The importance of using foreign markets leads to the suspected reasons why Germans purchase in foreign online shops. Basically, the eBay study displays that the relevance of purchasing abroad has gained importance. But, by looking at the frequency of cross-border online purchases, there is still room for growth. By comparing the mentioned studies above, it becomes clear that purchases abroad are quite capable of improvement whereas the focus of online shopping still lies on the domestic market. The obstacles for a more intensive use of the international online purchase still lead back to the lack of trust in the foreign sellers and in the uncertainties in the law regulation.
According to the eBay and the PwC studies, the high shipping costs are a relevant factor for the fact that foreign purchases take place less often.
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Also, doubts about a not functioning revocation or the guarantee, the uncertainty about the payment procedure and the use of customer service are inhibition thresholds that complicate the cross-border purchase on the internet eBay, ; PwC, Despite the great influence the internet has on enterprises and consumers, the scientific research is still at the very beginning. Thereby, the most common research focus lies on consumer behavior in the home market. Accordingly, there are only few studies which investigate the purchasing behavior of cross border online shoppers and the Chinese e-commerce enterprises that want to reach consumers outside of China.
Because of Chinas immense e-commerce potential, most of the studies deal with the buying power of Chinese consumers and their engagement with western e-commerce companies. In contrast, there is a lack of theoretical and empirical research that discusses important market penetration strategies and the generation of sustainable competitive advantages for Chinese e-commerce companies in European markets. Therefore, this chapter describes explanatory approaches of consumer behavior, which are of interdisciplinary nature. Based on a reasonable and understandable selection, the approaches will be then transferred to the subject of using a cross-border online shop from China.
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Most of the research on the adoption and diffusion of e-commerce concentrates on the understanding of how e-commerce is an innovation and on the factors that drive e-commerce adoption or non-adoption Boateng, Molla and Heeks, In his framework, Rogers examined the development of innovations in social systems and channels and among its members. As a technology adoption, e-commerce is driven by market conditions, either by the competitive pressure or by the opportunity of using new technologies and the search for new market applications. Technologies do not easily diffuse in industries.
In general, different reasons are responsible for the increased use of new technologies. In the case of online shopping, the adoption process describes the way the customer learns about, tests and accepts or rejects the innovation of online shopping ibid. The innovation adoption process by Rogers is structured by five phases: awareness, interest, evaluation, trial and adoption.
With the introduction of information- and telecommunication systems ICT and the innovation of e- commerce, the phases of use and approval switch into the focus of research ibid. In his research on e-commerce development among automobile buyers, Betz established an acceptance model. The automotive industry is one of the possible levels to do research on e- commerce adoption or acceptance. The characteristics of the adopters of e-commerce are of different expressions. The differences do not only occur on the country level.
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For example, adopters of online shopping can be a homogenous group across countries or a heterogeneous group in their home country. Adopters can be categorized by cultural differences, such as language and attitude towards buying foreign country products. They can also be categorized into homogenous cross-border groups with characteristics like explorative online behavior. Rogers groups the adopters due to their innovativeness and willingness to test new products. He identifies five ideal types of adopters: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and the laggards.
Thereby, the innovators, the type of people with the highest degree of innovativeness, are by far the smallest group. The biggest groups are the early and late majority. The laggards represent the group of people that adopts innovations last Rogers, According to the facts mentioned in chapter 2. The above mentioned innovativeness cannot be used as a transferable personal characteristic of consumers, because of the difference between the used product categories.
Therefore, the research on early adoption of online shopping additionally concentrates on other essential variables, like higher education, income and social status.
The study of Chau and Hu discusses the influence of income on the behaviour towards information systems. Higher income may result in a higher demand for online purchases and decrease the perceived risk. They claim that purchasing and repurchasing decisions depend more on the online experience and the attitude towards the repetitive use of e-commerce and a highly frequent use of the internet in general Hernandez et al.
Other studies concentrate more on the internet-specific innovativeness as having a moderating effect on the online purchase decision. Blake, Neuendorf and Valdiserri proved a positive effect of the internet-specific innovativeness on the decision of buying products online in their research Blake et al.
In summary, the following findings seem to be important for the explanation to use a foreign online shop:. But perceived risk seems to be an important aspect which needs to be explained more detailed. In fact, most of the research in the field of e-commerce and consumer behavior is attributable to the Technology Acceptance Model TAM.
The TRA delivers basic constructs, like the attitude towards using, the behavioral intention to use and the actual use. The mediating variable is the attitude towards using an information technology which is determined by two main latent variables. Thereby, Davis assumes that besides the influence on the attitude towards using, the perceived use has a direct influence on the behavioral intention to use.
As illustrated in Figure 4, both of the variables influence the attitude towards using and the perceived usefulness has a direct influence on the intention variable. In his research, Parsons examined variables related to perceived usefulness like motives with a non-functional attitude. This study showed a significant influence of non-functional motives, like diverse access to products or learning about new trends, on online purchasing behavior Parsons, Although the TAM is the mostly used theory and considered to be the most influential one in the research of e-commerce, a majority of the studies in the field of consumer behavior and e- commerce focus on one market, the US market.
Cultural and economic imbalances are not being integrated in the models as relationships between variables Durvasula et al. Studies by Park and Jun and Brashear et al. Recapitulating the findings of this chapter, following subjects are of importance for this thesis:. The cross-country differences may have an effect on online purchasing behavior in foreign online shops and will be explained in more detail.
As presented in chapter 2. The research on perceived risk has developed due to the appearance of new technologies and can differ regarding individual relationships and situations, like using the internet to buy products and services Tan, Most of the recent studies did not specify the type of risk that affected the purchasing attitude or did not even take it into their investigation. Even though risk is not only of importance for purchasing behavior, the research on risk is also crucial for firms that should define and understand risk producing factors and provide information to eliminate or reduce these risk factors Schiffman et al.
The research by Bhatnagar, Sanjog and Raghav showed two types of risk in online shopping. The study implied that products of a more complex technology level or a higher price had a higher risk perception. Second, the financial risk included the fear of losing money. Namely by receiving a non-functioning product or not receiving a product at all or losing personal payment information when purchasing a product online Bhatnagar et al.
In addition to the research on perceived risk, the cross-border perspectives of taking risks by purchasing a product in a foreign online shop need to be taken into account. The cross-cultural influence on consumer behavior is considered one of the most influential factors in research on international marketing.
For example, a culture with a high uncertainty avoidance level would tend to be less risk-taking because their motivations are affected by fear of failure or loss Hofstede, Their results show only a slight difference between the US and South Korea, whereby the perceived risk of the South Korean online shoppers were explained with a higher level of social risk, whereas the perceived risk of US American online shoppers comes from a higher level of financial risk.
Therefore, the American users tend to fear the loss of money and time, while the Koreans care more about the opinion of family members and other members of their social groups about their purchasing decision. Besides the product related-risks, Schroeder and Zaharia identified the delivery-related and the payment-related risks.
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