Date of Award

8-2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Jeanette Francis

Second Advisor

John Cipolla

Third Advisor

Rhonda Polak

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify the critical factors involved in each stage of the Buyer Decision Process model, developed by Kotler and Armstrong (1997), as this study relates to online retail shopping in the country of Taiwan. This study explored whether and to what extent these factors influence consumers making online purchase decisions. The Buyer Decision Process model consists of five stages: (a) need recognition; (b) information search; (c) alternatives evaluation; (d) purchase decision; and (e) post-purchase decision. This research study attempted to design a framework based on this model to explore the perceived consumer value of online purchase through the entire consumption process in a B2C e-commerce setting in the country of Taiwan.

There are many problems in this research area, such as: (a) B2C e-commerce is very competitive; (b) online shoppers have different characteristics from traditional shoppers; (c) most B2C Websites are ignored by Internet users; and (d) online shoppers are unable to touch, feel, or see real products to evaluate quality. Therefore, how to attract worldwide potential customers to Websites is a challenge for global e-retailers; and how to analyze and understand consumer preferences is a challenge for global e-retailers in the fast-changing digital marketing as well.

There are five research questions in this research study, based on the five stages of the Buyer Decision Process model to measure consumer online behavior in Taiwan. In order to answer the five research questions, the researcher identified 14 critical factors for consumer online purchase decisions based on the five stages. These critical factors include: Free Trials, Internet Advertisements, Search Engines, Online Shopping Malls, Auction Websites, Convenience, Price, Brand, Security, Promotion, Refund, Satisfaction, Customized Information, and Discount. In general, the study results supported the inference of relationships between the 14 critical factors and Internet users' receptivity to online shopping, with Satisfaction ranking first, Online Shopping Malls ranking second, and Convenience ranking third.

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