensional scale (termed KNOW) with acceptably high internal consistency (coefficient alpha = 0.4 13.6 ±0. but then buy them on the Internet 0.
83 0. Ch. and that the respondent had confidence in his/her ability to shop online. and SHOP.81 0.865 Notes: Only loadings > 0.03) or sizeable (> 0. CONFIDENCE.30) cross-loadings on more than one factor.30) on factors made of items with similar content. QUICK.88 0. the Internet innovativeness and knowledge items were factor-analyzed via common factor analysis. how often clothing was purchased by any means (MEANS). The individual items were summed to form short scales (see Table IV). CHEAP. 2 2002 . SAFE.15 51. I am among the last in my circle of friends to purchase something over the Internetb Compared with my friends. The individual items were summed to form two scales. the focal variables in the study were amount of online buying (PURCH). 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. The significant correlations of the DSI with Focal variables 94 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.4 using a five-point agree-disagree response Table III. I do little shopping over the Internetb In general. Internet innovativeness (DSI). I am one of the ``experts'' on the Internet Internet innovativeness (DSI) In general. 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. 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).81 0.30 are shown. each time identifying items that did not load on a factor with other items or which had small loadings (< 0. b reverse-coded items a Factor 1 Factor 2 0. which revealed that the items loaded on two distinct factors. I really do not know a lotb I know pretty much about the Internet Compared with most other people.. The final analysis results appear in Table II. cheap and quick. as well as the general ``enjoyment in shopping'' scale. CHEAP.8 0. 11 NO. Thus.Scale itema Internet knowledge (KNOW) When it comes to the Internet.62 1. Next. The correlations in Table IV provide internal evidence for the validity of the measures. SAFE. and CONFIDENCE). the attitudes toward online buying (FUN. The analysis was conducted four times. Items were retained for factors if they had sizeable loadings (> 0. 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 = 0.55 19. where the six factors represent the attitudes that shopping on the Internet is fun. I know less about the Internetb I do not feel very knowledgeable about the Internetb Among my circle of friends. A t-test showed no statistically significant difference in the mean age of those who had purchased apparel online versus those who had not. The scales are labeled: FUN.65 0.79 4. 1998. and knowledge of the Internet (KNOW). DSI and KNOW. safe.82 0. 3). indicating discriminant validity for these items (see Table III). format. attitude toward shopping (SHOP). VOL. QUICK. These analyses showed no statistically significant relationships between these variables.
8.01 ±0.17 0.31 0.44 0.21 ±0.08 0.04 ±0.4 89.08 ±0.46 ±0. 4.49 ±0.08 ±0.01 0.5 3. 13.39 (0.40 0.43 0.04 0.04 ±0.56 0.06 0.04 0.11 0.07 0.75) 0.02 ± 0.7 2. 12.05 0.06 ±0.28 0.01 0.13 0.35 0.16 0.12 ± 0.36 0.6 ± ± 0 3.15 0.05 (two-tailed). 14.25 0.09 and larger are statistically significant at p < 0.11 0.7 4.1 9.3 13.86) 0.02 0.2 1.04 0.9 2.98 2.48 0.02 0.16 0.04 0.74)c 0.16 0.36 0. 9.47 0.06 0. 6.0 1.11 0.42 0.76) 0.7 3.34 ±0.16 (0.16 0.18 0.3 3.05 ± 0.38 ±0.17 0.59 a Range 4.29 ±0.06 0.01 0.26 0.03 ±0.44 10.47 0.29 0.04 0.13 ±0.43 ±0.08 0. Age Sex Ever Purch Means Fun Safe Cheap Quick Conf Shop DSI Know Spend Hours Likely 18-50 0-1a 0-1b ±0.0 74.08 ±0.10 0.40 (0. 3.88 .37 0.40 ±0.90) 0.6 2.11 0.6 13.00 ±0.29 0.11 0. 10.04 (0.09 0.28 0.03 0. 2. coefficient alpha in parentheses Table IV.08 SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 1.34 ± c Notes: Correlations of 0.08 ±0.44 0. 11 NO.0 0.20 0.47 0.2 ± ±0.70) ±0.1 1 = male and 0 = female.24 0.15 0.9 ± ± 1.28 0.58) 0.00 0.10 0.22 0. Descriptive statistics and correlations 95 .16 0.5 7. 15.4 18. b Mean ± 0. VOL.08 ±0.46 ±0.68 1-5 4-20 3-15 2-10 3-15 4-20 4-20 3-15 5-25 0-500 1-6 1-5 (0.31 0. 2 2002 Variables 22.12 0.67 0.37 0.33 ± 0.2 6.05 0. ± 0.01 0. 7.18 ±0.47 0.8.45 0.79) 0.19 0.08 0.29 (0.30 0.35 0. 5.28 1 = yes and 0 = no.06 0.09 0.03 0.02 (0.26 ±0.05 0.43 0.JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. 16.0 3.42 0.2 9.8 1. 11.40 (0.23 0.
2 Univariate main effects for EVER H1 PURCH ±0. so age was no longer incorporated in the analyses.0 < H8 SHOP 13.4 0.646 H9 DSI 9.3 15.000 0.4 3. 1500) = 1.000 0.7 41.0 0.8 < MEANS 3.5 13.0 0.14.034 0. the correlation of the DSI with the knowledge measure (r = 0.014 Observed power 1. Comparisons of mean scores 96 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT.006 0.1 H5 CHEAP 6.082 0.9 < H4 SAFE 7.468 1.798 Univariate main effects for SEX PURCH 0. 2 2002 . (2000).4 3. The results also showed no statistically significant multivariate interaction between sex and race (F(33.3 2. The multivariate effect of sex was significant (F(11.075 H3 FUN 10. they spent more on apparel than men.000 0.005 0. and they enjoyed shopping more than men.5 SHOP 11. where African-Americans rated the Internet as less safe than whites and CHEAP (p = 0.1 < H2 MEANS 3.1 11. sex and race on the dependent variables.000 0.988 139. sex and race An analysis was performed to assess the influence of age.7 < DSI 10.0 0.06 3. and CONFIDENCE are similar to those reported by Goldsmith (2000).245 0.4 7.40) is comparable with that reported by Flynn et al.2 10.2 19.005 eta2 0.0 13.8.000 0.1 10.021 0.431 1.422 0.576 0.2 19.008 0.074 0.000 0.033).000 0. p < 0.032 0.000 0. and this was confirmed by the results of the MANCOVA. 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. These differences were few and small in size.000 0.967 0.934 0.0 1.397 1.0 7.014). 11 NO. The correlations in Table IV suggest that age was only significantly correlated with shopping enjoyment.000 0. but the only univariate differences were for SAFE (p = 0.072 0. while the men reported purchasing more online than the women and felt that the Internet was cheaper than the women. Univariate tests showed that women reported purchasing apparel by any means more often than men.4 4.8 Notes: a Estimated marginal means.601 0.060 0. For this analysis a 2 Â 2 (SEX Â EVER) MANOVA was run with the ten dependent variables as before (see Table V).0 44. Moreover.784 0.9 10.126 30. CHEAP.558 Table V.5 < SAFE 7.1 6. where the ``others'' rated the Internet as cheaper than both whites and African-Americans.000 0.4 H6 QUICK 9.052 0. QUICK.8 < FUN 11.070 0.0 0. VOL.0 0. and so race was no longer included in the analyses.993 1.8 < QUICK 9.002 0.0 0.7 < H7 CONFIDENT 13. p = 0.3 0.7 87.8 14. There was a statistically significant multivariate effect of race (F(33.032).3 KNOW 19.1 12.62.9 12.9 CHEAP 6. The interaction term was Dependent variables Mean scoresa Men Women Fb p 0.184 0. 1500) = 1.5 14.7 7. b df = 1.054 0. 498) = 4.6 CONFIDENT 14.0 0.000 0.75 37.678 0.001 0.001 0.213 0.2 18. SAFE.3 1.200 0.074 0.8 68. 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.8 5.001).006 0.9 3.1 32.089 0.059 1. Influence of age.0 0.266).025 0.FUN.110 0. p = 0.136 0.8 < H10 KNOW 18.126 1.9 9.
The univariate analyses showed that. H9 and H10 were confirmed. p < 0. The results showed that men averaged more hours online per week than women. but men who had bought apparel online reported buying disproportionately more online than women who had bought apparel online. The multivariate main effect for SEX was significant (F(10. a 2 Â 2 (SEX Â EVER.3. JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. 549) = 14. men reported buying more than women. and (2) how likely the respondent was to buy online in the coming year (LIKELY). H6. and men reported that they thought online buying was more fun. H7. Thus. Finally. women reported that they enjoyed shopping (SHOP) more than men. women spent more on apparel than men. was statistically significant (F(10. whether a respondent had ever bought apparel online.01). or in shopping enjoyment (SHOP). perceptions that online buying was cheaper (CHEAP). In addition to significant main effect differences for PURCH and MEANS. quicker. thus violating the assumptions of MANOVA (Huck and Cormier. 374-7). The online apparel buyers also were more innovative and knowledgeable about the Internet than non-buyers. online apparel buyers reported spending more time online and were more likely to buy online in the future than non-buyers. These were: (1) the number of hours the respondent was online in an average week (HOURS). 549) = 2. Online apparel buyers The multivariate main effect for EVER. (2) the amount of reported spending on apparel (SPEND). 11 NO.statistically significant (F(10. For PURCH. Follow-up univariate analyses showed that the interactions. 549) = 20. As a final analysis.001). 2 2002 97 Additional variables . H1. with age as a covariate) MANCOVA was conducted comparing the buyers and non-buyers on three additional variables. p < 0. H3. 1996. These findings are similar to those reported in other studies of online buying. were significant for only two of the dependent variables.4. VOL. compared with those who had not bought apparel online. buying apparel by any means. and they were more confident in their ability to buy online. p = 0.4. Women reported buying apparel by any means more than men. a Mann-Whitney non-parametric analysis was conducted testing whether the observations from the two groups of online apparel buyers were equivalent in location. the amount of online buying. but men who had bought apparel online reported buying disproportionately less apparel by any means than the women online buyers. 313-15. pp. H4. 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. cheaper and quicker than the 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. These analyses were consistent with the parametric tests. safer. and the men were more likely to shop online in the future than were the women. There were no statistically significant differences in the self-reported apparel purchase (MEANS). The opposite effect was observed for MEANS.001). however.
the results suggest that their online buyers may be somewhat different from their in-store customers and may represent new customers. Online apparel buyers were more confident in their ability to buy online and were more innovative and knowledgeable about the Internet than non-buyers. e-marketers might focus on emphasizing the added advantages of fun. 2000). Consumers who buy disproportionately more apparel likely enjoy shopping and want the emotional and sensory pleasures of touching. Respondent demographics were also unrelated to buying apparel online. spending and buying by any means (0. they were no more likely than non-buyers to shop for clothes by other means. They might emphasize how different online buying is and not pretend that it is the same as in-store shopping. 2000. to attract apparel buyers to Web sites. Online apparel buyers obviously must want and need clothing. While online apparel buyers were clearly more positive on the attitudinal and psychological characteristics. 1999). Note the positive intercorrelations in Table IV between spending on apparel and shopping (r = 0. consistent with a series of studies that have evidenced their psychometric soundness (e. 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. That is. reliable operationalizations of these constructs. but suggest that a JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. VOL. For managers. None of these variables was correlated with amount of online buying (PURCH). 2000. Online apparel buyers did not differ from non-buyers in their belief in how cheap buying online is. to be motivated differentially by their attitudes toward the Internet.Respondent demographics Discussion The present study compared selected characteristics of consumers who had purchased apparel online with those who had not. or to spend money buying clothes. The findings are consistent with other studies that show that favorable attitudes are related to online buying. Flynn et al. Goldsmith. 2 2002 Positive attitudes 98 . Thus. to enjoy shopping in general. appear to be motivated by their positive attitudes toward the Internet. Underhill. the attitude measures appear to be robust across studies and provide valid. so this basic motivation partially underlies their behavior. seeing and trying on clothes (see Seckler. They should first ensure that their sites are fun to use. load rapidly with prompt post-sale delivery of ordered merchandise. in their overall enjoyment of shopping. Online buyers. they are not disproportionately motivated by clothing as a product category or by interest in shopping. or in how often they bought apparel by any means.30). These findings confirm theoretical accounts of consumer behavior and extend their generality into the new realm of cyber-commerce. but by the perceived advantages of online buying and their positive predisposition toward this mode of commerce. These results reveal a systematic pattern of psychological and behavioral factors that seem to facilitate online apparel purchase. and between shopping and buying (0. and are completely safe to use. They seem. Joint or cooperative strategies might display apparel online. From the methodological perspective.43). 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. safer and quicker than non-buyers.40). The results showed that online apparel buyers purchased online more often. 11 NO.. in contrast. speed and safety. This should encourage researchers to use them as standardized measures of e-commerce-related attitudes.g. The findings also confirm the reliability and validity of the innovativeness (DSI) and knowledge scales. felt that online buying was more fun.
L. Vol.R. pp. apparel marketers should cater to their unique tastes. and Kim. this is a minor limitation (Calder et al. 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.E. ``The e-holiday shopping report''. the focal topic was clothing in general and not a specific type (new fashion. Goldsmith. Similarly. 7. 2 2002 99 Expand the scope of the findings . Silveman. (2000). 2000). and time studied. pp.M. 209-23.. 1 No. 110-20. S. L. pp. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management..different experience could be had in the store. Thus. 100 No. The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. sports clothes. ``How innovativeness differentiates online buyers''. ``A cross-cultural validation of three new marketing scales for fashion research: involvement. and knowledge''. Industrial Management & Data Systems. D. replication studies would be a valuable way to track changes in online apparel buying over time. S. M. Vol.N. measures.emarketer. VOL. Online apparel buyers and nonbuyers did not differ in their perception that buying online is cheaper than offline.. The online buyer behaviors studied should be expanded beyond just buying to include browsing. Finally. As noted in the introduction..E. as well as consumption of specific categories of apparel. 294-300. To attract new buyers online. but were not measured. As online apparel buying spreads beyond the innovative and knowledgeable consumer to the less sophisticated shopper. eMarketer (2000). ``Profiling potential adopters and non-adopters of an interactive electronic shopping medium''. Phillips.A. Sprott. Advantages of the study lie in the large sample size and validity of the measures used. Vol. Lack of randomness in the sample limits generalizability of the point and interval estimates to a larger population. (2000). No conclusions can be drawn about concepts that might be related to online apparel buying. Quarterly Journal of Electronic Commerce. D. Eastlick.E. JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. R. but since the main purpose of the study was to test theoretical hypotheses about online buying. pp. specificity. Thus. and the results are limited to the measures employed. A. Citrin.). Web sites must be made simple and easy to use. 27 No.E. since the results suggest that many online apparel buyers will buy online again. ``Designing research for application''. 197-207. W. since e-commerce and online consumer behavior are constantly changing phenomena. pp. Jr (2000). Journal of Consumer Research. References Calder.com Flynn. the present study is only a snapshot picture and not a longitudinal view. abilities and habits. available at: www. 4. September. such as new fashions or unique sizes and needs.. and Tybout. 4 No. growth is a major theme of e-commerce. 1981).W. other researchers could make use of our measures to study buying behavior in other areas as well. where unique accessories or combinations of clothes could be seen. 6. opinion seeking. Future research should examine online apparel using data from other demographic. ``Adoption of Internet shopping: the role of consumer innovativeness''. Finally. This is especially true.V. 2. and Stem. A. because non-users are not very confident that they can buy online successfully. apparel e-tailers may have to change perceptions that online buying is unsafe (see Robinson. 323-33. B. Goldsmith. 8. Vol. (1999). work clothes. Seckler's (2000) argument that offering price discounts may be a prime way to attract non-buyers is supported. Vol. Snapshot picture The study is limited by the nature of the sample. etc.J. comparison shopping and combining the Internet with in-store consumption. and Lotz. (1981). 11 NO. socio-economic and national groups of consumers to expand the scope of the findings. In-store demonstrations of online shopping might encourage non-buyers to shop online. R.
. Limayem. IEEE Transactions on Systems. S. NY. 2. 168-80. Women's Wear Daily. Anderson. D. ``Retailers find Web apparel unprofitable''. 209-21. (2000). T. Hallberg. ``Survey says Web apparel buys doubled''.E. 4.E. A.H. (2000). R. C. R. E. and Bridges. ``Electronic commerce: an emerging issue in consumer education''. Upper Saddle River. 11 NO. Vol. Journal of Consumer Studies & Home Economics. (1996). 376-7. (1998).. (2000). T. ``More women wardrobe online than ever''. Goldsmith. and Frini. Internet Research. E. Daily News Record. R. & 100 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. Vol. Vol. 19. G. available at: www. Business 2.K. New York. ``E-commerce: consumer protection issues and implications for research and education''. 3. pp. (2000).. M.. pp. ``What makes consumers buy from the Internet? A longitudinal study of online shopping''.. O'Guinn. Silverman. pp. and Cybernetics.L. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. NJ. ``Age and income play key roles in online sales''. Quarterly Journal of Electronic Commerce. T. 3 No. 4th ed.0. ``Two dimensions of computer and Internet use: a reliable and validated scale''. S. 31 July.J. J. Tatham. (2000). 20. Journal of Marketing. Katz. J. M. 2.C. (2000).R. All Consumers Are not Created Equal. and Aspden. 27 March. Murphy. Hogg. Seckler. (2001). ``Fashion brand preferences among young consumers''. Nelson. pp. and Black. 12 September.W. (1997). W. 153-61. Quarterly Journal of Electronic Commerce. Belfast. 3. Goldsmith. and Agins. 4. 12 September. 8. pp. New York. R. (1989). 3. D. Man. Vol. Solomon. 2 2002 . pp. 2. p. 4. and Hill. Vol. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. 3. Prentice-Hall. P. Harvard Management Update (2000). 3-4. M.Goldsmith. 60 No. R. 16 No. 19 No. ``Measuring consumer innovativeness''. (1999). Robinson. Hoffman. New York. L. p. J. R. HarperCollins College Publishers. S. ``Internet at a glance''. Huck. Vol. Multivariate Data Analysis. Karson. Simon & Schuster. and McGregor. Wall Street Journal.L. 1. 279. (1991).P. and Hofacker. J. (1999). pp. 6 June. (1998). 7 No.E. Vol.. J. and Novak. pp. ``Lessons from the online war for customers''. ``E-tailing vs retailing: using attitudes to predict online buying behavior''. W. NY. Business 2. Vol. p. Vol. 170-88.ucla. 245-53. Consumer Behavior: Buying. Khalifa. 293-300. Reading Statistics and Research. Kuntz. A. 3 No. Part A: Systems and Humans. and Cormier. (2000). ``Marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments: conceptual foundations''. 1 No. and Being. 5th ed. p. and McGregor. (1996). UCLA (2000). P. ``The UCLA Internet report: surveying the digital future''. R. pp. Bruce. John Wiley. Vol. Harvard Management Update.ccp. Vickery. pp. Upper Saddle River. ``Motivations for and barriers to Internet usage: results of a national public opinion survey''. B6. 370-6. (1999). pp. M. 12 July. and Faber.E. V. 2nd ed. 26 No. 124-7.F.F. Goldsmith.0. ``Keynote address''. 147-57. VOL. Hair. Vol. The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. NJ. E. Proceedings of XIX International Consumer Studies and Home Economics Research Conference. pp. Prentice-Hall. ``Click and cover''. ``Compulsive buying: a phenomenological exploration''. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. 421-32... The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. (1999). (1999). p. 49-60. January. M. (2000). 30 No. ``Download: Internet news II''. Wilson. 24 No.E. pp.J. Having. R.edu Underhill.C. Journal of Consumer Research. (1995). NJ. Women's Wear Daily. 1 No. (2000).
The remainder of Goldsmith and Goldsmith's findings throw up words like ``confident''. a great deal of thought and significant investment.'' These people are different and we need to know why and. little is known about the actual online customer. in general terms. Goldsmith and Goldsmith set out to compare clothes buyers who have bought online with those who have not made this sort of purchase. 11 NO. while getting the online equivalent of footfall is easy. However. are non-users. Our e-buyers take the view that `` . the other (more psychological) factors suggest that these preferences are symptomatic of the type rather than definitional. consumers who have previous experience in online buying will be more likely to buy apparel online than those who lack such experience. 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. Know your customer ± the marketer's mantra Goldsmith and Goldsmith observe that. 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. we still lack any clear understanding of the business models that can deliver success online. And. People who do not buy online do not have a great deal of trust in JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. that the people who matter to e-retailers are those very similar to existing users who. the experts on distribution and sales channels. . like Goldsmith and Goldsmith. understood by marketers. 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. at the same time. 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. E-retailing has not taken off. Part of the resistance appears to lie in fear (characterised as being a lack of confidence). because the chasm between these two groups remains unbridged. appreciate the ``quickness'' and flexibility of online buying and see the Web as making buying easier. converting these visitors to customers is a massive challenge.'' We should also note. We can say ± with some safety ± that the prospects for another Internet trading investment boom have gone. technology and promotion. For every apparent e-retailing success. For marketers this situation is a disappointment. ``innovative''. . VOL. ``knowledgeable'' and ``fun''. Doubts persist about the security of money transfers online. Weak links between real world distribution ± getting the product to the customer ± and the cosy virtual world get in the way of seamless service. . at present. . As a result the apparent mass market for e-commerce remains a future dream. we get a massive ± and usually very expensive ± failure. to understand the resistance of others to e-commerce. Some of these differences are pretty prosaic ± online buyers have fewer security worries. 2 2002 101 . At the same time we have raised questions about the capacity of the technology to deliver what we want. Underlying the study is the assumption (supported by research and largely common sense) that `` . the special circumstances of e-commerce make this a unique consumption activity.This summary has been provided to allow managers and executives a rapid appreciation of the content of this article. The difference between ``innovators'' and ``early adopters'' is well researched and. after all. while a great deal is said about online processes. 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). Despite this. We are.
Removing the fear Two elements are involved in removing consumer distrust of e-commerce. Pretending that the e-marketers have nothing to learn from old.) 102 JOURNAL OF PRODUCT & BRAND MANAGEMENT. The first is more confidence with the technology involved in buying online. E-commerce becomes accessible when these barriers are removed and there are many techniques available that marketers can use. games etc. the e-retailer does little that is different from the mail order company. on-screen and online help and ``idiot guides''. so far. even when they use the Internet for a variety of other activities (information gathering. Nevertheless. 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. or confidence) are dealt with. communications. Even with comprehensible manuals. testimonials. The second element is purely promotional and is about securing trial and reducing the distrust. in the final analysis. This seems to hold true. featuring low-risk entry products. And the direct marketer knows that profits come from repeat business rather than from the first sale. E-commerce represents a new channel and. Until these issues of fear (or trust. no-quibble return policies. E-commerce needs more confidence to sell itself successfully but. for some businesses. . eretailers should learn from direct marketers. the Internet does not change the nature of the product itself (a pair of shorts remains a pair of shorts). 11 NO. Bear in mind that most of us who use computers take advantage of a tiny part of the capacity of even basic software. Mail order and direct marketers have always faced resistance to their channel. . But for most businesses and especially retailers. 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. a different means of delivering product. 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. grizzled (and boring) mail order people is a mistake that is probably costing you money. product endorsement ± by real customers. (A precis of the article ``Buying apparel over the Internet''. VOL. we still stick to basic processing. Ease-of-use is fundamental to successful e-retailing and. free gifts and other order incentives. . product and service guarantees. we have failed to achieve sufficiently easy systems to remove the consumer's worry about getting it wrong. Indeed. payment on delivery rather than payment with the order. . these marketers have developed (and tested) a variety of simple techniques to secure trial and build confidence: . and prize draws.). Rather than reinventing the wheel. marketers will struggle to take the idea of e-commerce into the mainstream of retailing. 2 2002 . Supplied by Â Marketing Consultants for Emerald. . whatever the incentive. Too many e-commerce operations have floundered. .the medium. mail order people appreciate that there remains a large chunk of the population that will never buy mail order.
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