Week 8 – We all in relationship with computers?

Internet use has grown rapidly since the mid 1990’s, according to http://www.internetworldstats.com, usage of internet growth from 2000-2008 in the Europe has increase by 274%, USA 130% and Australia 153%. Ebay, Amazons are the renown websites for almost all internet users, these high profitable internet business generate so much profit that the British government intends to boost the digital communications industry as it contributed approxiately 50 billion pounds to the economy on a yearly basis (BBC, 2009).

By serving on the internet itself is already a consumption activity, consumes a lot of your time indeed (looking up random information on wikipedia, pictures on social media…etc), but in general terms, internet is good for consumers, marketers and manufacturers. Internet enables consumer to extensively research products and services (Schwartz, 2004) and simplifies price comparison (Baker, Marn, & Zawada, 2001). Marketers and manufacturers can take advantage of easy access of information, price comparisons so that it enables them to track what competitors are doing and allow them to react with situations i.e. copy competitors’ strategy on pricing and stuff. For retailers point of view, internet enables them to monitor the flow of consumers online, collect the data of types of purchases that they make and of course, it allows retailers to spread the products / services for consumers that they may not be able to reach.

Due to the fact that people can go on the internet regardless of where they are and what time is it of the day (Sheth & Sisodia, 1999), so there are differences between internet shopping and the traditional in-store shopping. Another main reason why consumers chose to shop online as they genuinely think that it is cheaper to purchase products online (Ernst & Young, 1999). Goods that do not require personal inspections such as books are generally preferred by consumers to shop online (Chian & Dholakia, 2003). With all these factors influencing consumers online decision making behaviour, it is not surprising that the behaviours are different to shopping physically in the real world.

The difference between shopping online and shopping physically in the real world is that, it appears that consumers blame their computers when the decision does not turn out right when they use computers to assist in their purchase decisions (Moon, 2003), but people blame the computers less when they have developed a “relationship” with the computer, and YES! People do actually develop relationships with their possessions, it is not surprising if they can also engage in self-disclosure with material possessions (Moon, 2003). Luckily enough, the pattern of consumers blaming the computers are less likely to occur when they have actually developed a sense of relationship or lets put it into a proper scientific phrase, the “intimate self-disclosure” with the computers (Less violence occur this way).

So guys here is a tip, whenever you want to shop online next? Think about your relationship with the computer first.


6 thoughts on “Week 8 – We all in relationship with computers?

  1. A very interesting read. It never occured to me that people blame their computer when they make a poor purchase decision but it would make sense as we have a tendency to displace our negative feelings if we can. I’ve alwasy prefered shopping on the high street but it is true that this is a much longer process than a web based search which has been shown to reduce search costs as consumers can use low cost price comparisons such as price comparison sites(Brown & Gollsbee, 2000). This reduction in search costs often leads to consumers getting a better deal and so saving money! Thanks compare the market!

  2. A really good blog.

    Internet shopping has changed the face of the market. Companies need to identify what is different from shopping gin a shop compared to shopping online. Yong Kim and Jun Lim (2010) discovered that there needs to be clear, quality information present and entertainment on the company website for consumers to be significantly satisfied and to purchase from the website.

    I have certainly seen a few websites that look terrible and of poor quality. Companies need to ensure they check all the boxes when designing a website to sell their products. As a quality website could create satisfied customers. Satisfied customers will buy your products!

  3. Very interesting blog! Research proposed by Weizenbaum (1966, as cited in Cleland, 2004) suggests that there is a human tendency to anthropomorphise technology. This was phenomenon was dubbed the ‘ELIZA effect’, named after an early artificial intelligence computer program, which found that people interacting with Eliza were likely to interact with the computer as a human and read into emotions and motivations of the program. This does suggest that there is a natural psychological disposition for humans to impose meaning unto artificial simulations. This has important implications for the design of technology and marketing. For example products that seem to be more ‘human’ may seem more appealing to the consumer, as opposed to other products of pure, hard, cold, technology.

  4. It is true that online shopping becomes more and more popular nowadays all over the world. And we have to admit that shopping online is more convenient and easy for us to buy some lovely but cheap things than traditional in-store shopping. Moreover, for sellers, selling online also can reduce some cost for them, which encourages them to open shops online one after another. Since you have analyzed reasons for customers to choose shopping online and the role of computers in their purchasing behavior, I have found another aspect of online shopping. According to Yun Jung and JungKun (2008)’s research, it is more likely for people to purchase compulsively online under the effect of other people online. In my own experience, once I see the large sale volumes and other people’s good evaluation of a certain product, it is more possible for me to buy the product. Maybe this can be categorized into some kind of conformity.
    And it is undeniable that we all have a close relationship with computers now and whatever we do online, computers are definitely important to us.

  5. It is interesting that meanwhile people see their computers as more human than computers are (Kim & Sundar, 2012), there is a risk that sellers in the ecommerce world see the consumers as less human, are less mindful of consumers’ thoughts and feelings (van Staden & Maree, 2005). This is at odds with the idea that companies should address consumers’ needs to work towards meeting the demands of the marketplace (van den Heuvel, van Trijp, van Woerkum, Renes & Gremmen, 2007). Hence, whether or not I have a relationship with my laptop, which is propped on a table leg on the floor right now, the relationship between consumers and sellers on the internet may be very much less than intimate.

    My laptop is on a carpeted floor at least?


    Kim, Y., & Sundar, S. S. (2012). Anthropomorphism of computers: Is it mindful or mindless? Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 28, 241-250. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563211001993#

    van Staden, S., & Maree, D. J. F. (2005).The virtual shopping basket versus the shopping trolley: An exploratory investigation of consumers’ experience. Tydskrif vir Gesinsekologie en Verbruikerswetenskappe, 33, 20-30. Retrieved from http://www.up.ac.za/saafecs/vol33/vanstade.pdf

    van den Heuvel, T., van Trijp, H., van Woerkum, C., Renes, R. J., & Gremmen, B. (2007). Linking product offering to consumer needs; inclusion of credence attributes and the influences of product features. Food Quality and Preference, 18, 296-304. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329306000279

  6. To the topic of internet, although it is two sides sword, but the increasing data has revealed that the advantages are much more attractive that those disadvantages such as the diseases. By using internet, people are more efficient, the costs of the business has dramatically decreases as there will be no more shop in use for the seller, all the transactions are done by the internet, and internet brings people such more information than ever, it is contains much more information than traditional papers can bring, and it is very cheap. No matter where people are, when they are shopping, they could get the product they want, this is different with the traditional shop.
    The problem arises when the expectations of consumers is failed, such as the pictures on the internet attracts them to buy the goods whereas it turned out to be not the same as what the picture is like, in this way, the physical shops are better.

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