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The Importance of Online Product Descriptions

Question:

Discuss about the Customer Expectation for Online Shopping.

Nowadays, the customers are more interested in the online shopping rather than going to the shopping malls. They feel more confident in the design, quality and fitting style of the online products even without touching the product physically. However, customers are doing online shopping nowadays and decide to purchase that product without touching and just looking at the description list. The description list that is provided on the site, describes the entire details of the product which is quite necessary for a customer before making their decisions.

The theories of the consumers' expectations are based on the online shopping rather than on the visual attention (Al-Debei, Akroush & Ashouri, 2015). Therefore, they believe that the image and the description that is provided on the website are the true facts about the product. This scenario raises the expectation level of the customer to a great extent. Unfortunately, their expectations didn't reach to that level. The much-awaited product didn't fulfill the demands and desires of the customers (Anaza, 2014). The visualization of the product fails and brings disappointments among them. This leads to the poor selling of the product over the web.

According to reports, there are notably less research and expectation, which is quite essential for the online managers as well as for the store managers. The aim of this research is to investigate the various characteristics of the online shopping that mainly focus on the product quality which is quite different from the customer's expectation those who are buying it form online and the reality of the product while touching them (Ashraf, Thongpapanl & Auh, 2014). Eventually, the research makes a good recommendation about the management of the customer's perception as well as about their expectation when managing the quality of the product coming from online sources.

The aim of this entire study is to research on the customer expectation on the quality of the product when they are doing the online shopping:

What is the expectation when doing online shopping?

The expectations of the customers from the online websites are as follows:

  1. The pricing and shipping information should be clearly stated: according to several reports and study, the unexpected inflation of the final price on the product due to extra shipping and taxes, are the main reason for the cart abandonment. The customer needs the exact details about the shipping as well as about the charges that are applicable while delivering the goods to them. The good presentation and details are required along with the warranty.
  2. The product should look credible and trustworthy: the professional design of the website molds the customers to buy the product. The first impression of the user should last long. The security badges, mailing address as well as the store rating can help the customers in such cases (Bashir, 2013). The product should have the SSL certificate warning messages in order to avoid the scares.
  3. Display of the product on the homepage: there are some sites those who are not displaying the specific study about the product like about the bestsellers, featured items, new arrivals and much more. The main target of the home page is to look keep the customers interested and also to win the click deeper into the site. Initially, the customers have no idea on the site, so it is necessary to explore more about it, so the home page should look appealing in the glance (Bilgihan, Kandampully & Zhang, 2016). Showing the products is not enough, the way they design and merchandise the home page is more impactful.
  4. Visual appealing: apart from looking trustworthy, the costumes also consider the look as well as see the feel of the site. There are several ways to make the site more appealing in case of the visual appearance.
  5. Calculating the total cost: it is quite relevant and looks good when the online site shows the taxes and shipping before checkout abandonment. Customers really appreciate these services and so the site wins the warm-fuzzy points.
  6. The search function should be easy: the most important thing about the e-commerce business success is the search function of the product catalog. Every e-commerce site has the search box, even among the famous brands. The web user should feel it comfortable with the features and suggested items over the internet. The search result should be relevant and reduce the errors to zero while searching for the products.
  7. Privacy statement: the legalese can be overwhelming but the customers always look for the privacy policies and statements over the internet. They are more concerned about the privacy settings of the site.
  8. Reviews of the customers: the reviews are the most popular approach to the online site to reduce the risks of making a bad purchase and to show the trustworthy sellers over the internet.
  9. Links to the social networks: each site should have the link to the other social networks so that it will be easy for a customer to buy the desired product and to hit the performance records which will satisfy the needs of the customers and reduce their anxiety about the product.

There is a huge difference between the quality of the product when it is chosen over the web and after the arrival of the product. When the customers are buying the products from the various sites, they are focusing more on the quality. While purchasing, they see the design, its material, the color texture, the quality of the product from the chart, check the desired size and observe the patterns and design more precisely. But when the product arrives at the customer, there are several manipulations and everything is changed (Blázquez, 2014).

Managing Customer Perception and Expectations


The product that was chosen earlier by the customer is not the same one which has arrived at them. The main thing that varies the most is the quality of the product. The quality highly decreased and didn't satisfy the customer's taste. Due to this reason, the customers are highly depressed from the online services (Chakraborty, et al., 2016). The color of the product sometimes looks freckle and pale.

The original one looks more attractive and trendy, but the product that the customer receives is far away from the original one which really looks old, untidy, tangled and bedraggled. The services that are provided by them are not appreciated by the customers as there is a massive difference between the chosen one and arrived one.

But, sometimes, the product that arrived at the customer looks exactly the same which was earlier chosen by them. The quality, as well as the design, is same while touching them. The customers feel excited to get the desired the product from the online shops. Initially, they feel confused about the choice, whether they will get the desired one or not. But there are some sites over the internet that clearly checks the customer's needs and provide them the desired product in time (Chen, et al., 2015). The color texture, the quality, the design and the pattern and even the size exactly match with that of the chosen one. The quality of the product is highly appreciated by the customers as they look trendy, attractive, stylish and swanky.

The difference and similarities between the two cases are highly depended on the services that are provided by the sellers of the online sites. They can provide the best services to the customers otherwise they can do the reverse of it. The online products always need to update as the choice and demand of the customers are changing with time and seasons. The sellers from various sites should always check the latest choice of the customers with the help of the search objectives (Dai, Forsythe & Kwon, 2014). They should provide the desired product to the customer in time without compromising on the quality of the product.

The main target of every online site is to provide the best services to the customers so that they will gain visit their website for further choices. The websites are maintained by the backend developers so they exactly know what the customers are searching for. They are updating the site in a regular interval of time just to attract the customers more towards them. But all these things will make a worth sense when the delivery time comes (Hao Suan Samuel, Balaji & Kok Wei, 2015). The delivered products should be the same one that was ordered by the customer without doing any manipulation to it. So, various factors are necessary to consider like the quality, the color texture, the design, the printed patterns and mainly the longevity of the product.

Factors Influencing Customer Attitudes Towards Online Shopping

The perception and expectation of the customer are the two different parts of a pole. Customers usually get attracted towards the product from a single glance. When they surf the web, sometimes they find something more interesting and that strike their minds. This happens due to the visualization of that particular product. The visualization is generally done by the back-end developers, who recreate the image in a more appealing way for the customers (Hasan, 2016).

Apart from the visualization, the brand awareness is the most important for a customer. People believe that the branded products have the higher efficiency and longevity than the readymade one. They are more attracted towards the branded products without giving a second thought. The perception of the customers varies greatly with the brand and visualization. As soon as they see the desired product, they started expecting a lot from it. They need the best quality of product that will look trendy, alluring, fashionable and swanky (Jiang, Yang & Jun, 2013). The online sellers are working hard to meet the perception as well as the expectation of the customers in time. To meet the perception of the customers, they are putting huge efforts on the design and visualization of the products over the web. And to meet the expectation of the customers, they are providing the best services without compromising on the quality of the product and also satisfying the need. 

  1. The main objective of the research is to determine the online shopping biases that are necessary to manage the relationship with the customers over the internet that is through online.
  2. Other important concepts under this study are to explore the quality of the product considering the important fact that is the expectation of the customers.
  3. The final research of this study is to adopt the main approaches that will increase the value of the customer's satisfaction. The satisfaction of the customer is the main thing for the sellers without compromising on the quality of the product (Katawetawaraks & Cheng, 2013).

The buying process of the customers varies from one another. The decision process of the consumer mainly depends on the five stages that starts from the problem recognition and information search, evaluation of the various alternatives, decision-based on the purchase and finally the post-purchase behavior of the consumer (Lin & Lekhawipat, 2014).

The problem recognition mainly starts from the perception of the needs and gradually moves towards the information search where the customers generally use the external and internal sources to study the information and the use that much information for analyzing the next step of the evaluation of the alternatives (Ludin & Cheng, 2014). After the evaluation of the alternatives for the customers, they move towards the purchase decision where they encounter with several possibilities like from where to buy, when to buy or when not to and much more. Once they made their choice, the purchase the product immediately, but the main question which is important to check whether they are satisfied or not (Hsu, Chuang & Hsu, 2014).

The author Yu-Je Lee of "Exploring the Influence of Online Consumers' Perception on Purchase Intention as Exemplified with an Online Bookstore" has explored the influence of online store consumer's perception on their buying intention (Lee et al., 2009). He has used the four relationship concepts between the perception of the online shopping and the purchase intention of the consumer. The result of the survey which is based on the questionnaires provides the necessary information about the product perception, experience on the shopping as well as on the quality of the service which has the both negative and positive impacts.

The author Sultan & Uddin of "Consumers ‘Attitude towards online shopping" has described the idea of running a business with huge technical changes. The technical changes are due to the never-ending desires of the customers (Sultan & Uddin, 2011). According to the author, the retailers are putting new strategies to meet the demands of the online shoppers. He has studied the four factors that influence the attitude of the customer towards the online shopping (Sultan & Uddin, 2011).. He has briefly explained the importance of the e-commerce market, focused on the marketing methods and have properly mentioned the coordination of various activities like the product development, information to the customers about the product features, promotion, market research, customer feedback and much more.

The author Taweerat Jiradilok of "The Impact of Customer Satisfaction on Online Purchasing: A Case Study Analysis in Thailand" has briefly explained the descriptive research methods to satisfy and purchase intention of the online shoppers but have also focused on the purchase intention and the factors that are most influential in motivating the customers (Jiradilok et al., 2014). He has used the qualitative methods to properly frame the conceptual methods that will differentiate the quality of the product.

The research methodology regarding the customer's attitude towards the online shopping is one kind of descriptive research as it mainly shows the factors that influence the decision process as well as the expectation of the customer to shop online. The quantitative approach of the research is done in a precise way (Jiang, Yang & Jun, 2013). According to the reports, time is the vital attribute for the entire decision-making process while selecting the research methodologies. The quantitative methods are quite faster than the qualitative approaches in terms of the duration. The descriptive research method is used to measure the involvement level of the customers through structured questionnaires and the interview sample size taken from the 100 respondents of the Australia (Katawetawaraks & Cheng, 2013).

The main objective of the entire process is to know the perception of the customers towards the online shopping, to analyze the perception methods as well as to identify the behavior of the customers towards the online shopping. The analysis process has included the both male and female of certain age group and family (Lin & Lekhawipat, 2014). According to their occupation and economic scale, various questions were provided that calculates the monthly accessing rate of the customers on the internet (Ludin & Cheng, 2014). 

When the question comes to the data collection, there are generally two methods used named as the primary and secondary methods. The primary methods include the questionnaire section and the interview questions (Wu, 2013). The secondary data is one of those which are collected by some other researcher not for the particular study or research purpose. The primary data is the setup questionnaires from the consumers as what are the main factors that influence the decision of the online purchase (Mallapragada, Chandukala & Liu, 2016). It is quite easy to distribute the questions and to get the desired results out of it.

The respondents are geographically scattered in the Australia where the questionnaires are the only choice for data collection and to understand the real facts of the online purchase. The question is mainly based on the general topics like how much time do they spend on the web, how they are making their decision when they first see the product over the internet, did the online purchase affect their daily life, are they satisfied with the services of the online sellers and much more (McLean & Wilson, 2015). Out of the 100 respondents, 90 percent of the results were clear and relevant, but there are some results whose intentions were not clear, so it was difficult to analyze their intention for the online shopping. 

The questionnaires are quite helpful and relevant to analyze the intention and perception of the customers towards the online shopping. According to various reports, the data collection is considered as the best approach for several methods and process (Mohamed, et al., 2014). The results that are obtained from the data collection are quite relevant and efficient for the user to proceed further. The analysis methods don’t take more amounts of resources but it only includes the true statement of the user that is based on their personal life and use. The analysis here is mainly about the online purchase decision process of the customer which needs the exact answers from the customers in order to maintain the record properly (O. Pappas, et al., 2014).

The Quantitative methods are the objective measurements and the statistical approaches, mathematical or the numerical analysis of the various data collected through the surveys, questionnaires, and manipulation methods as well as from the pre-existing data that were used in the computational techniques (Pratminingsih, Lipuringtyas & Rimenta, 2013). The Quantitative method mainly focuses on the numerical data and the generalization process across the group of people or to explain a particular method and phenomenon. The main target of conducting the study is to determine the relationship between the customer and the online services.

The Quantitative method describes or designs the descriptive or the experimental methods (Thakur & Srivastava, 2015). The descriptive method focuses on the association between the variables whereas the experimental method describes the study of the casualties. The Quantitative approaches of this case deal with the logic, numeric numbers as well as on the objective. The process also focuses on the numeric and the unchanging data in a detailed format (Wu & Huang, 2015). The aspects of the research were carefully studied and designed before the data is collected. With the help of the various questionnaires, the numerical data was analyzed properly. The results are mainly based on the larger sample sizes which are the representative of the population. The overall study of the Quantitative method was to classify the features, to construct the statistical methods and to count them.

References

Al-Debei, M. M., Akroush, M. N., & Ashouri, M. I. (2015). Consumer attitudes towards online shopping: the effects of trust, perceived benefits, and perceived web quality. Internet Research, 25(5), 707-733.

Anaza, N. A. (2014). Personality antecedents of customer citizenship behaviors in online shopping situations. Psychology & Marketing, 31(4), 251-263.

Ashraf, A. R., Thongpapanl, N., & Auh, S. (2014). The application of the technology acceptance model under different cultural contexts: The case of online shopping adoption. Journal of International Marketing, 22(3), 68-93.

Bashir, A. (2013). Consumer Behavior towards online shopping of electronics in Pakistan.

Bilgihan, A., Kandampully, J., & Zhang, T. (2016). Towards a unified customer experience in online shopping environments: Antecedents and outcomes. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 8(1), 102-119.

Blázquez, M. (2014). Fashion shopping in multichannel retail: The role of technology in enhancing the customer experience. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 18(4), 97-116.

Chakraborty, R., Lee, J., Bagchi-Sen, S., Upadhyaya, S., & Rao, H. R. (2016). Online shopping intention in the context of data breach in online retail stores: An examination of older and younger adults. Decision Support Systems, 83, 47-56.

Chen, Y., Yan, X., Fan, W., & Gordon, M. (2015). The joint moderating role of trust propensity and gender on consumers’ online shopping behavior. Computers in Human Behavior, 43, 272-283.

Dai, B., Forsythe, S., & Kwon, W. S. (2014). The impact of online shopping experience on risk perceptions and online purchase intentions: does product category matter?. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 15(1), 13.

Hao Suan Samuel, L., Balaji, M. S., & Kok Wei, K. (2015). An investigation of online shopping experience on trust and behavioral intentions. Journal of Internet Commerce, 14(2), 233-254.

Hasan, B. (2016). Perceived irritation in online shopping: The impact of website design characteristics. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 224-230.

Hsu, M. H., Chuang, L. W., & Hsu, C. S. (2014). Understanding online shopping intention: the roles of four types of trust and their antecedents. Internet Research, 24(3), 332-352.

Jiang, L., Yang, Z., & Jun, M. (2013). Measuring consumer perceptions of online shopping convenience. Journal of Service Management, 24(2), 191-214.

Jiradilok, T., Malisuwan, S., Madan, N., & Sivaraks, J. (2014). The Impact of Customer Satisfaction on online purchasing: a case study analysis in Thailand. Journal of Economics, Business and Management, 2(1), 5-11.

Katawetawaraks, C., & Cheng, L. W. (2013). Online shopper behavior: Influences of online shopping decision.

Lee, Y. J., Huang, C. L., Chang, L. Y., & Chen, C. Y. (2009). Exploring the Influence of Online Consumers’ Perception on Purchase Intention as Exemplified with an Online Bookstore. Journal of Global Business Management, 5(2).

Lin, C., & Lekhawipat, W. (2014). Factors affecting online repurchase intention. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 114(4), 597-611.

Ludin, I. H. B. H., & Cheng, B. L. (2014). Factors influencing customer satisfaction and e-loyalty: online shopping environment among the young adults. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 2(3), 462.

Mallapragada, G., Chandukala, S. R., & Liu, Q. (2016, March). Exploring the effects of “What”(product) and “Where”(website) characteristics on online shopping behavior. American Marketing Association.

McLean, G., & Wilson, A. (2015, June). An investigation on the online customer experience–the role of social interaction. In The 14th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management.

Mohamed, N., Hussein, R., Hidayah Ahmad Zamzuri, N., & Haghshenas, H. (2014). Insights into individual's online shopping continuance intention. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 114(9), 1453-1476.

Pappas, I., G. Pateli, A., N. Giannakos, M., & Chrissikopoulos, V. (2014). Moderating effects of online shopping experience on customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 42(3), 187-204.

Pratminingsih, S. A., Lipuringtyas, C., & Rimenta, T. (2013). Factors influencing customer loyalty toward online shopping. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 4(3), 104.

Sultan, M. U., & Uddin, N. (2011). Consumers’ Attitude towards Online Shopping (Doctoral dissertation, Master Thesis in Business Administration. Gotland: University of Högskolan pa? Gotland).

Thakur, R., & Srivastava, M. (2015). A study on the impact of consumer risk perception and innovativeness on online shopping in India. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 43(2), 148-166.

Wu, I. L., & Huang, C. Y. (2015). Analysing complaint intentions in online shopping: the antecedents of justice and technology use and the mediator of customer satisfaction. Behaviour & Information Technology, 34(1), 69-80.

Wu, L. (2013). The antecedents of customer satisfaction and its link to complaint intentions in online shopping: An integration of justice, technology, and trust. International Journal of Information Management, 33(1), 166-176.

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