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.