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Internet vs. brick-and-mortar stores - analysing the influence of shopping motives on retail channel choice among internet users

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In most studies on retail channel choice it is postulated that consumer behaviour in the Internet is different from behaviour in brick-and-mortar stores. In our study we challenge this view by focusing on Internet users' behaviour regarding their retail channel choice behaviour. We compare online and brick-and-mortar store shoppers with respect to their shopping motives. Different from previous research, in our study we controlled for the retail environment by focusing consumer channel preferences in relation to the same retail company and do not – as it is usually done in previous research – analyse retail formats only at a general level (channels as 'categories'). Based on an online survey, we can demonstrate that there clearly are differences between both customer groups. Shopping orientations that relate to tangible and communicative aspects of the shopping process in our study show the greatest discriminant power between the shopper types. But we also can show that some of the shopping orientations that, in previous research, were assumed or "proven" to be the most important factors distinguishing Internet from non-Internet shoppers do not reveal such effects in our study (e.g. price orientation).


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2007

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