Online Shopping In India

Online shopping is the process of researching and purchasing products or services over the Internet. The earliest online stores went into business in 1992, and online retailing took over a significant segment of the retail market during the first decade of the twenty-first century, as ownership of personal computers increased and established retailers began to offer their products over the Internet. 
Consumers across the globe are increasingly swapping crowded stores for one-click convenience, as online shopping becomes a safe and popular option. Online shopping has some advantages over shopping in retail stores, including the ability to easily compare prices from a range of merchants, access to a wide selection of merchandise, being open 24*7 and the convenience of not having to drive to a physical store. But despite that the online shopping cannot replace the experience of shopping in a retail store or the entertainment value of going to a mall or market. A customer who knows exactly what he or she wants can look it up online, read and compare the information, and purchase from the site that offers the best price or service. But a shopper who is uncertain what to look for, or who just enjoys browsing through items on display, will prefer a retail store where the merchandise can be seen, handled and sample. The décor, music and arrangement of goods in a retail store creates a multi-dimensional shopping environment that cannot be duplicated online. For many people, going shopping at a mall, department store or market is a form of entertainment and a social experience. Many people who are currently unfamiliar with computers and do not feel comfortable using the Internet to shop are not likely to change their habits. 

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The Future growth will come through improvements to the shopping process on existing Web sites; the implementation of more online shopping sites by existing retailers; the coming of age of a younger, more technology-oriented generation; and the introduction of novel goods, services and online shopping experiences. The growth of online shopping in developing nations like India will occur as more people acquire personal computers and credit cards.
Global Arena
Online shopping, or the use of the Internet to gather information on products and services, has already shown significant growth globally.
The Nielsen survey, the largest survey of its kind on the topic of Internet shopping habits, was conducted from October to November 2007 and polled 26,312 Internet users in 48 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East. When The Nielsen Company conducted its first survey into online shopping habits two years ago, only 10 percent of the world’s online population (627 million) had made a purchase over the Internet. Within two years, this number has surged by approximately 40 percent – to a staggering 875 million. The burgeoning popularity of online shopping is a truly global phenomenon. Online shoppers can be found scattered across the globe, but the world’s most avid Internet shoppers hail from South Korea – 99 percent of Internet users in South Korea have shopped online. German, UK and Japanese consumers come in a close second. US consumers are slightly more recalcitrant, clocking in at number eight.
Indian Scenario
While the Internet and the World Wide Web are continuing to expand at a rapid pace, the development of electronic commerce has been slower. Surveys indicate many Indian Internet users employ the developing interactive medium to shop or browse for information on products and services, but a far smaller percentage has actually made purchases online.
The number of people and hosts connected to the net has increased worldwide. In India too, Internet penetration has became more widespread. Online shopping though a small proportion of the Internet activity is believed to increase in the coming years. Some of the prominent factors leading the change are greater Internet penetration, fall in prices of hardware, fall in the price of Internet communication, development of better and more reliable technologies, and increased awareness among the users. Some of the various ways in which online marketing is done in India are company websites, shopping portals, online auction sites, etc.
E-commerce may not have taken off in India the way it should have, yet prospects are bright. India is expected to be the third largest Internet market in the world in the next five years (Source Ac Nielson). The advantages are there for both buyers and sellers and this win-win situation is at the core of its phenomenal rise, as it is believed that e-commerce transactions will represent the largest revenue earner especially in the business to consumer (B2C) segment in India.
Indian customers are increasingly getting comfortable with online shopping, and there is a higher acceptability for the concept. India has 25 million Internet users and more is now turning to online shopping. There has been an influx of online shopping sites in India with many companies hitching onto the Internet bandwagon. The revenues from online shopping are expected to increase tremendously.
According to IAMAI, the average number of transactions per month in India has gone up from 2 lakh in 2003-04 to 4.4 lakh in 2004-05 and has doubled to 7.95 lakh transactions per month in the year 2005-06. The online sales during the festival season had increased rapidly especially during Diwali and Ramzan which recorded a sales of Rs115 crore, a 117 per cent increase from the Rs53 crore in the year 2004-05 (source IAMAI). These figures clearly show that online shopping has truly come of age and consumers are keen to shop on the net. Effective customer communication on products plus reduced shipping costs and timely delivery has helped online marketers to seize a slice of the Rs 115 crore sales. Though a miniscule amount in the global context, the Indian online shoppers’ population would make its presence felt quite remarkably. The potential of the Indian e-market can be gauged from the fact that 16 percent of Indian consumers want to buy online in the next six months, making it the third most online-potential country after Korea (28 percent) and Australia (26 percent) (Source:IMRB). This is an indication of a growing breed of Indian consumers who are not only better equipped but also more confident of the online transactions.
LITERATURE REVIEW
The consumers’ attitude towards online shopping is known as one of the main factors that affects e-shopping potential (Michieal, 1998). Though attitudinal issues are thought to play a significant role in e-commerce adoption, however social-demographic variables such as the gender, income, age, and nation also affect customers in purchasing. In a study of customer satisfaction and repurchase behavior, Mittal, Kamakura & Wagner (2001) divided consumer characteristics into six social-demographic variables. They were gender, age, educational background, marital status, children, and living area.
A review of empirical studies in this area shows several things. Many studies have found that typical online buyers have used the Web for several years, and because of their familiarity, they searched online for product information and purchase options (Bellmanet al., 1999). There was also evidence that the Internet shopper was convenience-oriented (Donthu & Garcia, 1999; Korgaonkar & Wolin, 1999), innovative and variety-seeking (Donthu & Garcia, 1999). He or she did not appear to be brand-or price-sensitive (Donthu & Garcia, 1999). From a consumer’s viewpoint, Yao (1998) who researched the purchase behavior of online shopping in demographic variables and behavior variables angle, found that different age groups affected customer’s product choice in price. Sheth (1983) considered that consumers’ purchase preference would affect their intention.
Considering that Internet shopping, is still not at the mature stage of development, not too much is known about consumers’ attitudes towards adopting this new shopping channel and factors that influence their attitude toward (Haque et al., 2006). That means that, through motivation and perception, attitudes are formed and consumers make decisions. Thus, attitudes directly influence decision making (Haque et al.,2006). Attitudes serve as the bridge between consumers’ background characteristics and the consumption that satisfies their needs (Armstrong and Kotler, 2000; Shwu-Ing, 2003). Because attitudes are difficult to change, to understand consumers’ attitudes toward online shopping, can help marketing managers predict the online shopping intention and evaluate the future growth of online commerce.
OBJECTIVE:
The purpose of this research study is to investigate online Indian consumer behaviour, which in turn will provide E-marketers with a constructional framework for fine-tuning their online strategies. The objectives of this research are:

To study the attitudes and behaviour of Indian consumer regarding online shopping.
To evaluate the contribution of online shopping in India.
To understand the issues and challenges of online shopping in India.
To analyze if the Indian online buying behavior is affected by demographics, cultural and social characteristics.
To identify factors which determine online shopping.
To examine the satisfaction level of online purchases of Indian consumers.
To investigate the future and growth of Online Shopping in India.

HYPOTHESIS:
Keeping in mind the above objectives and in order to address the problem in the most effective manner the following hypotheses have been formulated:

There is no significant difference between the frequency of online buying among male & females Indian consumers.
There is no significant difference between the Indian consumers educational background and their online purchase intention.
There is no significant difference between the income of regular online shopper and occasional online buyer.
There is no significant difference between the convenience orientation of consumers who make frequent online purchases or those who purchase occasionally.
There is no significant difference in the dominance of usage of shopping online between the Generation Y shoppers (those born after 1977) and other online buyers, that is, people over 45 years of age.

RESEARCH METHODOLGY:
The general purpose of the study is to conduct a descriptive research on the customer attitudes and behaviors for online shopping in Indian setting.
To this end exploratory or qualitative research tool would be used, which can help better understand and gain data that, shows how consumers make online shopping. Sampling designs chosen for use in this research is non-probability judgment sampling. A non-probability sample group would be used and the surveys would be mailed and distributed among the Internet users chosen. As discuss by Cavana et al.(2001), when time or other factors become critical, non-probability sampling is generally used. By using this sampling design, no probabilities are attached to the elements in the population under research. However this research may able to collect preliminary information in a quick and inexpensive way. In judgment sampling, the researcher uses his/her judgment in selecting information rich units from the population for study based on the population’s parameters to answer the research question. Five hundred surveys would be conducted because it is considered to be a large sample size to serve the purpose of the research.
A combination of primary and secondary research techniques would be used to collect the data to meet the objectives. The primary research would be conducted across Delhi through structured consumer survey questionnaires administered among all the people who use Internet through judgmental sampling. Any person who meets the criteria would be a potential sample unit for the survey. According to Sekaran (2003), surveys type is a useful and powerful method in finding answers to consumer behavior’s research. To carry out the research, the questionnaire consists of a combination of several types of questions.
Also the researcher will seek to review related literatures of consumer behavior on online shopping. After data collection the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) would be used for data analysis. Various tests would also be conducted like T Test, Z Test, Factor Analysis. These methods would help to reach an answer and come up with results to prove the findings.
SCOPE:
Today Internet is not only a networking media, but also as a means of transaction for consumers at global market. Internet usage has grown rapidly over the past years and it has become common means for delivering and trading information, services and goods (Albarq, 2006). Since online shopping is growing tremendously in the current business scenario it is imperative to study how consumers’ make purchase decisions on the Internet. With the advent of Internet shopping, consumers are faced with an overwhelming amount of product offerings, and consequently have a greater degree of freedom to choose among many different alternatives. Internet shopping carries a number of different characteristics than traditional shopping methods.
In India the Internet has taken root and grown along many fronts in the past decade. The research assumes significance since marketers have endeavored to cater to this growing segment of consumers. Research undertaken within India on the profile of Internet shoppers is piecemeal and incomplete. This empirical research intends to explore into this issue, this study among the Internet users will help marketers to plan highly focused online campaigns in the future.
PROPOSED CHAPTERIZATION:
Keeping in mind the objective of the research, In this research proposal, the background, context and theme of the study would be presented first; then the objectives of the study and the research statements would be formulated. Here, vital concepts, questions and assumptions shall be stated. Finally, the scope and limitation of the study, methodology to be used and the significance of the research will be discussed in detail.  
So, proposed table of contents for the research are as follows –

Acknowledgement
Executive Summary
Table Of Contents
List Of Tables
List Of Figures

Chapter 1 – Introduction
In this chapter the background to the research area is presented. This presentation leads to a discussion of the issues within the research area which further leads to the formulation of a research question. This research question will be answered later in this thesis. The purpose of this thesis is also presented.
Chapter 2 – Literature Review
This chapter includes a review of relevant and supporting theories for this research. They begin with broader theories of segmentation and online buying behaviour before two models relevant to the empirical study is presented.
Chapter 3 – Research Methodology
The means that were used to conduct this research will be presented in this chapter. This includes the methodological approach, the research strategy, method of data collection, the sample and quality standards. The methodology is chosen to fulfil the purpose and aim of this thesis.
Chapter 4 – Analysis & Findings
The results of the empirical study will be presented in this chapter. The empirical findings will assist in the analysis of results presented in chapter five.
The extent by which data analysis done would depend on the amount and quality of data collected through primary and secondary research. Principle objective in such a process of data analysis would be the use of statistical tools wherever required which could include the use of worksheets in excel. This would involve extensive discussion with industry representatives to get an accurate and valuable opinion. Based on the analysis suitable analysis and recommendations would be fixed.
Chapter 5 – Conclusion
The conclusion answers the research question and presents implications for marketers. It answers whether the purpose of the research has been achieved.
Chapter 6 – Recommendations And Limitations
In this chapter the limitations of this research is presented as well as recommendations for future research in online communities
References
This research has referenced the following reputable sources – Literature, Journals, Articles, and Websites
Appendices
 

Plastic Shopping Bag Ban Policy in Australia

1. Introduction
Since the plastic shopping bag was introduced in 1957, it has becomes an essential part of life today. In addition to common things like smart phones, cars or fast food, plastic shopping bags are very familiar and used by everyone in Australia. Almost all merchandises from foodstuffs and take – away food, drink to clothing and hardware use plastic shopping bags to carry.
It is estimated that people all over the world use from 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic every year (Clapp & Swanston 2009). This is equivalent to 2.7 billion every day, or 1.9 million every minute. And approximately 6.9 billion plastic bags are used by Australian consumers every year.
Plastic
shopping bags are provided by most retailers in Australia for the purpose of
helping consumers to hold their products they buy. While the main intention of consumers
is using these plastic shopping bags is to carry goods from the stores to the
car and into their home , they are often re-used by consumers for other
purposes, such as lining household rubbish bins. The helpfulness of plastic
shopping bags for their original purpose is rarely controversial. However, these
bags create unsightly rubbish, use limited resources, are one of the sources of
waste from landfill, take many years to disintegrate, cause harm to animals,
and become a symbol of a ‘throwaway’ society.
The
purpose of this research paper is to analysis existing policies about plastic
shopping bag restriction in Australia.
2. Background and Literature review
According
to Hyder Consulting (2008), there are two major types of plastic shopping bags
which are used in Australia:
‘Singlet’ bags, or lightweight plastic bags, made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) – used mostly in supermarkets, fresh produce, convenience stores and take-away food outlets, and other non-branded applications.‘Boutique’ bags made of low density polyethylene (LDPE) – usually branded and used by stores selling higher value goods such as department stores, clothing and shoe outlets.
Over the past decade, attention of politics has concentrated on reducing the use of plastic shopping bags for a variety of reasons. They are harmful to animals and the environment and reduce the attractiveness of urban, rural and natural scenery. Plastic bags and debris of bags can stay in the environment for hundreds of years. Plastic bags are also an unnecessary consumable symbol. There are a number of suggestions proposed to reduce or stop the use of plastic bags, including plastic bags, introducing levy a tax on manufacture of plastic bags and using alternatives, with strengths and weaknesses. For example, according to Hyder Consulting (2008), recent alternative replacement life cycles for plastic bags, such as the current generation of decomposers, have found a number of alternatives that have a greater impact on environment in comparison with lightweight plastic bags.
There
are some reasons why it has been suggested that plastic shopping bags should be
reduced. Halweil (2004) indicated that man people consider plastic shopping
bags as a waste of natural resources because they are made from non-renewable
resources, such as crude oil, natural gas and other petro chemical derivatives,
are normally unnecessary. And Williams (2004) argued that in a lot of
situations, many people use plastic shopping bags only one time. In addtion,
according to Hyder Consulting (2008), there is a key reason for the
depreciation of plastic shopping bags. It is that millions of them are not
thrown away properly and they become unsightly litter which can live long on
land or in the water for hundreds of years. While nearly 30-40 million plastic
shopping bags were littered in 2007, the Keep Australia Beautiful National
Litter Index 2006/2007 showed that HDPE plastic bags accounted for only 1.3% of
the litter stream by item (excluding cigarette butts) and 0.18% of the litter
stream by volume (excluding cigarette butts). It was found that “beaches had
the most plastic bags, of the beaches surveyed by keep Australia Beautiful, 2.9
plastic bags were found per 1,000 square metres” (Hyder Consulting 2008, p.
22).

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Another
reason for the need to reduce plastic shopping bags is that they are dangerous
to wildlife. Jefic, Sheavly and Adler (2009) pointed out that plastic shopping
bags can do harm or kill flora and fauna that eat, or become entangled in them.
Williams (2004) gave an example that turtles died due to ingesting plastic
bags, most likely the plastic bags look like jellyfish floating in the water.
Another example is that a crocodile which was caught at Magnetic Island in
Queensland in October 2008 died because of eating plastic bags, which were
stuck in its stomach, meaning it could not digest its food. Its necropsy
revealed “25 plastic shopping abd garbage bags, a plastic wine cooler bag and a
rubber float in its stomach” (Queensland Government 2008). In addtion,
Sustainability Victoria (2010) illustrated plastic shopping bags as “a short
term convenience with long term impacts”. In spite of the fact that plastic
shopping bags are made to be “single use”, Lapidos (2007) considered that
plastic shopping bags have a life expectancy of up to 1,000 years. Moreover,
many people think that plastic shopping bags are symbolic of wasteful society.
The Hon Jane Davidson AM, the Welsh Environment Minister (2009) described
plastic shopping bags as “an iconic symbol of the throw-away society we now
seem to live in”. Wilton (cited in Williams 2004), a waste campaigner for
Friends of the Earth in London, also said “plastic carrier bags are symbolic of
a society in which we use things without thinking and then throw them away”.
And according to Caroline Williams in New Scientist in 2004, the plastic bag
industry claimed that it is being targeted by environmentalists because plastic
bags are “ an easy and emotive target that panders to our guilt about general
environmental irresponsibility”.
3. Problem definition
People
living in Australia use approximately 6.9 billion new plastic shopping bags
each year. In other words, each person use one bag in a day. The problems of
plastic shopping bags are determined by two factors that are almost certainly
equally important. First of all, there are concerns about the environmental
impacts of plastic shopping bags, especially impacts on the consumption of
resources and litter.
Lewis
et al. (2002) stated that the manufacture of 6.9 billion plastic shopping bags
utilizes approximately 36850 tonnes of plastic, or 2% of total plastics
produced in Australia each year. This is a slight percentage of the entire
amount of packaging used in Australia every year, which is estimated to be
around 3 million tonnes 1 . There is an estimation that plastic shopping bags
account for 2.02% of all items in the litter stream. However, they pose actual
ecological impacts and threats and as such need to be effectively addressed
together with other components of the litter stream.
The
second factor that are necessary to be aware of in the argument about plastic shopping
bags is symbolic value. The plastics and packaging industries are under extreme
pressure in the 1970s and 1980s because ‘they had become a politically
incorrect symbol of the threat to the environment’ (Byars 1995). A cultural
analysis of plastics in the United States indicated  that by definition the plastics industry was
the whole thing which activists in ecology wanted to delete from the American
experience. Since the early twentieth century, people who promote the industrial
chemistry and synthetic materials had bragged of going beyond age-old limits of
provisional materials by spreading the control of science over nature. During
the 1920s, predictions of a developing flow of low-cost man-made goods had
suggested material plenty as the foundation for a utopian social equality. By
the final third of the century that transcendency threatened to drain natural
resources and contaminate the society that supported it by creating a stream of
irretrievable, unacceptable materials – rubbish, society’s excrement. (Meikle
1995). To some extent the concerns about the large number of plastic shopping
bags, which are used by people living in Australia, and their high level of
visibility in domestic waste and litter, are characteristic of much wider
concerns about plastics and packaging.
This
does not mean that concerns about plastic shopping bags are any less crucial or
demanding from a policy viewpoint. However, it has the meaning that the growth
of policy solutions needs to consider the issues of society and culture as well
as the facts of science about impacts on the environment. Policy measures to
decrease utilization (or impacts) of shopping bags are to be expected to be
well received in the community. Abundant measures to solve the plastic bag
problem have been increased in recent times. These measures are various and
include factors, such as legislated measures like levies and bans; voluntary
measures such as retailer originated actions and developed Code of Practice;
raised consumer education; and expanded recovery and recycling.
4. Existing Policies
The
policy “Phase-out of lightweight plastic bags in Australia” is being followed
at local and state/territory level rather than nationally. In this policy,
plastic bag bans are implemented or undecided in all states and territories
except New South Wales. Cormack (2016) noted that environmental groups have
expressed their interest that Australia was falling behind other countries in
the “phase-out of lightweight plastic bags”, including Botswana, Somalia and
Tanzania. The author also indicated that of the 5 billion plastic bags consumed
every year by Australians, 150 million finished as litter.
According
to Mail & Guardian in 2003, the Tasmanian town of Coles Bay was the first
location in Australia to ban plastic bags. Feneley (2008) stated that even
though the Rudd Government’s goal of a national plastic bag ban by year’s end
was publicized by the then-Environment Minister Peter Garrett, he later stop
initiative because of cost of living concerns and disagreement about the policy
among state and territory governments. This is the reason why states and
territories carried out their own approaches.
The
initiation of the “Zero Waste” program in South Australia led to the first
statewide lightweight bag ban being, which was introduced in October 2008. It
is estimated that this move has saved 400 million bags every year (Zero Waste
South Australia 2011). Preiss (2017) pointed out that the most recent
jurisdiction to pronounce a ban on plastic bags is Victoria, to commence on a
date to be pulicized in early 2018.
 On 1 November 2011, following a transition
period of four months, plastic bags were prohibited in the Australian Capital
Territory under the Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010. The provisions of the
Act mirror the South Australia legislation. The Act was carried out in combination
with a complete community and retailer engagement and campaign of education.
On
16 April 2013, Getting Full Value: The Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery
Policy was released by the Victorian Government. The policy commits the
Government to work under the National Waste Policy and Australian Packaging
Covenant to control packaging waste, which contains lightweight plastic bags.
In
July 2017, Coles and Woolworths, which are two largest supermarkets in the
country, announced that from July 2018 they will voluntarily take away free
lightweight plastic bags from their stores and provide bags, which can be
reuseable instead. These bags were originally sold at 15 cents in both Coles
and Woolworths.
5. Evaluation existing policies
The “phase-out of lightweight
plastic bags in Australia” can be seen as an
effective and easy way of reducing the amount of plastic entering the land and
the marine environment. Keep Australia Beautiful’s national report for
2016-2017 showed a fall in plastic bag litter after plastic bags came into
effect. Besides, plastic bags are offen mistaken for food by marine animals. As
Williams (2004) mentioned that turtles died beause of eating plastic bags. Therefore,
the plastic shopping bags ban can help to decrease negative impacts on animals.
Moreover, bcecause plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose, banning
plastic shopping bags will help to protect the environment.
One aspect that needs to be
addressed when banning plastic shopping bags is relevance. Plastic shopping bag
ban can be useful in short term. Professor Sami Kara from the University of New
South Wales said that it is better in the long term if people do not use
plastic bags at all. However, it is very difficult to stop everyone from using
plastic shopping bags. Because people are now accustomed to using plastic
shopping bags, it will be a big challenge to change that long-term behaviour of
consumers. Therefore, banning plastic shopping bags are relevant in the short
term.
There are some alternatives
to plastic bags. However, these can lead to some side-effects. Chung
(2017) indicated that a side-effect of the plastic bag ban noticed in South
Australia was the growth in the number of bin
liners, which have a greater impact on the
environment than plastic bags because they can not break down well in modern
landfills. The author also stated that alternatives, which are environmentally
friendly recommended instead of bin liners are composting food
scraps and using free community newspapers as
liners instead.
Adler (2016) pointed out that paper bags
were not as environmentally friendly as plastic bags because of a higher carbon footprint. In
the same way, bags made by cotton were inappropriate due to the high level
using of the pesticides and high volume of water, which are necessary to
produce them. The “greenest” option was to consume recycled plastic
bags.
Concern has been expressed about potentially
unintentional adverse health outcomes related to the plastic bag ban rollout
because of the insufficient care by consumers in keeping alternative shopping
bags in a clean and healthy condition. It is indicated that experiences of
oversea in locations such as San
Francisco, where raise sickness and even deaths were
reported in the consequences of the same bans to those in Australian states,
recommend that this is a real concern (Knaus 2013).
6. Conclusion
The Environment Protection and Heritage
Council indicated that plastic shopping bags “are popular with consumers and
retailers because they provide a convenient, highly functional, lightweight,
strong, cheap, hygienic way to transport food and other products”. These
comment means that several plastic shopping bags are reused for many other
purposes, such as storing sweaty gym gear, packing shoes, collecting dog poo
and holding rubbish.
 In
spite of these usefulness of plastic shopping bags, they have various negative
effects. Therefore, there are polices provided to ban plastic shopping bags. The
polices of banning plastic shopping bags were provided in South Australia,
Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the two largest supermarkets in
Australia applied this policy to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags.
These policies bring some effectiveness, positive impacts and relevance in the
short term. However, in consideration of the long term, banning plastic
shopping bags is not appropriate. And the policies of plastic bags ban result
in alternatives, which have some side-effects.
Reference List
Adler, B (2016), ‘Banning Plastic Bags is Great for the Workd, Right? Not So Fast’, WIRED, 10 June, viewed 23 January 2018, .Byars, M. (Ed) (1995), Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design, The museum of Modern Art, New York.Chung, F (2017), ‘Plastic bag ban: ‘You don’t actually need a plastic bin liner to put yout rubbish out’’, NewsCorp Australia, 18 July, viewed 23 January 2018,                                     .Clapp, J, Swanton, L (2009), ‘Doing away with Plastic Shopping Bags: International Patterns of norm emergence and Policy Implementation’, Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 315-332. Cormack, L (2016), ‘Australia falling behind third world on global map of plastic bag bans’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April, viewed 13 September 2017,                                                        .Davison, J 2009, ‘Plastic Bag Charges by May 2011’, BBC News, November 2009.Environment Protection and Heritage Council 2008, Decision  Regulatory Impact Statement: Investigation of options to reduce the impacts of plastic bags, p. 2.Fenely, R (2008), ‘Battle to bag the plastic goes on’, The Sydney Morning Herald,  26 December , viewed 13 September 2017, .Halweil, B 2004, ‘Good Stuff? A behind the scenes guide to the things we buy’, Worldwatch Institute, p. 25.Hyder Consulting 2008, Plastic Retail Carry Bag Use, 2006 and 2007 Consumption, pp. 22-27.Jefic, L, Sheavly S, Adler E 2009, Marine Litter: A global challenge, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), April 2009, p. 199.Knaus, C (2013), ‘Study links plastic bag ban with increase in food-related deaths’, Canberra Times, 8 February, viewed 7 March 2018,                                                                                  .Lapidos, J 2007, ‘Will My Plastic Bag Still be Here in 2507? How scientists figure out how long it takes your trash to decompose’, Slate, June 2007.Lewis, H., K. Sonneveld, L. Fitzpatrick and R. Nichol (2002), Towards Sustainable Packaging, Discussion Paper, EcoRecycle Victoria, 2002.Meikle, J (1995), American Plastic: A Cultural History, Rutgers University Press, 1995.Preiss, B (2017), ‘Lightweight plastic bags to be banned in Victoria’, The Age, 18 October, viewed 23 January 2018, .Queensland Government, Environment and Resource Management, Magnetic Island Crocodile Dies from Plastic Bag Ingestion, Media Release, 2 November 2008.Sustainability Victoria 2010, Use Less Plastic Shopping Bags, viewed 1 June 2010,               Williams, C 2004, ‘Battle of the Bag’, New Scientist, 11 September. pp. 30-32.Wilton, C, Senior Waste Campaigner for Friends of the Earth (London), quoted in Williams, C 2004, ‘Battle of the Bag’, New Scientist, 11 September. pp. 33.Zero Waste South Australia 2011, Plastic Bag ban, 28 February, Zero Waste South Austrlia, viewed 2 July 2012.
 

Customer Satisfaction Towards Online Shopping

Customer satisfaction is the degree to which customer expectations of a product or service are met or exceeded. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy.
In the era of globalization electronic marketing is a great revolution. Over the last decade maximum business organizations are running with technological change. Online shopping or marketing is the use of technology for better marketing performance. And retailers are devising strategies to meet the demand of online shoppers; they are busy in studying consumer behavior in the field of online shopping, to see the consumer attitudes towards online shopping. Therefore we have also decided to study the factors that affect MMU students’ satisfaction of their online shopping provider.
Research Background
Online shopping is basically a process of selling and buying of goods and services on World Wide Web. As (Forsythe and Shi, 2003) explains” Internet shopping has become the fastest-growing use of the Internet; most online consumers, however, use information gathered online to make purchases off-line”.
According to a report (ACNielsen Report on Global Consumer Attitudes towards Online Shopping, 2005) published on www.acnielsen.com, one tenth of the world population is shopping online , till October 2005, 627 million people have done online shopping , and according to the same report Germans and British are on the top of the list on Online Shopping. Additionally in the report published, it was confirmed that products most purchased online included books followed by DVDs, video’s, games and Plane Reservations, with credit cards being the most sought method of payments for the purchases made regarding the items offered for purchase online.

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So many countries all over the world pour millions of dollars into online shopping as a means to purchase goods and services through the internet. The improving use of the internet has provided for fast purchase of online services as this is evident in the rapid growing internet usage activity all over Europe, with Sweden being ranked one of the high heels in Internet Usage and online Shopping in Europe coming in ninth with Japan and USA following in close competition (ACNielsen Report on Global Consumer Attitudes towards Online Shopping, 2005).
During 1994, Netscape introduced SSL encryption method for data transformation online through the web, which became so important for secure online shopping. The first online shopping system was introduced by a German Company called Intershop in 1994. Follow by Amazon in 1995 and eBay in 1996.
Online shopping has been getting famous since the last few years after the internet was being widely used. It began to appeal to a larger number of consumers as it gradually evolved to serve and satisfy millions of people from all over the world. Consequently, e-commerce industry has seen rapid growth.
An online consumer or online seller must at least have one electronic gadget to access to the internet. Online banking system had been launched before the era of online shopping. Therefore, online banking system made online shopping much convenient. Hence, payment can be made in several forms such as cheques, debit card, electronic money or various types, cash deposit using ATM machine, gift cards and etc.
Problem Statement
The online retail industry is going the new era of competition. These online shopping provider need to differentiate themselves from others and present it well to become the one of the market leader in online retails industry. Competition has become more aggressive among these companies, therefore it is important for companies to figure out the factors that affects MMU students’ satisfaction towards their online shopping providers.
Research Objective
The purpose of this research is to analyze and identify the overall attitude towards online shopping and the key factors that influences MMU students’ satisfaction of their online shopping providers.
Significance of Study
The online retail is undergoing dramatic changes. This study will provide insights of the factors that affect the MMU students’ satisfaction of their online shopping provider. In other words it will indicate the consumer behavior in the competitive market. This research can contribute to the society and country.
The result of this research will be beneficial for the online shopping provider to serve as a guideline in implementing their business strategy. With the information, the online shopping providers will be able to design packages that are satisfying consumers. They can also improve their company performance as well as to maintain their market share. This research is important because it can outline what are the factors that are affecting the MMU students’ satisfaction of their online shopping provider.
Also, this research able to provides the factors that cause the satisfaction level. When online shopping provider understand what is the wants and needs of the consumer. Thus, it helps to reduce their cost in research and development. By then, online shopping provider can focus to increase their product features or quality that serves to the consumers.
Through this study, online shopping provider can focus on what is the best business quality and services to consumers in order to maintain their life long relationship to create maximum life time value to the company itself.
Before taking any actions to change the satisfaction level, the most crucial thing is to understand what factors influence customer satisfaction, and then try to make improvements in these critical areas so that they can have more satisfied and loyal customers.
Scope of the Study
This research is particularly interested in investigating customer satisfaction level. This paper is tending to find out what are the factors that affecting MMU students’ satisfaction of online shopping provider through this study. All respondents are assumed to have online shopping knowledge. There are many factors that cause the different satisfaction level of their online shopping provider.
1.7 Operational Definition
1.7.1 Online Shopping
Online shopping or online retailing is a form of electronic commerce allowing consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet without an intermediary service. An online shop, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, or virtual store extorts the analogy of purchasing goods or services at a retails stores or shopping center.
1.7.2 Convenience
Online retail store are support the available for 24 hour 7days a week. This is a means by retailers and wholesalers to provide customers with a very convenient way to be able to do all the shopping from one spot or by just a mouse click.
1.7.3 User friendly web features and designs
Online web stores need to be user friendly and easy to navigate, these being very vital influencing factors of online shopping website designs, privacy or confidentiality, website reliability, navigation, and website customer services incorporated with the website security are the most attractive features which influence the perception of consumers to buy goods and services online.
1.7.4 Time Saving
With the rapid development of the World Wide Web online shopping has come to be the most sought means to purchase goods and services at the convenience for the customers as it saves time whereby being an important influencing factor towards online shopping. Browsing through the internet or searching through online catalogues can be time saving as one needs not to move from place to place and less effort is put into shopping, thus less effort is required and only patience becomes vital during the shopping process.
1.7.5 Security
Security issues which is involved in keeping the information safe and accurate.
1.8 Organizational of Research
These research papers are categories into five chapters.
Chapter 1: Introduction
In this chapter is all about the overall question and the relevant topic are being carried out for discussion. There are includes the objectives and the problem statement of this study. Besides that, the explanations of who is gaining benefits from this study are included. However, to prevent the confusion and misunderstanding of the reader those important terms are clearly defined.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
In this chapter cite those relevant studies related to this research. The dependent and independent variables will then be identified and use as a basis to build the theoretical framework and hypotheses development. In the other hand the arguments and opinions from different authors are add in for the purpose to support the study carry out.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
In this chapter the theoretical framework and hypothesis of study will be stated. Theoretical framework shows the relationship between variables. Next, by identify the relationship those testable hypotheses are formed based .Moreover all these hypothesis are been use to examine whether the framework is in effect by using appropriate statistical analysis. The research instrument, sample size, source of data and the statistical data to be used in the study are discussed.
Chapter 4: Research Findings and Discussion
This chapter will present the results and discussion based on the data analyzed.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
In this chapter we will review the entire research from the introduction, the main details and the justification on the hypothesis constructed in the study and well as a brief look into the findings obtained from the hypothesis. The limitation and implication of the study will also be presented.
Chapter 2 : Literature Review
2.1 Overview
There are few causes that influencing the customer satisfaction from their online shopping provider due to the changing preferences and satisfaction toward the demand and services provided .However the literature review of the factors will be discussed as below.
2.2 Dependent Variable
2.2.1 Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is an output, resulting from the customer’s pre-purchase comparison of expected performance with perceived actual performance and incurred cost (Churchill and Surprenant, 1982). According to Vance Christensen (2006), customer satisfaction is very different from customer loyalty. One is a requirement to do business; the other is the basis for sustained profitability and growth. It is believe that satisfied customers will lead to their loyalty and improve revenues. Customer loyalty is the degree of a customer staying with a specific vendor or brand. If the customer is satisfied with the firm’s products or services, it eventually will help the firm to increase its customer loyalty. In other words, high customer satisfaction lead to high customer loyalty while low customer satisfaction lead to low customer loyalty.
Customer satisfaction is a measure of expectations being exceeded, met, or not met. Besides, when thinking of customer satisfaction measurement, the firm wanted to know whether the firm is meeting or exceeding customer expectations. The marketing literature suggests that customer satisfaction operates in two different ways: transaction-specific and general-overall (Yi, 1991). Transaction-specific concept concerns customer satisfaction as the assessment made after a specific purchase occasion. Besides, it may also provide specific diagnostic information about a particular product or service encounter. General-overall satisfaction refers to the customer’s rating of the brand, based on all encounters and experiences (Johnson and Fornell, 1991). It can be viewed as a function of all previous transaction-specific satisfactions (Jones and Suh, 2000). Overall satisfaction is a more fundamental indicator of the firm’s past, current and future performance (Anderson et al., 1994). This is because customers make repurchase evaluations and decision based on their purchase and consumption experience to date, not just on a particular transaction or episode (Johnson et al., 2001, p.219). Many other studies (eg. Gronholdt et al., 2000; Kristensen et al., 2000; Gerpott et al., 2001; Sharma,2003; Bruhn and Grund, 2000) have shown that customer satisfaction positively affected loyalty.
2.3 Independent Variables
2.3.1 Convenience
It is an investment or a cost when consumers spending their time making purchases. It takes quite a lot of time for a consumer to make purchases from shop to shop, thus online shopping helps to save a lot of their precious time and effort. The time spent plays a very important role in consumer perceptions especially the time used for shopping. Bitner, 1990; Taylor, 1994 have pointed out that waiting created a negative impact on customer service satisfaction. Consumers’ time will be wasted a lot if have to keep waiting for such a long time and definitely will cause the consumers to have bad impressions to the seller or company. Time and energy saving are in the same concept (Brown, 1990). Time and effort play an important role because these two factors might affect consumers’ convenience during shopping. Online shopping definitely can help consumers to save time and effort in purchasing process by bringing a lot of convenience. Convenience factor refers that it is easy to browse or search the information through online is easier than the traditional retail shopping. Through online, consumers can easily search product catalog but if the consumer look generally for the same product or item in a traditional store manually it is difficult to visit physically and time consuming also. Convenience has always been a prime factor for consumers to shop online. Darian (1987) mentioned that online shoppers carry multiple benefits in terms of convenience, such as less time consuming, flexibility, very less physical effort etc. Bhatnagar and Ghose (2004) claims that convenience as one of the most important advantage for engaging in online shopping. According to the Robinson, Riley, Rettie and Wilsonz (2007) the major motivation for online purchasing is convince in terms of shop at any time and having bundles of items delivered at door step.
Rohm and Swaminathan’s (2004) claims in “typology of online shoppers into”: Convenience shoppers, balanced buyers, variety seekers and store-oriented shoppers, based upon their preset shopping motivation. Rohm and Swaminathan’s (2004) findings about ‘convenience and variety seeking’ are major motivating factors of online shopping and this study is consistent with Morganosky and Cude’s (2000) research findings. Webcheck’s (1999) study shows that convenience factor is one of the biggest advantages of online shopping. Through online purchase consumers can easily compare the price than the traditional purchase. So price comparison is also another convenience factor of online shopping.
2.3.2 Website Design/Features
Web site design of a web page is one of the most important factors that influence online shopping. Shergill and Chen, (2005) identified web site design characteristics as the dominant factor which influences customer satisfaction towards online purchasing.
The quality of website design is very important for any online store to attract customers. Cho and Park (2001) have found in their study that customer satisfaction in e-commerce is related to the quality of website design. According to Ranganathan and Grandon (2002), website design represents the way in which the content is arranged in the website.
Wolfinbarger and Gilly (2003) argued that when customers interact with an online store they prefer to do so via a technical interface and not through any employee. Therefore the design of the website, which acts as the interface, would play an important role in influencing customer satisfaction. Lee and Lin (2005) had empirically found that website design positively influences overall customer satisfaction and perceived service quality. Besides, Ranganathan and Ganapathy (2002) have empirically established that website design positively affects purchase intention.
Kamariah and Salwani (2005) claims the higher website quality, the higher consumer intends to shop from internet. Web design quality has important impacts on consumer choice of electronic stores, stated by Liang and Lai (2000). Website design one of the important factor motivating consumers for online shopping. Almost 100,000 on-line shopper’s surveyed by (Reibstein, 2000) shows that web site design was rated as important factor for online shopping. Another study conducted by Zhang, Dran, Small, and Barcellos (1999, 2000), and Zhang and Dran (2000) indicated that website design features of the website are important and influencing factors that leads consumer’s satisfaction and dissatisfaction with a specific website.
A study conducted by Yasmin and Nik (2010) shows a significant relationship between online shopping activity and website features. Website design features can be considered as a motivational factor that can create positive or negative feelings with a website (Zhang, et al 1999). A study by Li and Zhang (2002), if website is designed with quality features it can guide the customers for successful transactions and attract the customers to revisit the website again. However, worse quality website features can also hamper online shopping. According to Liang and Lai (2000), web design quality or website features has direct impact on user to shop online.
Moreover researchers such as Belanger, Hiller and Smith (2002) concluded that a large segment of internet users have serious concerns of security.
2.3.3 Time Saving
According to Rohm and Swaminathan’s (2004), one possible explanation that online shopping saves time during the purchasing of goods and it can eliminate the traveling time required to go to the traditional store. On the other side, some respondent think that it is also time taken for delivery of goods or services over online shopping.
To most consumers important attributes of online shopping are convenience and accessibility (Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2001): because consumers can shop on the Internet in the comfort of their home environment, it saves time and effort, and they are able to shop any time of the day or night. Especially for consumers that, owing to their extended working hours, only have a small amount of free time, online shopping is an excellent opportunity. Thus, the situational factor “time pressure” has an attenuating impact on the relationship between attitude and consumers’ intention to shop online. Because the Internet is time saving and accessible 24 hours a day, this becomes the main drive for online shopping and attitude toward Internet shopping is less important.
Unexpectedly time saving is not the motivating factor for the consumers to shop online (Corbett, 2001) because it takes time receiving goods or delivery. But time saving factor can be seen through different dimensions i.e. “person living in Florida can shop at Harod’s in London (through the web) in less time than it takes to visit the local Burdines department store” (Alba et al. 1997, p. 41,emphasis added). Morganosky and Cude (2000) have concluded that time saving factor was reported to be primary reason among those consumers who have already experienced the online grocery buying. So the importance of the time saving factor cannot be neglected as motivation behind online purchasing. Additionally Goldsmith and Bridges (2000) emphasize that there is a discrimination between online shopper and non online shoppers, online shoppers are more worried about convenience, time saving and selection whereas non online shoppers are worried about security, privacy and on time delivery. A study by Kamariah and Salwani (2005) shows higher website quality can highly influence customers to shop online.
2.3.4 Security
Security is another dominant factor which affects consumers to shop online. However many internet users avoid online shopping because of credit card fraud, privacy factors, non delivery risk, post purchase service and so on. But transaction security on the online shopping has received attention. Safe and secured transaction of money and credit card information increases trust and decreases transaction risk. In 1995, UK has introduced Fraud free electronic shopping and later on Europe and Singapore introduced secured electronic transaction (SET). According to Bhatnagar and Ghose (2004) Security is one of the attribute which limits buying on the web as they claim that there is a large segment of internet shoppers who don’t like to buy online because of their thinking about the security of their sensitive information.
Cuneyt and Gautam (2004) claims trust in the internet shopping with advanced technology, and frequent online shopping to the internet being secured as a trustworthy shopping channel.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
This chapter includes the research framework which identifies and helps explain the steps taken in investigating the research done. Discussion in this section will cover the research design and procedure, variables and measurement, data collection method, questionnaire design and data analysis. The research instruments, sampling process and data analysis techniques also will be discussed in this chapter.
3.1 Theoretical Framework
Below is the theoretical framework for the research paper. The dependent and independent variables are clearly identified. The customer satisfaction is the dependent variable; the convenience, website design and features, time saving and security are been use for independent variables part.
Convenience
Customer Satisfaction toward online shopping provider
Website design/features
Time Saving
Security
The dependent variable been analyzed for the purpose to get know the solution causes problem occurs. However, both variables are link either positive or negative relationship with each others.
3.2 Hypothesis Development
Hypothesis is the sate used by marketing researcher about the population parameter (Burns and Bush 2005), using prior knowledge, assumptions or intuition to form an exact specification of what the population parameter value is. Once the variables have been identified, the independent and dependent variables are then established through logical reasoning in the theoretical framework. Then the next step is to examine the relationship formed and find out whether the facts are actually accurate.
In Figure 2 are clearly explain the relationship between dependent variable and independent variable that influence the perception of consumer select online shopping provider .Moreover , based on the literature review and the theoretical framework ,the hypothesis are been formed
H1: There is an association between convenience and customer satisfaction of their online shopping provider
H2: There is an association between the website design/features and customer satisfaction of their online shopping provider
H3: There is an association between time saving and customer satisfaction of their online shopping provider
H4: There is an association between security and customer satisfaction of their online shopping provider
3.3 Research Design
The questionnaire design is categorized in few choices. Students from MMU will be selected as our sample of study. Questionnaires are given to respondents via online and also in hardcopy form. All the respondents are given 15 minutes to fill in the questionnaires. After this, students start collecting the data based on the questionnaires.
3.4 Research Instrument
In this study questionnaire method are been chooses as a tool for the purpose of collect the data.
3.5 Sampling method
Questionnaire development is a rather important element in this research yet there are many limitation of setting the questions. Hence, questionnaire developed must be clear and avoid ambiguous questions
As questionnaire need to appear in a reasonable sequence that could convinced the respondent and also increasingly gives the respondent confidence and trust in both the survey and the surveyor. Hence, questionnaire development process will start by identifying the related information used to develop the question such as the independent variable that had been identify in the earlier stage of the research process. After that, it proceed by choosing the best out of the questions, so that this questionnaire can directly targeted towards the respondent’s behavior and perceptions of being a telecommunication users.
The questionnaire is designed to draw out information on respondents’ demographic, their experience in using mobile hand phones, their daily average expenditures, and their awareness with various available mobile phone services. The questionnaire is divided into two sections which is section A and section B. Section A measures the demographic variables and personal information towards their choosing behavior whereas, section B measures about the independent variables differently. The methods using for each section are discussed as below:
A) Multiple Choice Questions: In section A, the respondent’s personal basic background and perception toward the online shopping was appearing in this section. It consists of the respondents’ demography such as ethnicity, gender, race, age and usage of online shopping.
B) Likert Scale: Section B consists of questions concerned with the dependent variables towards online in the research model such as convenience, website design/features, time saving, and security. The measurement of this research is based on Likert scale which ranging from “1” to “5.” Researchers Perez, Abad, Carrilo and Fernandez (2007) found that the Likert scale to be effective in their research on the “Effects of Service Quality Dimensions on Behavioral Purchase Intentions”.
Below is the rating scale format from strongly disagree to strongly agree:
1
2
3
4
5
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
3.6 Data collection method
Questionnaire
3.5.1 Primary Data
The data been collected by using questionnaire method which is distributed to students in Multimedia University Melaka campus and the questionnaire is divided into two parts; part A and part B. For part A of the questionnaire is focuses on the demographic background of the respondents For part B the questionnaire consists of certain questions all divided according to the relevant independent variables. Next , all the potential relevance variable are been covered in this survey questionnaire .In order to get better understanding 5 point scale are been applied in this questionnaire form to get know clearly what the respondent actual think about their personal preferences toward online shopping and to help to reduces the hesitation for the answer may be chooses by respondents
This data is used as foundation reading materials to strengthen the understanding the topic research. The secondary data for this paper included journals, books, and article been chooses to provided a lot of insight for the creation of the literature review. In addition, secondary data provided for added credibility to the paper.
Research Population and Sample
The MMU Melaka students will be represent the population for this research, there will be 200 questionnaire form are filled for the students in campus area of MMU .Those respondents are covered the students in all fields of education background offered by MMU Melaka who have been gone through the online shopping before . Also, the questionnaire was structured in such a way to ensure that the research objective and hypothesis of this research can be achieve .
3.7 Data analysis method
Once the all the 200 completed questionnaires are gathered, the data analysis will be done according to the dissertation. Thus, all the data collected from respondents will be analyzed based on descriptive statistical analysis by using the SPSS software so as to obtain a more statistical analysis of the study. One of the strong points of SPSS is that it can perform almost any statistical analysis (Huizing 1994).
Basic tests that were used in the beginning of analysis were checking for the central tendency and the dispersion of data. The mean, standard deviation, range and variance was used. There were preliminary tests done for all the sections.
Descriptive Analysis: the information obtained for the frequency distribution was from the first section of the questionnaire on the demography; here a frequency table was used to explain it, with mean and standard deviation for some of the data being computed. This was done for the independent, moderator and dependent variables. The statistics obtained are useful for describing the data, for example. In a study with large data, the summary statistics for the scale variables and measures of the data helps us to manage the data and present it in a summary table. For instance in a cricket match, player records are stored and compared with records of another player.
Reliability Analysis:  a measurement is reliable if it reflects mostly true score, relative to the error. The reliability of the scales is analyzed by using Cronbachs Alpha. An alpha above 0.70 is considered as reasonably reliable while an alpha scale above 0.80 is regarded as being perfect.
Spearman rank order correlation: measures the strength of association between ranked variable, whether the hypothesized variables are associates with customer satisfaction.
Multiple regression analysis: It is used to analyze a single dependent variable with two or more independent variables to test which variables is the most important lead to customer satisfaction in their mobile service provider.
CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDING
4.1 Introduction
The chapter is divided into three different parts which are descriptive analysis, reliability analysis and results of hypothesis testing.
This chapter entails the detailed analysis of variables and also data which were distributed and gathered from the MMU students. Of all 200 questionnaires that were distributed, 200 copies of the completed survey were collected. All 200 surveys form were evaluated and screened for any imperfect or missing data. After checking through the questionnaires for uncompleted as well as unanswered questionnaires, 200 of them were found to be utilizable for the purpose of this research. Data is then analyzed and tabulated for simplicity and easy understanding of the research.
4.2 Descriptive Analysis
In this analysis, frequency analysis will be carried out to analyze the demographic aspects in the questionnaires. The 200 survey forms are measured demographically with regards to:
Gender of respondents
Age group of respondents
Nationality of respondents
Ethnicity of respondents
Faculty of respondents
Current year of respondents
Respondents do online shopping or not
Experience of online shopping towards respondents
Amount of expense on online shopping towards respondents
Amount of shopping hours on online shopping in a week towards respondents
4.2.1 DEMOGRAPHIC
GENDER
Table 4.2.1: Gender
Gender
Frequency
Percentage (%)
Male
92
46.0
Female
108
54.0

 

Shopping Malls and the Malaysian Lifestyle

1.0 Introduction
Shopping mall is inevitably the main focal point in many Malaysia city and shopping has become the Malaysian favorite pastime during weekends. Moreover, series of mega sales and discount events have encouraged the act of consumption, turning the shopping center become one of vital element in our lifestyle.
The role of shopping center is gradually replacing existing public space in many modern Asian cities where the people do not have public parks or squares to hangout. Instead, a weekend family affair may just spend in the movie theatre or restaurants inside shopping mall. Therefore, shopping center is evolving into a new force whose impact should not be neglected.

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Nowadays, a new kind of shopping center known as the “lifestyle center” began emerging in Malaysia. According to International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the lifestyle center features an open-air architecture, typically high-end retailers, may or may not include anchor stores, and has a large concentration of dining and entertainment facilities. The properties are usually well landscaped and offer outdoor artwork, music, and trams or trolleys for on-site transportation. It is intended to support a “shopping as entertainment” mindset and has become highly popular in affluent communities. We can see the emerge of lifestyle malls in Greater Kuala Lumpur especially suburban Kuala Lumpur such as 1Mont Kiara, The Curve, Jaya One, Wangsa Walk, Sunway Giza, Alamanda Putrajaya and the list goes on.
Originated in US, lifestyle center combining the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall with leisure amenities in a town square or main street setting have become common in affluent suburban areas and are now one of the most popular retail formats in US. However, in Malaysia, the professionals are keener to recognize it as “Lifestyle Mall” since most of them are indoor setting but incorporated with outdoor walking mall. Thus, hereinafter, I will use the term ‘lifestyle mall’ in describing the Malaysia context.
2.0 Problem Statement
The emergence of lifestyle malls poses interesting question for urbanism in Malaysia. Cities in the Malaysia especially Greater Kuala Lumpur are characterized by sprawling suburban, which a pattern of development being criticized by several theorists. According to Jane Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she arguing that modernist planning policies that promoted highway construction has been destroyed many existing inner-city communities (Jacobs, 1961). After that, others writers such as Joel Garreau, Dolores Hayden and Robert Bruegmann agreed that suburban sprawl occurred to the destructive of urban life in America (Garreau, 1991; Hayeden & Wark, 2004; Bruegmann, 2006).
Furthermore, most of the critics on the rapid suburbanization that occurred in America as well as Malaysia, is the changing of urban and social fabric in several ways, both physically and socially. According to Harriet Tregoning, he states that cars have become necessary to working, shopping and living in suburban cities. The growing dependence on automobiles necessitated by low density, sprawling land use has important implications. People living in more sprawling regions tend to drive greater distance, own more cars, breathe more polluted air, face a greater risk of traffic fatalities and walk and use transit less.
One of the most common arguments is that suburban development isolated residential areas from the commercial areas and working places that served them, thus creating sprawling, inharmonious mix of single family houses, shopping centers and office parks across the suburban landscape (Duanny, 2000; Kunstler, 1993). Many of the physical and social elements that constituted the spirit of the city – civic art, civic life as well as public realm were lost in the process of spatial segregation (Garreau, 1991; Duanny, 2000; Hayeden & Wark, 2004; Bruegmann, 2006). Suburbanization tends to isolate large groups of society preventing the contact between diverse members of the population that is common in more traditional urban settings. According to Fellmann et all, the upwardly mobile resident of the city-younger, wealthier and better educated- took advantage of the automobile and highway to leave the central city. The poorer and older people were left behind. The central cities and suburbs became increasingly differentiated. Krueger and Gibbs stated that “Suburbanization produces enormous obstacles to the creation of a sense of identity with the neighborhood of residence, since the links generated are minimal and the lack of social ties makes the construction of a sense of belonging to a place very difficult” (Krueger & Gibbs, 2007). Duany writes “It is difficult to identify a segment of the population that does not suffer in some way from the lifestyle imposed by contemporary suburban development” (Duany, 2000). From a social perspective, most critics argue that in suburbia, the private realm is privileged over that of the public. Thus, without adequate public space, there is a severe shortage of venues where social interaction can take place because “sharing the public realm, people have their opportunity to interact, and thus come to realize that they have little reason to fear each other.” (Duany, 2000)
The evolution of shopping center development in Kuala Lumpur began with the opening of the first purpose built supermarkets and emporiums such as Weld Supermarket, Yuyi Emporium and so on. The first shopping complex, Ampang Park arrived in 1973, followed by Campbell Complex, Wisma Stephen, Wisma Central, Sun Complex, Pertama Complex, Wisma MPI and Angkasaraya. These shopping complexes are essentially retail developments located within a podium block of a shopping cum office development. Anchor tenants are nonexistent and the complexes have poor amenities and parking facilities. The retail outlets are generally small and the layout design is poor with little pedestrian circulation and inefficient use of space.
Pertama Complex in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman is among the first generation shopping complexes in Kuala Lumpur.
The second generation of 80’s shopping complexes were purpose built shopping complexes such as Sungai Wang Plaza (1978), Bukit Bintang Plaza (1979), Kota Raya (1982), Yow Chuan Plaza (1983), Imbi Plaza (1985), KL Plaza (1985), The Mall (1987), The Weld (1988) and Pudu Plaza (1989). These complexes enjoy good accessibility as they are located on main roads or at busy junctions of arterial or main roads. Ample parking lots are provided and easy entrance and exit points are strategically located for the convenience of shoppers who travel by car.
Sg Wang Plaza, one of the popular shopping centers situated in Bukit Bintang shopping district of Kuala Lumpur.
The shopping complexes have much better design and the adoption of a balanced tenant mix has taken stage in the overall planning, leasing and design of the complexes. The size, distribution and layout of the retail lots are also carefully planned and designed. Anchor tenants such as Metrojaya, AEON Jusco, Isetan, Parkson are used as magnets and are purposely located to facilitate the flow of shoppers in the complexes.
With rapid economic growth and urbanization in the Klang Valley, a wide range of social and economic factors have combined to influence the trends in shopping center development. The third generation of shopping centers, from the 1990s to the present, has seen the birth of new giants, with the size determine the winner of competition. Mega sized centers with vast retail space, often spanning more than two million square feet and with multiple anchor tenants, multiple mini anchors and a host of shop lots. Huge car parks accommodating more than 3000 vehicles are common, with a network of internal roads and access to main roads and highways.
These mega shopping centers are usually located in the suburbs and they include Sunway Pyramid, Mid Valley Megamall, One Utama Shopping Center, and Tropicana City Mall and so on. Perhaps being huge assures success. All the mega sized shopping centers have their individual niche markets and are thriving even facing competition with each others. For example, Sunway Pyramid integrated with its own planned resort – Sunway Lagoon. Without exception, all shopping centers must have good or exceptional merchandise mix and strong retail attractions in order to succeed in the face of stiff competition.
Mid Valley Megamall, the Malaysia’s largest suburban shopping center with 3 anchor tenants located in Bangsar.
The trend is moving towards hypermarkets, which may be supplanting some of the old “pop and mom’ style grocery business. Hypermarkets are typically huge stand alone supermarket and department store type retail outlets. Carrefour, Tesco, Giant are mushrooming over the suburban cities throughout Peninsular Malaysia. For example, Giant, the largest retailer in Malaysia are currently operates 107 stores nationwide and there are more stores opening soon. On the other hand, Tesco has operates 36 stores throughout Peninsular Malaysia to date.
Giant Hypermarket, the largest retailer in Malaysia is operating more than 100 stores throughout Malaysia.
The major factors which have contributed towards the emergence of suburban shopping centers and hypermarkets are due to the suburbanization of residential development. With limited land available for residential development in the city, housing has spread to the surrounding land at the city fringes with vast space of available lands. With provision of road infrastructure, the young, mobile, rich and middle class families who demand for bigger homes and more luxurious features and better quality of living have migrated to the suburbs. Many of these residential developments have taken the form of new townships and self contained neighborhoods such as Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Damansara and the list goes on. Retail followed as families continued to move from central cities to the suburbs.
Besides, the increases of female employments also lead to the emergence of suburban shopping center and hypermarkets. More females are entering the workforce which will directly affect the retailing pattern. It is because the addition of household incomes has increased the purchasing power. Moreover, women engaged in full time employment have less time for shopping. Thus, it results the increase of bulk buying and reduction in frequency of shopping trips. However, the shopping has turned into a family affair. Thus, it is essential to provide all in one shopping activities including shopping, food, entertainment and leisure with more emphasize on convenience, comfort and family oriented attractions and entertainment.
While suburban malls only served the retail needs of suburban residents, critics began to argue that they eliminated any chance communities have for possessing physical continuity on the urban fabric since they usually located along the main route (Torino, 2005). Developers of suburban malls tend to overlook the role of shopping center as a forum of public gathering and social interaction. However, the suburban malls are not public spaces at all; they are designed for single purpose: consumption.
Victor Gruen, the architect of the first modern suburban shopping mall in United States, recognized the breakdown of traditional community bonds are driven by uncontrollable suburban sprawl. Thus, Gruen envisioned the suburban mall to serve as the new town center which is dense, mixed use environments that could take place of traditional main streets and town squares. Gruen realized that the process of suburbanization was weakening the social bonds in a society that was fostered mainly in close knit rural communities and dense urban settlements. (Torino, 2005)
Gruen’s idea was to make shopping malls more pedestrian friendly, which he achieved by putting the entire development under one roof, with stores on two levels connected by escalators and fed by two-tiered parking. In the middle of the mall was a “town square”, which featured a garden court under a skylight, a fishpond, enormous sculpted trees, a twenty-one-foot cage filled with exotic birds, balconies with hanging plants, and a café (Gladwell, 2004). However, Gruen’s vision of shopping mall failed to function as town centers due to several reasons. In contrast to traditional town centers, which were “extroverted,” meaning that store windows and entrances faced both the parking areas and the interior pedestrian walkways, indoor malls were introverted: the exterior walls presented a blank façade, and all of the activity was focused inward (Gladwell, 2004). According to Michael Sorkin, the design of shopping malls tends to reinforce the domestic values and physical order of suburbia, rather than rectify it. In his book Variations on a Theme Park, Sorkin states, “Like the suburban house that rejects the sociability of front porches and sidewalks for private back yards, malls look inward, turning their backs on the public street” (Sorkin, 1992). Since most malls are located in the middle of vast parking lots set well off the street, what Sorkin refers to as “pedestrian islands in an asphalt sea”, their physical setting represents yet another crack in the already fragmented suburban landscape (Sorkin, 1992).
Another reason why malls have failed to function as the traditional town centers that Gruen envisioned is that they are, by and large, built for a single purpose – retail. According to Kevin Mattson, “Whereas in cities, towns, and villages, public space invites mixed usage and contains churches, schools, courts, theaters, civic buildings and stores, malls are exclusively commercial. Access and architecture together conspire to make buying and selling the only thinkable activities” (Mattson, 2009). Mattson argues that since malls are the only public spaces left in many parts of the country, they must become more like real towns with a mixture of uses: “If commerce is not to become the sole activity we engage in when we are in public, malls must offer alternative activities – civic, cultural, athletic, political, and recreational – that define us as citizens as well as consumers” (Mattson, 2009).
Many urban scholars have pointed to the obvious fact that shopping malls are not true public spaces, but privatized ones where management ultimately reserves the right to limit access. In his book The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space, Don Mitchell touches on the idea that malls are exclusive places, where certain groups and behaviors are not welcome (rowdy teenagers, the homeless, and political demonstrations, for example). Mitchell also comments that malls are heavily patrolled by private security forces and are subject to constant surveillance (Mitchell, 2003).
Malcolm Voyce has noted that malls do not coincide with the need for an open and democratic public space and that their private nature limits and controls diversity (Voyce, 2006). Private ownership and restricted access, therefore, undermine the shopping mall’s ability to function as a true, democratic public space.
The recent trends mark the emergence of lifestyle malls mushrooming at the suburban Klang Valley. To be named a few: The Curve, the pioneer lifestyle mall in Malaysia; Sunway Pyramid, Jaya One, Wangsa Walk, Alamanda Putrajaya, Axis Atrium, Sunway Giza which are operating; SSTwo Mall, 1Mont Kiara, Subang Avenue, Citta, Setia Walk, Setia Avenue and the list goes on which are on construction to join the “lifestyle demand”. Therefore, it is not strange that Business Week Magazine has referred the lifestyle malls as the “Shopping Center of the 21st Century”.
The above lifestyle malls share several commons. Design ambience reflecting a main street motif is great emphasized. The developers often cite a large emphasis on food and entertainment, elements that further contribute to the atmosphere of the project. Parking is also a major concern where it is usually arranged in structures or placed underground (Malmuth, 2005). Moreover, the inclusion of mixed uses also can be found in the quality of lifestyle malls. The inclusion of non retail uses is what sets apart lifestyle malls from other retail developments, to the extent that certain developer, such as Sime UEP Brunsfield, will claim that the word “lifestyle” is meaningless if residential component is not incorporated.
The rise of lifestyle mall also raises other important questions, particularly about how and whether the shopping centers also function as public spaces. Perhaps the most important factor leading to the emergence of lifestyle malls, however, and the focus of this thesis, is the recognition of the increasing importance of shopping centers as public spaces in suburban life. Outside of urban centers, suburbia offers very few public gathering places. Therefore, strolling through suburban malls has become the favorite pastime during weekends. It is however important to realize that the main concern of shopping center is still concern about commercial activities. While the fact is, people do not only shop in a mall, they do hangout and socialize in the same time. Besides, there are also critics on the suburban shopping malls that reinforce unsustainable suburban sprawl. Some argue that lifestyle centers represent part of an effort to reduce the effects of suburban sprawl, through the reintroduction of traditional mixed use setting. Other argues that they are only tools to earn since they are privately owned, carefully controlled. Therefore, do lifestyle malls truly represent better forms of public space than conventional malls? Developers of lifestyle malls seem to have realized that improved retail design can act as a forum for social activity as well as a source of increased revenue (Torino, 2005). If so, are they alternatives to malls as models for public space in suburban? Do lifestyle malls represent a new typology of quasi public space? And how “public” are those lifestyle malls?
3.0 Aim
This research aims to examine the emergence of lifestyle malls of their ability to function as public space.
4.0 Objectives

4.1 To examine the publicness of lifestyle malls.
4.2 To determine the perception of shoppers’ experiences towards the function of lifestyle malls.
4.3 To recognize the lifestyle malls as a new form of public space in suburban.

5.0 Research Questions

5.1 How “public” are lifestyle malls?
5.2 How do the shoppers perceive the lifestyle mall’s role?
5.3 How lifestyle malls represent a new form of public space in suburban?

6.0 Outline of Methodology
To answer these questions, a variety of methods will be applied. The overall methods are qualitative.
Research which is primarily based on journals, articles and others.
Attempt to examine the characteristic of public space in order to identify the function of lifestyle malls as public space in the context of ideas by theorists such as George Varna, Steve Tiesdell, Adam Tyndall, Kevin Lynch, W. Lewis Dijkstra, Jan Gehl as well as Project of Public Space.
Interviews with planners and developers, member of Malaysian Association for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management
Brief discussion regarding the trend of shopping centers in Malaysia, planning and development of selected lifestyle malls.
Surveys of shoppers experience at lifestyle malls.
Survey on the perceptions of shoppers towards lifestyle malls as social focus and public space.
Observation
Observation on the physical design of lifestyle mall, degree to the mixed tenants and how the public use the spaces.
7.0 Structure of the Thesis
Chapter 1
Suburban development in Greater Kuala Lumpur, trend of shopping center in Malaysia
Chapter 2
Discussion on the role of public space and how lifestyle mall fit into the context of public space
Chapter 3
Case Studies
Chapter 4
Survey results obtained at each lifestyle malls, observation on the quality of public space, design, level of mixed use, community events sponsored by each lifestyle mall
Chapter 5
Concludes with a discussion of results and implications of the research.
8.0 Expected Output
The expected output will be:

Able to assess whether lifestyle mall in Greater Kuala Lumpur can function as public space.
Able to determine that lifestyle mall can be another form of public space in suburban Kuala Lumpur.
Able to recognize the characteristics of lifestyle mall that contribute to creation of public space.

 

Driving factors of Consumer Purchase Intention in Shopping Mobile Apps

Abstract

As mobile application rises, it raises concerns towards how the new digital context will be studied. However, existing literatures on factors that affect m-commerce purchase have created a false dichotomy between the external environment (e-servicescape) and internal responses (consumer behavior). Therefore, this paper is synthesizing the two pathways of study to determine the factors influencing purchase intention within retail shopping apps. E-servicescape factors such as layout and functionality and aesthetic appeal, as well as consumer behavior factors such as hedonic and utilitarian value have been argued to positively affect purchase intention. Therefore, this contribution is aimed for academics and marketers to consider a more wholesome perspective to explore the factors driving a purchase intention within a shopping app.

Introduction

Mobile applications or ‘apps’ are software programs that are installed in a mobile device to display an identity of a brand (Kumar et al., 2018). As the numbers of app users have increased significantly, scholars realize the need for its study, especially in the mobile shopping app context. Several fields have explored the use of apps by either its environmental elements (e-servicescapes) or its consumer behavior. Therefore, a conceptual question arises on the possibility of exploring the factors that encompass both internal and external factors to drive purchase intentions within shopping apps. This contribution will not only extend theories to a new digital context of shopping apps, but also by synthetizing and integrating them into a wholesome model. This paper will discuss and compare the literature studies and explore the significant factors that shares the same dependent variable of purchase intention.

Literature Review

Past research on mobile applications

Kannan & Li (2017) developed a framework for digital marketing and its touch-points in the marketing process, in which mobile phones are inherently becoming ‘smaller’ and ‘personal’. Hence, future research should explore how these technologies can build consumer loyalty and consumption in this specific context (Kannan & Li, 2017). Only few studies have identified the key factors that influence app adoption behavior that have significant implication for marketers (Kannan & Li, 2017). Several studies have examined mobile apps, in which they either discuss them on an element and situational context (servicescapes) or on an individual context (consumer behavior).

E-Servicescapes

Ballantyne & Nilsson (2017) consider how the servicescape would be interpreted in new digital settings, as some attributes still hold up symbolically to describe digital virtual spaces for interaction and value creation. Therefore, the e-servicescape model suggests environmental factors to exist that influence customers’ perception in digital services: aesthetic appeal, layout and functionality and financial security (Harris & Goode, 2010). The e-servicescape model suggests that these factors should establish trust to the service, which eventually leads to purchase intentions in an online environment (Fusaro et al., 2002).

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Firstly, aesthetic appeals refers for the customer interface elements in digital context which elicits perceptions of fun and excitement to their customer (Hopkins, 2009). When consumers perceive the aesthetic appeal positively, their perceptions towards the e-service quality (Montoya-Weiss et al., 2003) and satisfaction (Szymanski & Hise, 2000) will be stronger. Layout and functionality also influence the trustworthiness of an e-commerce platform. Similar to the classical model, layout is utilized to facilitate service provision, minimize confusion and provide convenience to the users (Hopkins, 2009). A study by These are aspects of the servicescape that explicitly or implicitly communicate about the app to users (Hopkins et al., 2009). Therefore, an optimal mix between aesthetic value and a coherent layout can lead to purchase intention towards an app.

Lastly, the last e-service variable is online financial security, which refers to the extent in which consumers perceive the payment and policies to be secure and safe. Studies have argued that perceived security is critical in an online exchange (Szymanski & Hise, 2000).

Consumer Behavior in Apps

In the context of apps and e-servicescapes, many studies have explored the antecedent in the perspective of consumer behavior. According to Parker & Wang (2016), factors including previous experience in shopping influences decision-making in online apps. There is a higher tendency to shop using m-app if consumers have prior experience with the brand or the product. (Hsiao, Chang & Tang, 2016).

Several studies suggest that perceived value and motivation, such hedonic and utilitarian, drives customer’s intention to purchase on a mobile app (Parker &Wang, 2016; Hsu & Lin, 2015). Hedonic motivation, such as social and gratification drives the motivation to purchase in mobile apps, such as pleasure from purchasing the product (Hsu & Lin, 2015). On the other hand, utilitarian value proposes that consumer’s is motivated by the need of efficiency and convenience to purchase at m-apps (Parker & Wang, 2016).

Studies have used different mediator variables in order to establish their factors to the purchase behavior of apps. Firstly, it is argued these perceived value and habitual behavior will result in a certain attitude towards the app (Hsu & Lin, 2015). Attitude is the positive or negative feelings of an individual to perform the target behavior, which is the tendency of purchase made within the app (Kim, Yoon & Han, 2016).

On the other hand, Kim, Wang & Malthouse (2015) argues that stickiness of an app influences purchase behavior. Stickiness refers to the repeated use of the app and the relational concepts such as trust, commitment and loyalty, which will positively influence purchase tendencies to consumers. (Kim et al., 2015; Harris & Goode, 2007; Hsu & Lin, 2016). Satisfaction is also an arguable variable towards buying behavior of app users (Hsiao et al, 2016; Hsu & Lin, 2015; Kim et al. 2016). It is posited that satisfaction from an app is a positive enjoyment that can influence user consumption activity choices (Kim, Kim & Watcher, 2013). 

Ultimately, it is identifiable by various studies in the context of servicescapes and consumer behavior are aimed to examine the dependent variable of customer’s purchase intentions and loyalty towards the app. (Harris & Goode, 2010; Hopkins et al. 2009; Hsu & Lin, 2016).

Theoretical Development

The literatures discussed have introduced many factors that may influence the purchase intentions in apps. The classical model of servicescape by Bitner (1992) exhibits the environmental dimensions, such as ambience, function and signs, as well as the internal responses made by the customers. However, the literatures discussed seemed to have created two separate pathways to study the antecedent of customer purchase intention. The aim of this paper aims to fill this gap, to summarize and integrate the antecedent factors in both aspects of e-servicescape and consumer behavior.

In order to develop this concept, a comparative literature study was made in order to observe which variable are more significant towards the purchase intention of apps. Therefore, only significant variables across studies are constructed in order to create a coherent and wholesome model. The reason why e-servicescape and consumer behavior can be integrated is due to the overlapping of the theories, as it has the same dependent variable of purchase intention.

As the studies are compared, there are prevalent factors within both contexts that ultimately influences the purchase intentions. Aesthetic appeal is a dominant and consistent factor across all of the e-servicescapes studies (Harris & Goode, 2010; Hopkins et al., 2009; Kumar et al., 2018). Therefore, there is an implication that the aesthetic appeal of an app may influence purchase intention. In addition, there is a noteworthy discussion on layout and functionality within the two e-servicescape (Harris & Goode, 2010; Hopkins et al., 2009). Thus, the layout and functionality of an app may also be a significant direct factor towards purchase intention and will be included in this study.

Furthermore, in the context of consumer behavior, the most significant factors are hedonic and utilitarian value, as they encompass significant components argued in different studies. Hedonic is repeatedly discussed as values and motivation that are subjective aimed for pleasure of use (Hsu & Lin, 2016; Kim et al, 2015; Hsiao et al., 2016; Parker & Wang., 2016), emotional value (Hsiao et al., 2016) and entertainment (Kim et al., 2016) within an app. On the other hand, utilitarian value and motivation towards an app is also significantly based on rational consumer behavior (Hsu & Lin, 2016; Kim et al, 2015; Hsiao et al., 2016; Parker & Wang., 2016), performance, good price (Hsiao et al., 2016), and perceived usefulness (Hsiao et al., 2016; Kim et al., 2016).

Hedonic and utilitarian values dimension is important in predicting outcomes such as purchase intention. Depending on the purchase context, both values will interchange to become a primary driver to user affect. Modern digital products and services such as apps work for multiple purpose because they contain hedonic and utilitarian components (Hsiao et al., 2016). However, each construct cannot be integrated because both are equally important and independently influence app usage and purchase (Kim et al., 2014). As some studies have mediating variables in their proposed model (i.e.) attitude, their arguments do not highlight the significance of its mediating variable but rather the independent variable. Therefore, this conceptual model will not carry any mediating variable to create a concise proposition.

Conceptual Model and Propositions

Based on the conceptual development, the study is able to outline that major factors that influence the consumer’s purchase intention in a mobile shopping app; utilitarian value, hedonic value, aesthetic appeal and layout and functionality. Therefore, four propositions will elaborate on how each of the factors will ultimately influence purchase intention in a shopping app.

Proposition 1: Utilitarian value influences purchase intention

Customer value is an important predictor of customer purchase decision based on the individual’s experience and interaction with a product or service (Hsu & Lin, 2016). Firstly, Utilitarian values are beliefs that focus on increasing a user’s task performance (Hsu & Lin, 2016). According to motivation theory, utility represent an extrinsic motivation, which emphasizes on performing a behavior to achieve specific goals/rewards (Hsiao et al., 2013). Models such as the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) along with its studies suggest that high utilitarian values will increase the adoption of the technology (Kim et al., 2013). Hence, it can be assumed that if the shopping app can achieve a specific goal or improve their task performance, it will influence their purchase intention within the app. Parker & Wang (2016) suggests that in an m-commerce context, efficiency (saving time obtaining product information the cost to travel to shop is an important motivator for purchase.

Hsiao & Chen (2016), a study on purchase intention on gaming apps indicate that perceived performance/quality values such as access flexibility influence purchase intention. This can be applied to the context of shopping apps as the goal of such apps is to provide the ability to shop ‘on the go’. Consequently, when consumer view shopping apps to be more convenient and cost effective, they will develop a more positive attitude towards buying using the app (Hsu & Lin, 2016). Utilitarian value such perceived cost also played an important role towards purchase intention. If user perceive the product to be in good price, it will increase their positive attitude to purchase intention (Hsiao & Chen, 2016).

Proposition 2: Hedonic value influences purchase intention

Hedonic are the intrinsic values that focus on increasing a user’s pleasure experiences and satisfaction from performing a certain behavior (Hsu & Lin, 2016). The TAM model illustrate the hedonic influence as perceived enjoyment, which is the degree user experiences fun and enjoyment while using the app (Kim et al., 2013). Another study has also identified hedonic motivational factors to have a positive relationship with attitude and purchase intention (Hsiao et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2013).

Parker & Wang (2016) indicated the dimensions of hedonic values that occur during the purchase on m-commerce apps such as gratification shopping (seeking good feelings on their shopping experiences), social shopping (influences from interpersonal relationships) and idea shopping (shop and browse products for information collection of new trends and fashion). Hsiao & Cen’s (2016) study on mobile game apps suggests that hedonic values such as rewards which have an influence on price has a strong effect to purchase intention. Therefore, this can be applied to shopping apps gratify shoppers using points and promotion that can influence their perceived costs and price will influence their purchase behavior. Ultimately, hedonic ultimately drives repurchase and intention to use products or services (Parker & Wang, 2016), particularly in a shopping app.

Proposition 3: Aesthetic appeal influences purchase intention

Aesthetic appeal that include the originality of design, visual appeal and entertainment value can influence customers’ trust and purchase intentions. (Harris & Goode, 2010). A study by Kumar (2018) suggests that consumers evaluate features of an app like color, graphic and texts compositely rather than as an individual component. Kumar et al. (2018) find that there is a significant influence of design aesthetic, perceived usefulness and ease of use to loyalty to mobile apps. Therefore, an appealing visual aesthetics of an app can play a significant role in adoption and purchase intentions.

Harris & Goode (2010) argues that the modernity of design is a crucial component in online context for online shoppers. This is also supported as it is argued that ambient conditions (i.e. aesthetic appeals) had the greatest influence towards customer’s attitude towards a purchase (Hopkins, 2009). E-consumers reflexively evaluate and highly value the level of emotionality and entertainment of online environments, which can generate a positive attitudinal effect regardless of the utilitarian nature that the app provides (Kumar, 2018). Harris & Goode (2010) indicated that online shopping experience is highly linked to the aesthetic appeal of the online service environment. Therefore, the visual appeal in the design of a shopping app is highly crucial towards creating a positive attitude and evaluation and will ultimately influence purchase intention.

Proposition 4: Layout and functionality influences purchase intention

Layout refers to the arrangement, organization, structure and adaptability of the app, while functionality is the extent in which it can facilitate the service (Harris & Goode, 2010). Hopkins (2009) implied that the key dimensions of layout and functionality of a website is the organization (how easy to use and navigate) and informative-ness (the factual content that it provides). Consumer’s opinion is strongly linked to the navigability and usability of a digital environment (Harris & Goode, 2010). Therefore, this factor is applicable towards other e-servicescape like shopping apps. In addition, there is a positive relationship between layout organization of a e-service and purchase intention (Loiacono, 2002)

Hopkins (2009) argued that signs, symbols and artifacts, such as the useful and informative content of a website drives positive purchase behavior. Hence, a strong information component is important aside from how the app layout is organized to influence purchase. Information such as availability, price and features are a primary component of why consumers are motivated to use online resources, and as a predictor of purchase intention (Loiacono, 2002). If the app is nicely laid out but lacks the information needed, a purchase response will be unlikely (Hopkins, 2009). In the context of apps, antecedents like usability of the app is a driver towards customer’s loyalty (Kumar, 2018).

Overall, the model (Figure1) is constructed in order to illustrate the relationships between the independent variable and how it influences the dependent value of purchase intention.

Figure 1: Constructed Model of Antecedents of Purchase Intention in Shopping Apps

 

Discussion

The theoretical implications that stems from this work is to discuss further on the antecedents of purchase intention within a shopping app. As mobile apps are becoming a prominent within the digital context, studies on how it affects purchase intentions are still severely lacking. The classical model of servicescape by Bitner (1992) managed to encompass both environmental and human aspects of marketing interaction. However, there is a separation between the study of the environmental elements and the consumer behavior, as each context are explored independently. Therefore, this study provides more wholesome perspective on how both contributes to the same dependent variable of purchase intention. Secondly, it can be observed that the literatures of e-servicescapes are still discussing on website commerce (Harris & Goode, 2010; Hopkins et al., 2009). Therefore, this literature is also aimed to extend the theory towards a new context.

This paper contributes to provide more consideration for marketing practitioner in making an app. The factors that are proposed as factors are inherently related to each other. Therefore, marketing practitioner should consider all these factors regardless of their product context. For instance, if the brand focuses on luxury products (hedonic values), it will still have to consider its utilitarian values, such as functionality of the app as the basic that are inherent in operating with their phones (Kim et al., 2013).

The limitation of this conceptual model is that there are still an ample room of research towards purchase behavior in mobile shopping apps. This study depends of past literatures and therefore some require interpretations on how it applies to digital context of shopping apps. In addition, this study only discusses significant variables. However, there are probably more variables that should be considered but unable to due to the limited format. Therefore, future research should investigate the variables deeper and more extensively to better understand the purchase behavior in shopping apps.

Conclusion

To conclude, this paper is aimed to summarize and integrate the studies between servicescape and consumer behavior within mobile shopping apps. As literatures are studied and compared, there are several significant factors which are layout and functionality and aesthetic appeal of the app, as well as the hedonic and utilitarian value. Each propositions constitutes each independent variables and it positively influences purchase intention. Therefore, the conceptual question is answered as the two fields of studies ultimately share the same dependent variable of purchase intention, creating a more wholesome model that constitute the internal and external antecedent of purchase intention in a retail shopping app.

References

Bitner, M. J. (1992). Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees. Journal of Marketing , 57.

Ballantyne, D., & Nilsson, E. (2017). All that is solid melts into air: the servicescape in digital service space. Journal of Services Marketing , 226 – 235.

Fusaro, M., Theoret, Y. and Charron ,C.-Y. (2002), Generating Trust in Online Business, The Communicators, IQ Books, Montreal.

Harris, L. C., & Goode, M. M. (2010). Online servicescapes, trust and purchase intentions. Journal of Service Marketing , 24 (3), 230 – 243.

Hopkins, C. D., Grove, S. J., Raymond, M. A., & LaForge, M. C. (2009). Designing the e-Servicescape: Implications for Online Retailer. Journal of Internet Commerce , 23-43.

Hsiao, C.-H., Chang, J.-J., & Tang, K.-Y. (2016). Exploring the influential factors in continuance usage of mobile social Apps: Satisfaction, habit, and customer value. Telematic and Informatics , 342 – 355.

Hsiao, K.-L., & Chen, C.-C. (2016). What drives in-app purchase intention for mobile games? An examination of perceived values and loyalty. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications , 18 – 29.

Hsu, C.-L., & Lin, J. C.-C. (2015). What drives purchase intention for paid mobile apps? – An expectation confirmation model with perceived value. Electronic Research and Commerce , 46 – 57.

Hsu, C.-L., & Lin, J. C.-C. (2016). Effect of perceived value and social influences on mobile app stickiness and in-app purchae intention. Technological Forecasting & Social Change , 108, 42-53.

Kannan, P., & Li, H. A. (2017). Digital Marketing: A framework, review and research agenda. International Journal of Reserach in Marketing , 22 – 45.

Kim, S. C., Yoon, D., & Han, E. (2014). Antecendent of mobile app usage among smartphone users. Journal of Marketing Communications .

Kim, S., Wang, R. J.-H., & Malthouse, E. C. (2015). The Effects of Adopting and Using a Brand’s Mobile Application on Customers’ Subsequent Purchase Behavior. Journal of Interactive Marketing , 28 – 41.

Kim, Y. H., Kim, D. J., & Watcher, K. (2013). A study of mobile user engagement (MoEN): engagement motivations, perceived value, satisfaction, and continued engagement intention. Decision Support Systems , 361 – 370.

Kumar, D. S., Purani, K., & Viswanathan, S. A. (2018). Influences of ‘appscape’ on mobile app adoption and m-loyalty. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Behavior , 132-141.

Loiacono, E. T., R. T. Watson, and D. L. Goodhue. 2002. WebQual: A measure of website quality. Paper presented at the proceedings of the Winter Educator’s Conference, February 22–25, Chicago, Illinois.

Montoya-Weiss, M., Voss, G.B. and Grewal, D. (2003), “Determinants of online channel use and overall satisfaction with a relational, multichannel service provider”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 448-58.

Parker, C. J., & Wang, H. (2016). Examining hedonic and utilitarian motivations for m-commerce fashion retail app engagement. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management , 20, 487 – 506.

Szymanski, D.M. and Hise, R.T. (2000), “E-satisfaction: an initial examination”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 76 No. 3, pp. 309-22.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping

Question
Try a service you have never tried before on internet. Analyze the benefits of this service. Was enough information provided to make the service easy to use? How would you compare this service to other methods of obtaining the same benefits?
ONLINE SHOPPING
Online shopping is the process of buying goods and services from merchants who sell on the Internet. Since the emergence of the World Wide Web, merchants have sought to sell their products to people who surf the Internet. Shoppers can visit web stores from the comfort of their homes and shop as they sit in front of the computer.
Consumers buy a variety of items from online stores. In fact, people can purchase just about anything from companies that provide their products online. Books, clothing, household appliances, toys, hardware, software, and health insurance are just some of the hundreds of products consumers can buy from an online store.
Many people choose to conduct shopping online because of the convenience. For example, when a person shops at a brick-and-mortar store, she has to drive to the store, find a parking place, and walk throughout the store until she locates the products she needs. After finding the items she wants to purchase, she may often need to stand in long lines at the cash register.

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In contrast, online shopping helps consumers avoid these disadvantages. With online shopping, a person logs onto the Internet, visits the store’s website, and chooses the items she desires. The items are held in a virtual shopping cart until she is ready to make her purchase. The shopper can remain in her pajamas as she does her shopping, and the process can be conducted in the wee hours of the morning or late into the night. Online stores never close – they’re open 24 hours a day.
Despite the convenience of online shopping, not everyone chooses to purchase items and services online. Some people like the idea of physically going to a store and experiencing the shopping process. They like to touch the merchandise, try on clothing, and be around other people. Online shopping doesn’t permit shoppers to touch products or have any social interaction. It also doesn’t allow them to take the merchandise home the same day they buy it.
Other people may worry about shopping online because they fear their credit card information will be compromised. Since it’s necessary to provide credit card information when purchasing products online, people worry they may become the victims of identity theft. This discourages some consumers from participating in online shopping.
Another reason some consumers avoid shopping online is the fact that they worry that the products they purchase are not accurately portrayed in the website’s picture. They worry that the picture of the item may appear one way, but the actual item may look completely different – perhaps of lesser quality. It’s also impossible to try on apparel when conducting online shopping.
A consumer has to rely on body measurements in order to make sure the clothing will fit properly. If the clothing arrives in the mail and it’s too small, the consumer has to return the item. This is a potential inconvenience that some shoppers may not wish to face.
Advantages of Online Shopping
Incredible convenience: In comparison to a brick and mortar store with fixed hours, online shoppers can choose any time of the day or night to get on the Web and shop. This is especially useful for moms with small children, people that are home-bound, or simply in times of inclement weather.
Price comparisons: When you visit a store, you most likely have to settle for whatever price the vendor has placed on a particular item. Not so with online shopping – you have the ability to compare prices from hundreds of different vendors (see The Top Nine Comparison Shopping Sites).
Infinite choice: Shelf space in a brick and mortar store is limited, which means that your variety of goods is limited. Not so with an online store. Plus, if you don’t see what you want in one store online, you can simply move on to the next one – you’ve got the power to do that.
Easy access to consumer reviews: It’s easy to access consumer reviews for pretty much any product you can think of online, which makes for more informed purchases.
No pressure sales: We’ve all been awkwardly propositioned by eager salespeople. You don’t have to put up with that online.
These are just some of the advantages of online shopping. Are there disadvantages? Let’s look at a few that might deter some customers from buying goods online:
You can’t try things on. If you’re buying a clothing item, you don’t have the ability to feel the material, try it on, and see how it’s made. Unless you know your measurements and are familiar with the brand of clothing offered, this could end up being a bad experience.
You can’t talk to someone immediately. If you have a question about what you’re looking at, you probably will have to wait at least 24 hours to get a question answered (however, many sites have “instant chat” enabled that take care of this issue).
Privacy and security: Privacy and security are legitimate concerns for any online shopper, but there are precautions you can take to make sure your transaction is a safe one. For example, paying attention to HTTPS protocols, installing free spyware removal tools, knowing how to identify online scams and hoaxes, surfing anonymously, and keeping your Web usage private are all smart ways to address any privacy and security issues.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
1. YOU DO NOT PHYSICALLY SEE THE ITEMS:
Normally when we shop from a regular store, we can see the item and at least visually inspect that it looks fine. You can select a co lour, size and can even speak to a sales person to clarify doubts regarding an item. I feel the biggest disadvantage of online shopping is we do not physically see the item till it arrives. May be you have seen it in the nearby mall but there is a possibility that the particular piece you have ordered may be defective. Misinterpretation or misunderstanding of items bought online is a common problem. Usually the photo of items you see online are much better than once you have the item in front of you.
2. WAIT FOR THE ITEMS TO ARRIVE:
Once you place you order the waiting game starts. You have to wait for a few days for the item to arrive which can be quite frustrating. Most experts believe that we are most excited about your “buy” in the first few days, so by the time your item arrives you will most likely be less excited then getting the item on same day you made the payment.
3. CHANCES OF MISHANDLING WHILE SHIPPING / DELIVERY RISKS:
What if the item you are expecting never arrives, you will be lost in a series of phone calls to the seller and the courier company. What if you are not at home during the time of delivery and the courier company leaves the package on your door and a passerby decides to steal it? What if the shipping company broke your stuff and you realize it after opening it when the courier man has already gone away. The seller might claim that you broke it.
4. SHIPPING CHARGES:
Only a few sites offer free shipping, some others will ship for free only if your total purchase price exceeds a certain amount. Shipping fee is often a big discouragement for online shoppers.
5. RETURNING MERCHANDISE:
Even if the seller agrees to take back the defective merchandise, you often have to pay the cost of shipping it back. Additionally you have to call and convince the people regarding the reason of your return. Some good sites do have excellent return policy, but not everyone.
Comparison of Online Shopping and Offline Shopping
Offline shopping is becoming rather polar. Customers either want service, or they really *don’t* want service. It’s not that customers are unclear about whether they want to purchase, it’s that they are absolutely clear about why they are shopping. They either have a purchase in their minds, or they are shopping predominantly as a form of therapy, and simply wish to interact with the goods. Customers have reached a position where if shopping is entirely experience oriented and not goal oriented, then they find sales assistants a *disincentive* to enter a store. As they grow in sophistication, customers’ respect for, and tolerance of sales assistants is actually reducing.
So essentially the changes I see are a marked separation of goal oriented shoppers and experience oriented shoppers. Shoppers who have a specific purchasing goal in mind are time conscious and want service immediately, and at the lowest possible price. Shoppers who are experience-oriented find sales assistants irritating and officious. And I think the internet and online shopping is actually contributing to this polarisation process.
 

E-commerce Internet Shopping

Is e-commerce boundary-less? Effects of individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance on internet shopping.
Abstract:
Regardless of the unusual growth of internet during the last few years, the enormous business potentials of the internet remain largely untapped. There is a general observation that with the internet, national and international boundaries should become irrelevant when engaging in business exchanges. There exist two national cultural dimensions, individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance and their interaction that influences internet shopping rates across a wide spectrum of countries. For countries lower in uncertainty avoidance, individualistic cultures show higher internet shopping rates than do collectivist cultures. Implications for national and internet firm-level web design strategies are discussed.
Problem Statement:
Is e-commerce boundary-less? Effects of individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance on internet shopping. Although the adoption rate of internet shopping is relatively high in the west, it is still generally unpopular in the east. In spite the promises of the greater global customer reach and potential profits; internet shopping adoption is still systematically affected by cultural differences. National wealth also contributes towards the adoption of internet shopping, because money is needed for necessary internet access infrastructure, subscription of internet services, and online purchases. Although national wealth alone cannot account for the vastly different internet shopping rates among high gross GDP countries. The adoption of internet shopping is jointly effected by a set of contextual factors i.e. national income and educational level as well as two major cultural factors, namely, individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance.
Research Objectives:
The objective of this research is to find the effects of individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance on internet shopping keeping under consideration the Internet shopping adoption rate, individualism index, uncertainty avoidance index, per capita GDP, educational level, unemployment rate, and crime rate.
Hypothesis 1: Internet shopping adoption rates are higher for countries with relatively lower uncertainty avoidance levels.
Hypothesis 2: Internet shopping adoption rates are higher for individualist than for collectivist countries.
Hypothesis 3a: For countries with high relatively high uncertainty avoidance levels, individualism-collectivism shows little impact on internet shopping rates.
Hypothesis 3b: for countries with relatively low uncertainty avoidance levels, the individualist countries show higher Internet shopping adoption rates than the collectivist countries.
Importance / benefit of study:
The importance of this study is that it addresses the issues and problems related to internet shopping and will also help in working around these issues and problems. It will also help in the regulation of e-commerce activities in a proper and efficient manner.
Research Design:
Exploration: Quantitative.
The data was mainly collected from Global e-Commerce Report, Hofstede, World Fact book and United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, Institute for statistics online base.
Data Analysis:
The dependent variable under observation is Internet shopping adoption rate by country. Internet shopping adoption rate is the percentage of internet users, who have bought goods or services during the past month. Data on internet shopping adoption rate were obtained from the Global e-Commerce Report of Taylor Nelson Sofres (2001). This report consists of data from 36 countries derived from interviewing a total of 42,742 people.
The two independent variables are individualism index and uncertainty avoidance index. The data for both these variables was obtained from Hofstede, which includes 50 countries.
The control variables are per capita GDP, educational level, unemployment rate, and crime rate. The data for GDP and unemployment rate was collected from World Fact book, The International Monetary Fund (2001). Data for educational level was obtained from United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, Institute for statistics online base. Data for internet crime rate was derived from the total sum of the number of offences contained in national crime statistics and major categories of reported crime in each of the Interpol member countries.
Nature and Form of Results Schedule:
The results which can be concluded from the whole study are:
Higher the income levels of a country, the higher the internet penetration rate. It can also be concluded from the case that taking income into consideration, educational level, unemployment rate, crime rate, and economic growth rate do not significantly affect internet penetration. Internet shopping adoption rate is negatively correlated with uncertainty avoidance, but positively correlated with individualism-collectivism. The relationship of uncertainty avoidance with internet shopping adoption is not as strong as expected, and is not significant.
All the results support our hypotheses. National income plays a very important rate in both internet penetration rate and adoption rate of internet shopping. It can also be said that whether it is online or offline shopping, the higher the income level, the higher the purchasing power.
Cultural factors also play an important role in affecting internet shopping behavior, over and above the effect due to national income and educational levels. Internet shopping is still at its infancy for some countries. The result also support that dimensions of national culture affect internet shopping rate. The national government level, macro level policies that are designed to suit the local culture can be implemented to stimulate the adoption of internet shopping.
Facilities and Resources:
The resources of this case study are Global e-Commerce Report, Hofstede, World Fact book and United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, Institute for statistics online base.
Bibliography:
References:
Anderson, J.C. Naurus, A. (1990) ‘A model of distributor firm and manufacturer firm working partnerships’, Journal of marketing 54(1): 42-58
Hirschey, M. and Pappas, J.L (1993) Managerial Economics, 7th edn, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers: Orlando, FL.
Hofstede, C.H. (2001) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the mind, McGraw -Hill: London.
Leung, K. and Bond, M.H (2004) ‘Social exioms: a model for social beliefs in multicultural perspective’, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 36: 119-197.
Lynn, R. and Martin, T. (1995) ‘National differences for 37 nations in extroversion, neuroticism psychoticism and economic, demographic and other correlates’, Personality and Individual Differences 19: 403-406.
Morris, M.W., Williams, K.Y., Leung, K., Larrick, R., Mendoza, (1998) ‘Conflict management style: accounting for cross national differences’, Journal for International Business studies 29(4): 729-747.
The International Police Organization (Interpol) (2003) Online data, http://www.interpol.com
The International Monetary Fund (2001) ‘World economic outlook data’.
 

Analysis of Plastic Shopping Bag Policy in Australia

Introduction
Since the plastic shopping bag was introduced in 1957, it has becomes an essential part of life today. In addition to common things like smart phones, cars or fast food, plastic shopping bags are very familiar and used by everyone in Australia. Almost all merchandises from foodstuffs and take – away food, drink to clothing and hardware use plastic shopping bags to carry.
It is estimated that people all over the world use from 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic every year (Clapp & Swanston 2009). This is equivalent to 2.7 billion every day, or 1.9 million every minute. And approximately 6.9 billion plastic bags are used by Australian consumers every year.
Plastic shopping bags are provided by most retailers in Australia for the purpose of helping consumers to hold their products they buy. While the main intention of consumers is using these plastic shopping bags is to carry goods from the stores to the car and into their home , they are often re-used by consumers for other purposes, such as lining household rubbish bins. The helpfulness of plastic shopping bags for their original purpose is rarely controversial. However, these bags create unsightly rubbish, use limited resources, are one of the sources of waste from landfill, take many years to disintegrate, cause harm to animals, and become a symbol of a ‘throwaway’ society.
The purpose of this research paper is to analysis existing policies about plastic shopping bag restriction in Australia.
Background and Literature review
According to Hyder Consulting (2008), there are two major types of plastic shopping bags which are used in Australia:

‘Singlet’ bags, or lightweight plastic bags, made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) – used mostly in supermarkets, fresh produce, convenience stores and take-away food outlets, and other non-branded applications.
‘Boutique’ bags made of low density polyethylene (LDPE) – usually branded and used by stores selling higher value goods such as department stores, clothing and shoe outlets.

Over the past decade, attention of politics has concentrated on reducing the use of plastic shopping bags for a variety of reasons. They are harmful to animals and the environment and reduce the attractiveness of urban, rural and natural scenery. Plastic bags and debris of bags can stay in the environment for hundreds of years. Plastic bags are also an unnecessary consumable symbol. There are a number of suggestions proposed to reduce or stop the use of plastic bags, including plastic bags, introducing levy a tax on manufacture of plastic bags and using alternatives, with strengths and weaknesses. For example, according to Hyder Consulting (2008), recent alternative replacement life cycles for plastic bags, such as the current generation of decomposers, have found a number of alternatives that have a greater impact on environment in comparison with lightweight plastic bags.
There are some reasons why it has been suggested that plastic shopping bags should be reduced. Halweil (2004) indicated that man people consider plastic shopping bags as a waste of natural resources because they are made from non-renewable resources, such as crude oil, natural gas and other petro chemical derivatives, are normally unnecessary. And Williams (2004) argued that in a lot of situations, many people use plastic shopping bags only one time. In addtion, according to Hyder Consulting (2008), there is a key reason for the depreciation of plastic shopping bags. It is that millions of them are not thrown away properly and they become unsightly litter which can live long on land or in the water for hundreds of years. While nearly 30-40 million plastic shopping bags were littered in 2007, the Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index 2006/2007 showed that HDPE plastic bags accounted for only 1.3% of the litter stream by item (excluding cigarette butts) and 0.18% of the litter stream by volume (excluding cigarette butts). It was found that “beaches had the most plastic bags, of the beaches surveyed by keep Australia Beautiful, 2.9 plastic bags were found per 1,000 square metres” (Hyder Consulting 2008, p. 22).

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Another reason for the need to reduce plastic shopping bags is that they are dangerous to wildlife. Jefic, Sheavly and Adler (2009) pointed out that plastic shopping bags can do harm or kill flora and fauna that eat, or become entangled in them. Williams (2004) gave an example that turtles died due to ingesting plastic bags, most likely the plastic bags look like jellyfish floating in the water. Another example is that a crocodile which was caught at Magnetic Island in Queensland in October 2008 died because of eating plastic bags, which were stuck in its stomach, meaning it could not digest its food. Its necropsy revealed “25 plastic shopping abd garbage bags, a plastic wine cooler bag and a rubber float in its stomach” (Queensland Government 2008). In addtion, Sustainability Victoria (2010) illustrated plastic shopping bags as “a short term convenience with long term impacts”. In spite of the fact that plastic shopping bags are made to be “single use”, Lapidos (2007) considered that plastic shopping bags have a life expectancy of up to 1,000 years. Moreover, many people think that plastic shopping bags are symbolic of wasteful society. The Hon Jane Davidson AM, the Welsh Environment Minister (2009) described plastic shopping bags as “an iconic symbol of the throw-away society we now seem to live in”. Wilton (cited in Williams 2004), a waste campaigner for Friends of the Earth in London, also said “plastic carrier bags are symbolic of a society in which we use things without thinking and then throw them away”. And according to Caroline Williams in New Scientist in 2004, the plastic bag industry claimed that it is being targeted by environmentalists because plastic bags are “ an easy and emotive target that panders to our guilt about general environmental irresponsibility”.
Problem definition
People living in Australia use approximately 6.9 billion new plastic shopping bags each year. In other words, each person use one bag in a day. The problems of plastic shopping bags are determined by two factors that are almost certainly equally important. First of all, there are concerns about the environmental impacts of plastic shopping bags, especially impacts on the consumption of resources and litter.
Lewis et al. (2002) stated that the manufacture of 6.9 billion plastic shopping bags utilizes approximately 36850 tonnes of plastic, or 2% of total plastics produced in Australia each year. This is a slight percentage of the entire amount of packaging used in Australia every year, which is estimated to be around 3 million tonnes 1 . There is an estimation that plastic shopping bags account for 2.02% of all items in the litter stream. However, they pose actual ecological impacts and threats and as such need to be effectively addressed together with other components of the litter stream.
The second factor that are necessary to be aware of in the argument about plastic shopping bags is symbolic value. The plastics and packaging industries are under extreme pressure in the 1970s and 1980s because ‘they had become a politically incorrect symbol of the threat to the environment’ (Byars 1995). A cultural analysis of plastics in the United States indicated  that by definition the plastics industry was the whole thing which activists in ecology wanted to delete from the American experience. Since the early twentieth century, people who promote the industrial chemistry and synthetic materials had bragged of going beyond age-old limits of provisional materials by spreading the control of science over nature. During the 1920s, predictions of a developing flow of low-cost man-made goods had suggested material plenty as the foundation for a utopian social equality. By the final third of the century that transcendency threatened to drain natural resources and contaminate the society that supported it by creating a stream of irretrievable, unacceptable materials – rubbish, society’s excrement. (Meikle 1995). To some extent the concerns about the large number of plastic shopping bags, which are used by people living in Australia, and their high level of visibility in domestic waste and litter, are characteristic of much wider concerns about plastics and packaging.
This does not mean that concerns about plastic shopping bags are any less crucial or demanding from a policy viewpoint. However, it has the meaning that the growth of policy solutions needs to consider the issues of society and culture as well as the facts of science about impacts on the environment. Policy measures to decrease utilization (or impacts) of shopping bags are to be expected to be well received in the community. Abundant measures to solve the plastic bag problem have been increased in recent times. These measures are various and include factors, such as legislated measures like levies and bans; voluntary measures such as retailer originated actions and developed Code of Practice; raised consumer education; and expanded recovery and recycling.
Existing Policies
The policy “Phase-out of lightweight plastic bags in Australia” is being followed at local and state/territory level rather than nationally. In this policy, plastic bag bans are implemented or undecided in all states and territories except New South Wales. Cormack (2016) noted that environmental groups have expressed their interest that Australia was falling behind other countries in the “phase-out of lightweight plastic bags”, including Botswana, Somalia and Tanzania. The author also indicated that of the 5 billion plastic bags consumed every year by Australians, 150 million finished as litter.
According to Mail & Guardian in 2003, the Tasmanian town of Coles Bay was the first location in Australia to ban plastic bags. Feneley (2008) stated that even though the Rudd Government’s goal of a national plastic bag ban by year’s end was publicized by the then-Environment Minister Peter Garrett, he later stop initiative because of cost of living concerns and disagreement about the policy among state and territory governments. This is the reason why states and territories carried out their own approaches.
The initiation of the “Zero Waste” program in South Australia led to the first statewide lightweight bag ban being, which was introduced in October 2008. It is estimated that this move has saved 400 million bags every year (Zero Waste South Australia 2011). Preiss (2017) pointed out that the most recent jurisdiction to pronounce a ban on plastic bags is Victoria, to commence on a date to be pulicized in early 2018.
On 1 November 2011, following a transition period of four months, plastic bags were prohibited in the Australian Capital Territory under the Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010. The provisions of the Act mirror the South Australia legislation. The Act was carried out in combination with a complete community and retailer engagement and campaign of education.
On 16 April 2013, Getting Full Value: The Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery Policy was released by the Victorian Government. The policy commits the Government to work under the National Waste Policy and Australian Packaging Covenant to control packaging waste, which contains lightweight plastic bags.
In July 2017, Coles and Woolworths, which are two largest supermarkets in the country, announced that from July 2018 they will voluntarily take away free lightweight plastic bags from their stores and provide bags, which can be reuseable instead. These bags were originally sold at 15 cents in both Coles and Woolworths.
Evaluation existing policies
The “phase-out of lightweight plastic bags in Australia” can be seen as an effective and easy way of reducing the amount of plastic entering the land and the marine environment. Keep Australia Beautiful’s national report for 2016-2017 showed a fall in plastic bag litter after plastic bags came into effect. Besides, plastic bags are offen mistaken for food by marine animals. As Williams (2004) mentioned that turtles died beause of eating plastic bags. Therefore, the plastic shopping bags ban can help to decrease negative impacts on animals. Moreover, bcecause plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose, banning plastic shopping bags will help to protect the environment.
One aspect that needs to be addressed when banning plastic shopping bags is relevance. Plastic shopping bag ban can be useful in short term. Professor Sami Kara from the University of New South Wales said that it is better in the long term if people do not use plastic bags at all. However, it is very difficult to stop everyone from using plastic shopping bags. Because people are now accustomed to using plastic shopping bags, it will be a big challenge to change that long-term behaviour of consumers. Therefore, banning plastic shopping bags are relevant in the short term.
There are some alternatives to plastic bags. However, these can lead to some side-effects. Chung (2017) indicated that a side-effect of the plastic bag ban noticed in South Australia was the growth in the number of bin liners, which have a greater impact on the environment than plastic bags because they can not break down well in modern landfills. The author also stated that alternatives, which are environmentally friendly recommended instead of bin liners are composting food scraps and using free community newspapers as liners instead.
Adler (2016) pointed out that paper bags were not as environmentally friendly as plastic bags because of a higher carbon footprint. In the same way, bags made by cotton were inappropriate due to the high level using of the pesticides and high volume of water, which are necessary to produce them. The “greenest” option was to consume recycled plastic bags.
Concern has been expressed about potentially unintentional adverse health outcomes related to the plastic bag ban rollout because of the insufficient care by consumers in keeping alternative shopping bags in a clean and healthy condition. It is indicated that experiences of oversea in locations such as San Francisco, where raise sickness and even deaths were reported in the consequences of the same bans to those in Australian states, recommend that this is a real concern (Knaus 2013).
Conclusion
The Environment Protection and Heritage Council indicated that plastic shopping bags “are popular with consumers and retailers because they provide a convenient, highly functional, lightweight, strong, cheap, hygienic way to transport food and other products”. These comment means that several plastic shopping bags are reused for many other purposes, such as storing sweaty gym gear, packing shoes, collecting dog poo and holding rubbish.
In spite of these usefulness of plastic shopping bags, they have various negative effects. Therefore, there are polices provided to ban plastic shopping bags. The polices of banning plastic shopping bags were provided in South Australia, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the two largest supermarkets in Australia applied this policy to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags. These policies bring some effectiveness, positive impacts and relevance in the short term. However, in consideration of the long term, banning plastic shopping bags is not appropriate. And the policies of plastic bags ban result in alternatives, which have some side-effects.
Reference List

Adler, B (2016), ‘Banning Plastic Bags is Great for the Workd, Right? Not So Fast’, WIRED, 10 June, viewed 23 January 2018, .
Byars, M. (Ed) (1995), Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design, The museum of Modern Art, New York.
Chung, F (2017), ‘Plastic bag ban: ‘You don’t actually need a plastic bin liner to put yout rubbish out’’, NewsCorp Australia, 18 July, viewed 23 January 2018,                                     .
Clapp, J, Swanton, L (2009), ‘Doing away with Plastic Shopping Bags: International Patterns of norm emergence and Policy Implementation’, Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 315-332.
Cormack, L (2016), ‘Australia falling behind third world on global map of plastic bag bans’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April, viewed 13 September 2017,                                                        .
Davison, J 2009, ‘Plastic Bag Charges by May 2011’, BBC News, November 2009.
Environment Protection and Heritage Council 2008, Decision  Regulatory Impact Statement: Investigation of options to reduce the impacts of plastic bags, p. 2.
Fenely, R (2008), ‘Battle to bag the plastic goes on’, The Sydney Morning Herald,  26 December , viewed 13 September 2017, .
Halweil, B 2004, ‘Good Stuff? A behind the scenes guide to the things we buy’, Worldwatch Institute, p. 25.
Hyder Consulting 2008, Plastic Retail Carry Bag Use, 2006 and 2007 Consumption, pp. 22-27.
Jefic, L, Sheavly S, Adler E 2009, Marine Litter: A global challenge, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), April 2009, p. 199.
Knaus, C (2013), ‘Study links plastic bag ban with increase in food-related deaths’, Canberra Times, 8 February, viewed 7 March 2018,                                                                                  .
Lapidos, J 2007, ‘Will My Plastic Bag Still be Here in 2507? How scientists figure out how long it takes your trash to decompose’, Slate, June 2007.
Lewis, H., K. Sonneveld, L. Fitzpatrick and R. Nichol (2002), Towards Sustainable Packaging, Discussion Paper, EcoRecycle Victoria, 2002.
Meikle, J (1995), American Plastic: A Cultural History, Rutgers University Press, 1995.
Preiss, B (2017), ‘Lightweight plastic bags to be banned in Victoria’, The Age, 18 October, viewed 23 January 2018, .
Queensland Government, Environment and Resource Management, Magnetic Island Crocodile Dies from Plastic Bag Ingestion, Media Release, 2 November 2008.
Sustainability Victoria 2010, Use Less Plastic Shopping Bags, viewed 1 June 2010,              
Williams, C 2004, ‘Battle of the Bag’, New Scientist, 11 September. pp. 30-32.
Wilton, C, Senior Waste Campaigner for Friends of the Earth (London), quoted in Williams, C 2004, ‘Battle of the Bag’, New Scientist, 11 September. pp. 33.
Zero Waste South Australia 2011, Plastic Bag ban, 28 February, Zero Waste South Austrlia, viewed 2 July 2012.

 

Shopping online

Chapter 1 Introduction

1. Research Background

With economics development, more and more customers are shopping online which is not incurable way. The customers can directly go to web site and search some information and purchase products or any services which is basic for e-commerce. Moreover, consumer-purchases are mostly based on information of product how it shows out, such as pictures of product, quality information, delivery time and price etc ( Park & Kim 2003, Kolesar and Galbraith 2000). As shopping online cannot tough or smell the products, therefore the web site and sellers’ reputation are very important which might be affected the consumers purchase making decision (Park & Kim 2003, pp.16).

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As internet has already linked to all of countries, it effectively advances the business development and there is no limited for them. Internet is not only advanced telecommunications, but also appearance of e-commerce has helped advance the environment which promotes the globalisation of markets throughout the world (Aljifri, et al 2003, pp.130). Moreover, e-commerce shows that lots of benefits, for example, expend the information area, development and innovation the new technologies, do some promotion for product sales and other services, and also cooperation between those in a supply chain (Aljifri, et al 2003, pp.130 & OECD, 1997). However, as it has grown and become an important tool for some, the most of people are still reluctant in indulging in this recent fact.
It is not argued that consumers are not browsing through e-commerce sites altogether, it shows that is increasing however the number of people that actually purchase from these e-commerce sites is low. According to Croner (2000), the biggest barrier to e-commerce growth is nor technology, but people’s attitude towards it. Some consumers are still feeling online shopping is difficult to trust. According to Moseley (2000) e-commerce to be towards a viable market place and people should trust the internet. In the future, e-commerce will be dependant and also develop relationships between website and customers which can increase the creditable from website and more confidence from customers.
In a recent survey by Commerce Net, (2000), the top business to consumer barriers identified fro growth of e-commerce worldwide were security and encryption, trust and risk, user authentication and lack of public key infrastructure, and legal issues.
Global e-commerce, in its current embryonic state, cannot be overly regulated in order to promote innovation and growth. Yet measures need to be taken to implant trust between all parties in e-commerce. Atif (2002) recently proposed a system that utilizes a network based intermediaries designed to eliminate some of the transactional risks in conducting e-commerce transactions. He proposed the introduction of trust service providers (TSP) to act on behalf of all the parties involved in these transactions. Implementations of such systems will help to promote security within e-commerce transactions. Stories of criminal behavior in the e-commerce arena have created a stereotype for e-commerce that portrays the internet as an area of little governance and no true security. This stereotype has generated the lack of trust in electronic transactions and establishing trust highly depends on user perceptions.
The concept of trust in e-commerce has influenced many scholars from many different academic areas, which are elaborated later in the study. Previous research has concentrated on the adoption of e-commerce (Yaholm et al., 1993; Thomas., 1994; Cheskin Research, 1999; Beale, 1999; Periera, 1999; Siyal, 2000) all reveal consumers do not trust the existing security technologies and the general e-commerce set up. Studies also displayed that customers are worried about the delivery of their products ordered via the internet and about fraudulent e-merchants (Cheskin Research, 1999;Beale, 1999). At the same time consumers are becoming more mature, sophisticated and intelligent, are demanding higher levels of product information before making purchasing decisions (Periera, 1999).
Further research by Beale (1999) on e-commerce trust revealed that consumers are concerned about the privacy and protection of their personal information (including their credit card numbers, social insurance or security numbers and buying pattern history) when shopping online.
Previous research in to e-commerce trust aimed to identify trust, loyalty and likelihood of online purchase as the focal points of the investigation (Swaminathan et al, 1999; Jarvenpaa & Tractinsky, 1999; Jungwon et al, 1999). This study will also look into to these issues however at the same time it will attempt to provide further insight in to the factors that influence consumer trust online. This will involve examining the already proposed trust element of online vendors, from a consumer perspective, particularly focusing on the difference in purchasing demands between different ethnic origins.

1.2 Research objectives and questions

The study will compare online demand between white (European) and Asians, which is explained in more detail later in the study.
The study will aim to provide answers to the following research questions and objectives;

Highlight from a psychological, business and consumer behavior papers the principles of trust.

Examine the relative importance of trust in e-commerce.

Identify and examine factors that determine consumer’s levels of trust towards the concept of e-commerce.

Investigate the concept of online trust under different categories of consumers, i.e. according to education, computer experience, ethnic origin etc.

Look in to vendor characteristics and reputation elements to explore how likely they are to inspire trust online.

1.3 Contribution of the study

1.4 Research structure

This dissertation will be structured as below,
Chapter 2 – Literature review
Chapter 3 – Research methodology will be aimed towards an inductive approach, and will involve the following research processes:

Review the current theory and research findings on the concept of online trust.

Use existing theory and methodology in order to provide a method of investigation.

Collect data and investigate in to factors by analyzing and presenting the findings.

Use the research findings in order to improve or justify previous studies and provide further conclusions.

To acquire the perceptions and attitudes of consumers towards the concept of online trust the research used structured questionnaires. This was achieved through a street survey taking place in Sheffield. The theoretical framework created to investigate the factors and the selected methods of investigation, (i.e. questionnaire design and sampling method) are explained in great depth in chapter three. Chapter two has concentrated on the theoretical background associated to the research subject, looking in to the concept of trust, online trust and factors that influence trust. This chapter also highlights in greater detail the security and privacy issues related to consumers.
Chapter 4 – Data analysis and findings will present the findings which have
been collected from the data sources, evaluate and discuss the findings in
the context of this particular study. Data analysis of the research findings is found in chapter four, with constant reference to aspects related to the aims of the research
Chapter 5 – It includes a discussion of the results with relation to research objectives. The findings will identify key elements that online vendors may want to focus upon in order to inspire trust, therefore recommendations are provided in this chapter. It also includes summarized research findings and the research limitations are acknowledged.
 

Internet shopping: Impact on consumer behaviour

Electronic commerce is becoming increasingly important to both corporations and individuals as a result of the dramatic development of technology and the emergency of a global economy. The expansion of the usage of the Internet by organisations and people is one of the main contributors to the development of e-commerce in terms of e-shopping, electronic business and internet commerce. Studies have shown that by the middle of the 1990s internet based services had rapidly emerged in usage and coverage leading to their application and deployment in the creation of a new method of shopping, (Wiggins, 1995). Thus online marketing has become vital to new e-commerce and traditional ‘offline’ companies in order to take advantage of these new technologies. However the essential ingredient of marketing and business generally is the satisfaction of customer’s needs hence a full understanding of consumer behaviour in terms of internet shopping is a critical success factor for any company making use of it as a form of doing business.

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Consumer behaviour is complex and can be described as a dynamic interaction between affect and cognition, behaviour, and environmental events, (Blythe, 1997). Due to the new characteristics of the global economy it has been contended that customers value immediate responses to their demands in terms of goods and information. A demand which technology based e-commerce is arguably able to meet. Therefore it is useful to explore the main determining factors on customer’s choice of e-retail site. Additionally research has revealed that consumer acceptance of e-shopping in the UK is much higher than in many other European countries (Forrester Research, 2000). Literature also suggests as do previous studies that young educated people constitute a principal demographic engaging in online shopping. This research focuses on university students following other studies in arguing that they represent the principal demographic of online shoppers but also includes a sample representing other demographics in order to comparatively analyse behavioural patterns for shopping online between different groups.
Due to the nature of internet there are critically problems related to shopping online the major ones suggested as being security and privacy problems. These originate and are due not only to the deficiencies inherent within Internet and e-commerce security but also as a result of customer distrust of such measures as a result of perceived inadequacies with procedures, (Panko, 2001). Yet even with these problems online shopping has grown exponentially therefore an interesting interaction must be occurring between consumer behaviour and these factors, an interaction this research proposes to examine and analyse.
Research suggests that online sellers have made successful efforts to increase customer’s confidence and usage of shopping online through the improvement of security performance and privacy protection. Companies like eBay and Amazon.com illustrate successful examples of e-shopping which are argued benefit from a successful brand building strategy increasing customer loyalty. As a result it is suggested that online shopping has become and will continue to become a full and effective business model, (Black, 2005). However this depends to a large extent on the development of technology as well as effective marketing. This research then aims to examine consumer perceptions of business innovations and the nature of business innovations in terms of technology and marketing to altering these perceptions and behaviour resulting out of these perceptions.
This project makes use of both qualitative and quantitative methods aiming at triangulating the research factors involved to provide useful data for analysis of relevance to the objectives listed above, (Gummeson, 2000). The research is divided into four phases. The first element is a literature review and analysis of secondary data forms dealing with both theory as it applies to online shopping, various business practices in terms of the environmental conditions of online shopping and general theories dealing with consumer behaviour, (Ghauri, 2005). The aim of this section in furtherance to reviewing literature in the area is to establish patterns of congruence within theoretical literature not directly concerned with online shopping.
An initial questionnaire will be conducted with a sample of 300, 250 of whom will be randomly selected from a university campus and 50 from local city centre. The questionnaire is aimed at gathering descriptive data of use in modelling behavioural patterns while shopping online. An initial control question identifying those person’s who have bought goods online will help identify a representative sample of consumers who are of relevance to the objectives of the research. The data from this will be analysed for recurring themes, issues of differences and similarities in behavioural patterns between students and other demographic groups and some common behavioural indicators for shopping online which in turn form the base of the investigation to be carried out in the ensuing qualitative research.
In terms of qualitative data collection three focus groups will be held, each with 8 participants. The first two focus groups will be sampled from the 250 university student participants in the questionnaire who expressed willingness towards further participation in research. The third focus group will be drawn from the 50 non-student demographic and if necessary the sample will be supplemented through advertisements in local media and outlets. From the 24 participants in the focus group it is hoped that six participants two from each focus group will accept an invitation to participate in an interview to explore in more detail the issues arising from the questionnaire and the issues raised in the focus group sessions. It is obvious that the research may take up a certain amount of participants’ time and thus a flexible schedule for the interviews as well as inducements in the form of online shopping vouchers will be used to assist in increasing the response rate to these parts of the research. The primary focus of the semi-structured interviews is to follow up on specific themes highlighted in the previous forms of research and also allow time for the respondents to discuss freely and offer their insights into the relevant issues raised by the research so far, (Silverman, 2004).
To conclude it is expected that this combination of research methods will yield fruitful and insightful data relevant to the objectives of the research. In particular the triangulation achieved through the supplementing of descriptive quantitative data with exploratory qualitative data will it is hoped illuminate specific interactions between theories from the literature and practice in day-to-day patterns of behaviour for online consumers and further explain specific and general elements particular to UK consumers.