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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | Information Systems Science | 2014
Thesis number: 13546
Factors influencing customers' choices of online merchants
Author: Li, Chenghuan
Title: Factors influencing customers' choices of online merchants
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: Information Systems Science
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; kuluttajat; consumers; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; shoppailu; shopping; päätöksenteko; decision making; e-business; e-business
Pages: 74
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13546.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1159378)
Key terms: Online shopping, online consumer behavior, purchase decision making, multi-vendor
Objectives of the Study:

The aim of the research is to define and assess the importance of the factors that influence online shoppers' choices of merchants. The previous literature mainly focuses on loyalty of users to websites and online purchase decision-making process within one website. No literature studies the situation under which the customer has already decided the item to purchase and needs to compare different merchants selling the same item. Since this situation is very common in online shopping, it is quite valuable to find out the dominant factors that make customers choose one merchant over the others.

Academic background and methodology:

We will review previous literature relevant to consumer's preference to online vendor. We examine the web experience and e-loyalty theories and define the influencing factors. Then we analyze the user feedback from a price comparison tool of Chinese online vendors. We then collect more factors that influence consumers choice. To assess the importance of the factors, we design a questionnaire survey to collect consumers' opinions of the importance of each factor. We let respondents to rate from 1 to 7 regarding how important is each factor. The average score of each factor represents the importance of it.

Findings and conclusions:

After reviewing the literature and examining the user feedback, we get the 7 important influencing factors including reputation and trust, web quality, stickiness to website, order fulfillment performance, price, sales volume, reviews and ratings. We then collect and analyze the results of the questionnaire survey. The importance of each factor orders in the following way: reputation and trust, order fulfillment performance, ratings and reviews, web quality, sales volume, stickiness factor. However, the reputation factor and price factor are quite close and therefore can be considered as at the same level. Meanwhile, order fulfillment performance factor and ratings and reviews factor are also at the same level.
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