Research shows that there are various factors that affect online shopping. This paper presents a critical analysis of An Analysis of Factors Affecting on Online shopping Behavior of Consumers, an article found in the International Journal of Marketing Studies. This report examines the research objectives of the article, theoretical framework, research methods, results and conclusion.
The main objective of the study was to determine the factors that affect consumers online shopping behavior. To meet the objective of the study, the authors settled down on four research questions. Three of the research questions were clear and explicitly focused on the major factors, as identified by prior studies, which affect the online shopping behavior of consumers. However the question on how attitude affects this behavior was rather broad. It was not clear hence may mislead the researchers since the term attitude is too general and does not capture the actual research objective. Perhaps the authors should have used a more specific term to talk about the feeling towards online shopping.
The theoretical framework adapted by the authors of the study is relevant to the research objective. The authors have integrated surveys conducted by various scholars. Most of the articles used were extracted from peer-reviewed journals; hence, making the information credible, reliable and relevant to the research question. To identify the compound effects of various attitudes, beliefs, social influence, perceived risks and intentions that affect online shopping behavior of consumers, the authors formulated ten hypotheses. The authors then identified ten independent variables and two dependent ones that would be used to prove the hypotheses. Also, the authors critically examined the sources and extracted the most useful information for the study. The range of sources, some of which date back to the 1960s but were complemented with more recent ones, bring out a lot of invaluable information that help in setting the background information to the study. In addition, the writing style is very analytical; hence giving the article a scholastic touch. This theoretical framework significantly impacts the direction that the study takes in attempting to answer the research questions.
The authors used quantitative methods to carry out the research. They began buy using the regression analysis to test the hypotheses. The prerequisites for the regression analysis: normal distribution of errors and error independence, were satisfied. This made the authors argue that the tests were valid. This was satisfactory since it fitted well with the research question. To test the main hypothesis, the authors used questionnaires. All the variables were assessed through fifty one questions as formulated by the authors. More so, according to the authors, Cronbachs Alpha was used to test the reliability of the questions. Since all of them were above 0.7, the questionnaire was considered reliable. Since the scope of the study comprised online consumers in Iran, two hundred questionnaires were randomly sent to consumers who do online shopping in five big online stores in Iran. Of the two hundred, one hundred and seven questionnaires qualified for the final analysis. I think the data collected is reliable since the Cronbachs Alpha confirmed the reliability of the test hence indicating that there was internal consistency of the test items. I think the data was also valid because the questionnaire was able to test what it was intended to test. The data was then comprehensively presented in table form for easy analysis and comparison. The information gives a clear link between the theoretical framework and the empirical data; thus, helps in answering the research questions.
The presentation, evaluation and interpretation of the data were well done. Each of the variables was tabulated as appropriate. Following the test, some of the hypotheses were rejected while others were not. In fact, some were supported by prior research. This means that the authors attempted to tie the discussion of the results to the previously conducted theoretical discussion. The authors then go ahead to discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the study. First, they have identified non-delivery and financial risks as the major causes of negative attitude towards online shopping among consumers while subjective norms have positive impact on the attitude towards the same. The authors therefore, suggest that marketers and owners of online stores to ensure that goods are delivered to customers as expected so that they can change their attitude towards online shopping. They add that since subjective norms seem to play a significant role in determining a positive attitude towards online shopping, it would be practical for marketers of online goods and services to do word-of-mouth-marketing and encourage people to suggest e-buying to one another. Although the study had limitations, it was able to meet its objectives. It identified the major factors that affect the behavior of consumers in the online market. The discoveries they made would be very important for managers and online marketers. The main contribution of this research would go a long way in assisting managers and online marketers in identifying the stumbling blocks in this market segment. It helps them build trust in their customers by eliminating the risk factors associated with online shopping, making the platform user-friendly, improving the safety and privacy of consumers, as well as ensuring delivery for all goods and services ordered. The other contribution of the study is that it informs the managers and online marketers that subjective norms are very important in ensuring a positive attitude towards online shopping. In short, the study offered some major contribution to the existing knowledge on the factors affecting consumer behavior in online shopping.
Finally, the thesis provides invaluable information which is systematically presented. The researchers begin with an abstract that announces what the thesis is about, introduce the thesis, give a comprehensive review of previous research on the topic, methodically carry out the research, analyze the results, conclude and, finally, give recommendations and implication. As a matter of fact, the study contributes a lot to the area covered. However, there are a few problems. There are instances of unnecessary repetition in the thesis, some words are wrongly used and some sentence structures are not clear. This, in some instances, hampers clarity of ideas. As a result, the intended communication is affected. Nevertheless, the data is well presented, with analysis tables and interpretations that are easy to follow. The authors have also done the correct referencing, with both appropriate in-text citations and a reference list at the end of the paper. The references are adequate for a paper of such a caliber. The authors have also included the questionnaire they used to collect information. It is attached as part of the appendix. Generally, the layout is appropriate for a thesis.
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