Trends and practices of consumers buying online and offline: an analysis of factors influencing consumer’s buying

Research paper by Dr. Sunil

Indexed on: 13 May '16Published on: 20 Aug '15Published in: International Journal of Commerce and Management


International Journal of Commerce and Management, Volume 25, Issue 4, November 2015. Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess the trends and practices of consumers buying their products online and offline. Further, it also analyses the factors which influence consumers to go online and offline for their purchases. Design/methodology/approach To analyse the factors influencing consumer buying behaviour, 18 variables have been identified and questionnaire using 7 point scale (where 1 indicating very unimportant and 7 very important) was designed. It was circulated among 875 consumers residing in Delhi and NCR between February 2012 and April 2012, who buy offline or online or from both sources. The responses so collected have been tabulated and analysed with the help of factor analysis method. Principal component method has been used to determine the minimum number of factors that would account for the maximum variance in the data collected. The data has been analysed by using SPSS-version-19. Findings The study identifies Factor 1 (F1) as Pre-sales Offer which includes variables; less price, special sales, rebates, and coupons, easy to get product information, physical examination of product, immediate possession of a product, uncertainty about getting the right item, accept all forms of payment and helpfulness of sales people influences consumers mostly. Thereafter, the study identifies Factor 2 (F2) as Better Assortment and After Sales Policy which includes variables; brand selection and variety, post purchase service, exchange refund policy, quality of merchandise, availability of products in stock, ability to compare products and finally Factor 3 (F3) as Product and Its importance which includes variables; speed of selection and purchase, social and family experience, shipping and handling charges, easy browsing of the products which influence consumer behaviour respectively. Research limitations/implications The findings of this study are purely based on the information provided by the respondents. The sample forms little part of the total population. Originality/value Though online retailing in India is in nascent stage yet it has shown its presence. To sustain and grow in a competition the retailers need to understand the purchasing behaviour and factors influencing purchase behaviour of consumers. The behaviour of consumers is unpredictable and dynamic. The study suggests offline and online retailers to adopt policies or strategies after considering 3 factors extracted from the study to attract and retain consumers to their stores. Further, it also provides ideas to consumers to choose their retailers on comparative advantages basis.