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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4902||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing, Volume 85, Issue 3, September 2009, Pages 298–307
This paper presents the results of a survey of customers of an Internet clothing retailer examining how consumers’ preferences to shop and buy on the Internet rather than at bricks-and-mortar stores differ depending on their compulsive buying tendencies. Using shopping motivations such as seeking product and information variety, the ability to buy unobserved, avoiding social interactions, and experiencing positive feelings during shopping and buying, we find a positive linear relationship between a tendency to buy compulsively and Internet shopping and buying motivations. The research demonstrates that the items used to measure these motivations can also be used to identify buyers who have a tendency to buy compulsively. The paper also offers important retailing, managerial and public policy implications of the findings
Motivation has been defined as goal-directed arousal (Park and Mittal 1985). In the current context, the goal, and our focus, is restricted to consumer shopping or buying activities and motivations. The topic of shopping and buying motivations has been of interest in marketing research for some time. For example, several typologies have been developed for retail shopping motivations (Bellenger and Korgaonka, 1980, Moschis, 1976 and Westbrook and Black, 1985). Motives studied have included product-oriented motives, experiential motives (including the recreational and hedonic aspects of buying), shopping convenience, information search, recreational shopping, and variety seeking (Arnold and Reynolds, 2003, Darden and Ashton, 1975 and Dawson et al., 1990). One typology developed for Internet shoppers includes the convenience shopper, the variety seeker, the store-oriented shopper and the balanced buyer (Rohm and Swaminathan 2004). Recently, researchers found significant differences between Internet shoppers with utilitarian motives and hedonic motives (To, Liao, and Lin 2007). Similarly, Noble, Griffith, and Adjie (2006) compared information search, price comparison, uniqueness seeking, product assortment, convenience seeking, social interaction and browsing as Internet shopping motives. We selected the motivations used in this research based on Noble, Griffith, and Adjie (2006), to select the motivations used in this research. Further, to develop the hypotheses linking motivations with compulsive buying tendencies, we draw on previous research on compulsive buying (e.g., Dittmar and Drury, 2000, Faber and O’Guinn, 1992 and McElroy et al., 1994).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The present research contributes to the expanding knowledge of consumer behavior on the Internet relative to the bricks-and-mortar retail environment and to the literature on compulsive buying behavior. The key contributions of this paper are (1) further development of a theory of compulsive buying, (2) identifying motivations of compulsive buyers to shop and buy on the Internet as opposed to bricks-and-mortar stores, (3) developing measures of shopping and buying motivations that can predict compulsive buying tendencies, (4) an application within the online shopping and buying context, (5) identifying the relationship between the compulsive buying tendencies, Internet shopping and buying motivations, and other behavioral variables, and (6) validating the findings with actual purchase data. Theoretical contribution The present research contributes to the development of a theory of compulsive buying by identifying the motivational forces underlying the purchase behaviors of consumers based on their compulsive buying tendencies. Moreover, it shows that compulsive buying is a prevalent phenomenon in the general population, as it affected 17.7 percent of respondents in our study. Compulsive buying and the Internet Our research findings indicate that consumer preferences for shopping and buying on the Internet as opposed to bricks-and-mortar stores differ depending on their tendency to buy compulsively. Further, this preference for the Internet and the tendency to buy compulsively can be at least partially explained by the set of shopping motivations identified in this paper. Another important contribution of the present research pertains to identifying the relationship between compulsive buying tendency and shopping motives and other relevant behavioral variables. All motives but the product and information variety showed a significant positive relationship with scores on the compulsive buying scale. In addition, all additional behavioral motives showed a similar significant relationship with compulsive buying. This finding indicates that people who exhibit strong tendencies to buy compulsively experience stronger feelings with respect to shopping and buying, stronger buying and shopping motivations, and exhibit more extreme shopping and buying behaviors. Overall, our findings indicate that, as their compulsive buying tendency increased, consumers were more strongly motivated to buy on the Internet compared to a more traditional retail store environment. This motivation appears to be due to the consumers’ ability to buy unobserved and avoid social interaction while shopping and buying online, as well as the immediate positive feelings associated with their Internet buying experience. Characteristics of compulsive buyers To buy unobserved and to quickly experience strong positive feelings during the purchase episode are two motivations most common to compulsive buyers. This conclusion is supported by the largest standardized regression coefficients (βs = .34 and .42, respectively) and the largest average values compared to other cluster segments (see Table 5). While prior research indicated that the lack of social interaction on the Internet was a limitation of the online shopping environment (Grewal, Iyer, and Levy 2004), we show that this characteristic may, in fact, not be a limitation for compulsive buyers. The Internet allows these consumers to buy secretly and without contact with others. Moreover, although an Internet shopping experience may be considered as less stimulating than shopping in the bricks-and-mortar retail stores, it may still produce positive feelings in some consumers. In fact, compulsive buyers may find it more stimulating due to a greater variety of products they can access online. While we have not measured the experience of flow, it is possible that compulsive buyers are more likely to experience “flow” while buying on the Internet, leading to more positive feelings elicited by the Internet shopping and buying experience (Csikszentmihalyi 1990). Further, because they are preoccupied with buying and lack impulse control, compulsive buyers desire an immediate release of negative feelings and an accompanying surge of positive feelings that the Internet buying process brings them. Also, they are willing to exchange this immediacy of positive feelings for postponing the actual receipt and consumption of purchased products to a later time. Theoretical, managerial and public policy implications Retail researchers should be interested in the results of this study for several reasons. First, there may be more consumers who have tendencies to be compulsive buyers than previous research has found. In this study, nearly 18 percent of our sample could be classified as such. Second, based on their shopping and buying motivations, these consumers may prefer different retail outlets than non-compulsive buyers. While due to the nature of the Internet retail customers’ sample the compulsive buyers’ propensity to shop in a specific retail channel (Internet vs. bricks-and-mortar store) cannot be accurately assessed in the present study (i.e., it would be overestimated), the present research does offer an indication that compulsive buyers may choose Internet more often than stores as their preferred channel. The results based on the cluster analysis show that the segment identified only by their motivations as compulsive buyers shows the highest propensity (60 percent of buying is done online vs. 40 percent in stores) to buy online among all identified clusters. This finding demonstrates that the shopping and buying motivations may be a better predictor of propensity to shop and buy online (vs. in stores) as compared to the compulsive buying scale, which was not found to be a significant predictor of propensity to buy online in this research. Thus, retail managers could use the motivations to assess consumers’ propensity to shop and buy on the Internet. In addition to the identified motivations being able to better predict consumers’ propensity to buy in a specific retail channel than the compulsive buying scale, the retail managers may want to choose these measures when desiring to obtain richer insights into the underlying reasons for consumer behavior as well as when needing measures less influenced by social desirability bias.4 The research offers further retail implications with respect to different communications strategies that may be appropriate to reach the identified consumer segments. For example, for the consumer segment high on the product and variety motive, Internet retailers should stress this quality of their shopping site in their communications. For the segments high on motivations to buy unobserved or avoid social interaction, communications should include highlighting the consumers’ ability to do so when buying online. Finally, the retailers should strive to develop exciting and interactive shopping sites to stimulate consumers’ immediate positive feelings and thus appeal to the customer segment most desiring such features. The present research also has implications for public policy officials. Since the Internet retail environment allows for ease of shopping, enables consumers to buy unobserved, and provides a stimulating experience, it may encourage compulsive buying. This claim is supported by our finding that consumers in the compulsive buyers cluster segment reported spending 50 percent more of their fashion dollars on the Internet than at traditional retail stores (i.e., 60/40 percent), compared to the non-compulsive cluster segments, who reported spending about equally across the two retail channels (50 percent of fashion budget spent on the Internet vs. 49 percent in retail stores). The Internet appears to be a preferred buying medium for compulsive buyers. The above discussed features of the Internet environment may further contribute to conversion of more vulnerable consumers into becoming compulsive buyers. In addition, the Internet retail environment has been found to stimulate an addiction to buying on the Internet (e.g., Black, Belsare, and Schlosser 1999). This finding could be due to the ease of accumulating a large number of items in a shopping cart and the ease of paying (e.g., express check-out). This relative ease may, in turn, lead to a greater accumulation of consumer debt. Public policy officials may want to consider whether guidelines should be established that would help retailers identify compulsive and problematic buyers, and remove them from some of their communications (e.g., weekly newsletters) so as not to spur them repeatedly into buying sprees (Black, Belsare, and Schlosser 1999). Finally, retail researchers and public officials could use the identified shopping motivations to predict compulsive buyers without actually directly asking consumers the sensitive questions contained in the compulsive buying scale. Shopping motivations thus may provide another important method of identifying the consumer segment with the strongest compulsive buying tendencies. Limitations and future research One limitation of the present research pertains to the nature of the sample used to test the hypotheses. Our sample was comprised of relatively affluent female customers of an upscale Internet clothing retailer and is thus not representative of a general consumer population. Additionally, having a single sample resulted in the necessity of using the same sample for exploratory analysis of the shopping motivations measures as well as for hypotheses testing. Now that the shopping motivation measures are developed and an initial testing of hypotheses has been performed, replication of the results across different samples is needed. Thus, the generalizability of the research findings requires additional research and the present research findings should also be replicated in other contexts. While the sample represents a limitation of this research, at the same time, the choice of the sample enabled us to combine our survey data with actual purchase data provided by the Internet retailer. This combination allowed us to validate the existence of the consumer segment identified only with their shopping motivations as compulsive buyers with actual purchase data, thereby increasing confidence in our predictions and the obtained results. An interesting topic needing further attention is determining consumers’ propensity to shop and buy online depending on their compulsive buying tendency. While the present research offers some indication that compulsive buyers may favor Internet over traditional stores, the findings are not conclusive and should be further investigated using a non-Internet based sample. Research in which click-stream or scanner data are collected in addition to shopping and buying motivations is also needed, as these two data sources together would be able to provide a more complete picture of both consumers’ shopping and buying behaviors, as well as the underlying reasons for their behavior. Additional future research should investigate topics such as the relationship of compulsive buying and Internet addiction, compulsive buying at online auction sites and consumer motivations to buy from an online auction site as compared to an online retail store as well as through other retail formats, such as television shopping channels and catalogs. Executive summary This article examines the relationship between consumers’ motivations to shop and buy on the Internet as opposed to bricks-and-mortar stores and their tendencies to buy compulsively. Compulsive buying refers to a consumers’ tendency to be preoccupied with buying that is revealed through repetitive buying and an inability to control an impulse to buy. Compulsive buying may result in negative consequences for affected consumers such as financial difficulties, emotional problems (including negative feelings and feeling guilty about spending), and social and relationship problems. Recently, it has been estimated that between approximately six and nine percent of the U.S. population could be compulsive buyers. In addition to the current interest in compulsive buying, use of the Internet for retailing purposes also has been steadily growing. Reports indicate that approximately 70 percent of consumers are using the Internet to buy products. For 2007, it was estimated that total retail Internet sales ranged between $136B and $175B, with an annual growth rate near 20 percent. Moreover, relative to bricks-and-mortar sales, the percentage of Internet sales is increasing. Investigating the relationship between Internet buying and compulsive buying is important because the Internet retail environment possesses characteristics that seem to encourage compulsive buying. For example, the Internet offers the opportunity to buy frequently, 24/7 and unobserved. Also, the Internet allows consumers to satisfy a compulsive urge quickly. An important contribution of this research is the development of shopping and buying motivation measures that can be useful for predicting consumers’ tendencies to buy compulsively. We show that the identified motivations can be used to group consumers into segments depending on their purchase behaviors. Using a sample of an e-tailer's customers, a survey was conducted. We used measures of compulsive buying and motivations to shop and buy on the Internet. These measures captured compulsive buying tendency, and the following motivations: the ability to buy unobserved, the avoidance of social interaction with sales clerks and other shoppers, product and information variety and immediate positive feelings upon purchasing from the Internet. We found that the motivations of buying unobserved, avoiding interaction with others and immediate positive feelings were significantly related to compulsive buying. Moreover, we found that those respondents who scored highest on the compulsive buying index also reported spending more on clothing as well as buying more frequently at both traditional retail and Internet stores than respondents who scored lower on the compulsive buying index. To determine whether a compulsive buying segment can be identified based on motives to shop and buy online, we next conducted a cluster analysis. The goal of this analysis was to uncover existing consumer segments relative to online shopping motivations and to see whether any segments match with the shopping motivations of the identified compulsive buyers. We found four clusters (segments). Using data from two sources, self-report and actual (provided by the e-tailer), we compared the four segments on four dimensions: compulsive buying index, total dollar amount spent at the Internet retailer in question over the period 2001–2004, total number of purchases from this e-tailer during the same period and the highest amount of any single purchase from this retailer. We found that the segment identified only by their shopping motivations as “compulsive buyers” indeed scored the highest on the: compulsive buying index, actual amount spent, total number of purchases at the Internet retailer and highest single purchase amount. In contrast, the “bricks-and-mortar buyers” segment scored the lowest on the compulsive buying index, total Internet dollars spent and total number of Internet purchases from the retailer, as anticipated. These findings use actual consumer purchase data to support the existence of the identified segments and show that shopping and buying motives can serve as an Internet shopper segmentation technique. The motives can also predict whether a consumer exhibits compulsive buying tendencies. One major take-away for Internet retailers is that different communication strategies may be appropriate to reach the identified consumer segments. For example, for the consumer segment high on the product and variety motive, Internet retailers should stress the vast number and different items they offer. For the segments high on motivations to buy unobserved or avoid social contact, communications should highlight the privacy of online buying. Also, Internet retailers must design their sites for those who want to feel immediate positive feelings by making it easy to choose items, to put items in a “cart” and to purchase.