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E-commerce: A study on women’s online purchasing behavior (Management Project)

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to map out the present behavior of women between 40-55 years concerning Internet shopping. Furthermore, the research aims at finding and analyzing factors that might help marketers when persuading the target group to increase their usage of Internet as a purchasing channel for home textile and decorations.

Background: Along with the increasing usage of computers, E-commerce has emerged as a sales channel, and grows rapidly in Sweden. Due to the high growth rate many companies start up web sites for E-commerce. Hemtex AB followed this trend and started their web shop in October 2008 (S. Lindström, personal communication, 2008-10-30).

Studies have shown younger consumers to be more frequent online shoppers than older consumers (HUI, 2006) and men to make more online purchases than women (Belanger et al, 2002). This might imply some difficulties for Hemtex concerning their start up of a web shop, since their main target group conists of women in the age 40-55 years. This demographic group is however large and has a high purchasing power (SCB, 2008), which mean it is a profitable group to target for marketers in various industries. One major difficulty with online shopping is the inability to touch the product before purchasing it, which can be a difficulty to overcome when selling textiles on the Internet (Forsythe & Shi, 2003). There-fore it is interesting to conduct research of the online purchasing behavior and habits of women age 40-55 years concerning the home textile industry.

Method: The purpose of this project was achieved by using customers of Hemtex AB as a critical case to take part in a survey as well as in a focus group. Two models concerning consumers‟ intention to make purchases in an online environment were used to analyse the out-come of the survey and the focus group.

Conclusion: The project determined computer experience and age of women to have an impact on whether they make online purchases or not. The largest obstacle for online shopping was payment discomfort and the largest benefit of shopping online was the conveniece factor. Several factors that could increase the probability for women of making online purchases age 40-55 was discovered, and specific rec-ommendations for marketers which target women in this age group were developed. Furthermore, one of the models concerning con-sumers‟ intention to make purchases‟ in an online environment was modified to focus the intentions of women to shop online.
Author: Eliasson, Malin | Holkko Lafourcade, Johanna | Smajovic, Senida
Source: Jönköping University

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