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Background of the Topic
Background of the company: Amazon
Rationale of the Study
Purpose of the study
Concept of Online shopping
Consumer Behaviour Models
Howard Sheth Model
Engel Kollat Blackwell Model
Theory of Planned Behaviour
Online Auction Strategy
Purchasing Patterns of Consumer through Online
Justification for selection of the chosen Philosophy: Post-positivism
Justification for selection of the chosen approach: Deductive
Justification for selection of the chosen design: Descriptive
Data Collection Procedure
Data Sources: Primary
Population and Sample
Quantitative Analysis: For Customers
Qualitative Analysis: For Managers
Linking with the objectives
To analyse the techniques of online auction in Amazon Plc
Linking objective 2: To assess the past experience of the customers while trading the product or services from the Amazon Plc
Linking objective 3: To recommend better methods of online shopping in order to provide quality satisfaction to the customers
Factors Influencing Consumer Behaviour
Howard Sheth Theory of Consumer Behaviour
Engel Kollat Blackwell Consumer Behaviour Model
Components of Consumer’s Buying and Decision Behaviour
Association of Customers with Amazon
Log in period of Customers to Amazon Website
Factors affecting Consumer Decision in choosing Amazon
Safety and security of online payment option of Amazon
Factors considered for Visiting Amazon
Protection of Private Information of Customers with Amazon
Website Security of Amazon
Satisfied with Delivery System of Amazon
Detail Information about products from Amazon
Great shopping Experience by Amazon website
Association of Customers with Amazon
Safety and security of online payment option on Amazon
Great shopping Experience by Amazon website
Online shopping has tremendously increased over the years that highly influence the consumer to trade the product or services over the internet. According to Anderson and Kerr (2009), the purchase and sales of the products and services via online have surpassed other shopping behaviors like telemarketing, Radio shopping, TV shopping and Direct sales. Therefore, the behavior of the consumers is positively affected by the online shopping.
The internet is considerably changing the behavior of the consumers in shopping of goods and services and the internet has captured the large section of the society for fulfilling the needs at least cost.
Chen (2008) opined that many businesses have started employing the Online Service with a purpose of lowering down the costs of marketing in order to decrease the price of the goods and services that can help them to strongly compete in the competitive markets.
In the particular dissertation study, the researcher will be trying to focus on the behaviour of the customers towards the online shopping and how the online market influences the shopping decisions of the customers. The researcher will take into account Amazon Plc Company for the particular study. The following research work will guide the researcher in knowing the importance of online auction in influencing the attitudes of the customers.
The particular study will highlight on the analysis of the relationship between customers and company that can attach a quality value to the company as well as to the consumers.The focus will be on providing quality goods and services that can help in enhancing the online purchase of the customers. The researcher has decided to select Amazon Plc Company as a case study so that the impact of online shopping on the consumer’s attitude and behaviours can be understood. The theories and models will guide the researcher in knowing the significance of the online marketing on the consumers located in various regions.
In accordance with the aim of the research work, the research objective has been prepared that can help in explaining the different topics of the research study. The research objective will provide support the researcher in making a division of the research topic that can help in understanding the topics in a broad manner. Therefore, the objectives of the research can be shortened down as below:
The research questions can be very supportive to the researcher in analysing the topics of the research work in detail and thorough manner. The research question will be comprehensively supportive for conducting the research work in order to gain the knowledgeable information about the research study. Therefore, the research question has been listed below for the particular study.
Therefore, the above jotted down research question will provide assistance in the research topics and evaluating the data in the right manner.
The internet has been consistently connecting the global environment that led to the growth in the usage of internet. Therefore, an increase in the online shopping has affected the traditional media such as television, radio, magazines and newspapers. As per Bateman (2007), internet subscribers in the UK have touched the 90% internet user base that indicates the people are preferring online shopping then using any other media for trading goods and services. The online shopping can provide convenience and various features that can attract the customers to shop online and search for the products that can fulfil the demands of the customers. Bitner et al. (2010), stated the online buying behaviour of the customers is positively influenced by the companies that provide online goods and services. The companies can use their website for conveying the message, communicating and transferring the information’s to the customers located nationally or internationally about the product or services.
The concept of online shopping can help the customers to change their behaviour towards the particular products of the company. Therefore, the customers can effectively use the internet for the knowing the information about the product online. Fornell (2007) mentioned that the online shopping can provide support to the customers in making comparison in the process, features of the products and after sale service provision of the company. The consumers are provided with much more option to shop online that helps the consumers in saving time and energy.
Amazon is an American International E-commerce company that provides service to all over the world. The headquarters of the company is located in Seattle, Washington, US. The company is the biggest provider of online service across the world. The Amazon Company has different retail websites for United Kingdom, Canada, China, India, Australia, UK, etc. The company also provides international shipping for some specific products. The products that are offered by Amazon include Appstore, The Book, Depository, Game Studios, Instant Video, MyHabit.com, Shopbop, Askville, etc. In the year 2013 the company has generated total revenue of US $74.4 billion and net income of US $274 million. The total assets, that company holds are on the value of US $40.1 billion in 2013. The company has 132600 efficient employees that are focused towards providing quality service to the customers online. The company through its website amazon.co.uk provides better service to fulfil the needs of the customers (Amazon.co.uk, 2014).
The particular research work has been adapted for understanding and analysing the impact of online shopping on the buying behaviour of the consumers. The study focuses on the consumer behaviour and their preferences while shopping products from the online shopping websites. The online auction for the products or service has increasing become popular in the world market that facilitates the customers in trading the products at ease. The online auction can be an effective technique for decreasing the cost of purchase, saving time and selecting the best suppliers and products worldwide that can fulfil the demands of the customers successfully. The consumers can effectively make a decision about purchasing the products, choosing the brands and knowing the best transaction procedure over the internet. Therefore, the positive behaviour of consumers online can help the company to provide much better service to them that can save the time and money of the customers. The online shopping provides information about the websites of supplier and manufacturers and advertisements of the company can be useful for the consumer in identifying the relevant products or services that can meet the needs of the customers.
The consumer behaviour can be affected if the online auction does not fulfil the requirements of the customers. The supply of products or service is delayed or inferior product is transferred to the consumers, then the consumers can transform to the company’s websites that can fully meet the desire and requirements of the customers. The consumer can face delivery risk if the company fails to deliver the right products to the customers and the consumer behaviour can turn negative towards the company if the company does not disclose the full cost of the purchase.
The opted research topic will be highlighted on the role of consumer behavior on the internet marketing. The Amazon Group Plc will be focusing on the customer for influencing them to go for online shopping. The other purpose is to provide them an easy way to trade and build a strong relationship that can save the time and provide opportunity for fast online service to the customers located all over the world. The number of factors that can help the consumers in making decisions for shopping online for various products will be given due importance, so that the role of online auction can be evaluated in a much deeper manner. Therefore, the researcher will focus on Amazon for analyzing the customers’ behavior to online auctions.
The notion of online auction can be beneficial for making online trade and shop for anything that is present on the online shelf. As determined in the current chapter, the importance of online auction is very much effective for the customers to select the desired product online that suits the need and demands of the customers in accordance with the suitable price. However, the chapter clearly explains the ingredients of the research topic through various sub-sections such as research aim, objectives and research questions. The next chapter, the literature review will be built on the current chapter that comprises of different theories and concepts that will be related to behaviour of consumers in relation to the online shopping. On the basis of the topic discussed in this chapter, the researcher will try to briefly describe the following chapter in details that can be helpful for the readers to get a brief knowledge about the theories that can enhance their knowledge level.
According to Dave (2008), the internet has evolved as a key factor that helps in building and developing the activities of the business. Therefore, the business can structure their marketing strategy effectively through understanding the nature of internet marketing. Therefore, the online marketing can be supportive for the businesses for adopting different advertising programs that can help them to beat the other companies that use internet media for trading their products and services to the far sited customers. Bellenger and Kargaonkar (2009) stated that the consumers can order the required products from their home that meets their price expectation and choice of brand. Thus, the online auction can change the behaviour of the marketers in terms business operation, selling of products, service, distribution, communication and the working behaviour in order to win over the large number of customers that shop online. The online auction, provides assistance to both the customers that reside in smaller towns or in larger cities. For instance, more than 60% of online shoppers, including both smaller and larger towns’ customers in China are benefiting from online shopping that received the expected quality of product and services and on time.
The particular chapter will be highlighted on structuring the educational knowledge that will be related to the buying behavior of the customers through using the websites of the company for gaining product or services. The researcher and readers can be able to gain ample knowledge for developing the research topic in a more comprehensive manner that can be helpful in understanding the critical prospects of the topic as well. The theories and models will be discussed in this chapter that can be helpful in conducting a better analysis of the research topics in later chapters.
The structuring of conceptual framework will provide guidance to the researcher in dividing the number of headings that are implied in theories and models in order to have a better grasp and understanding of the topic of research work. The Consumer Behaviour in relation to online shopping will be taken into account so that the theoretical concepts of the study can be illustrated in effective way.
Figure 1: Conceptual Framework
(Source: Created by Author)
As per Baker and Saren (2010), the online shopping website provides benefits in serving the needs of the customers and provides a better shopping experience than physical shopping for goods and services. The customers can order any items through online website such as mobile phones, electronics goods, cameras, beauty and personal care, books, fashion products, beauty care products and many other products that can satisfy the need of the customers at reasonable price. The behaviour of the customers can be positively linked with the online shopping if the products are superior in quality that are supplied to the customers trough web booking of the products. The shopping website can be used by the customers for trading products of domestic and international brands that can assure high quality products (Allen and Wilburn, 2009). The online website can offer special prices to the customers if the customers make purchase more from the same website. Therefore, the customers can get a better price for the product and services. As per Cahill (2007), the online shopping stores can be open 24/7 round the clock that can be effectively used by the customers according to their convenience. He also mentioned that the customers can avail various advantages for making payment for the online products through credit cards, debit cards, cash on delivery, escrow service, personal cheques, etc (hkr.diva-portal.org, 2014).
The consumer behaviour is related to the reaction generated by the individuals towards selecting the product or disposing the products or services that can satisfy the needs and desires of the customers. As per Athanassopoulos et al. (2010), the behavior of consumers can be comprised of psychology factor, sociological factor, anthropology factor, economics and marketing management. The consumer attitudes can be influenced by external factors like economic, political, cultural, demographic, etc, internal factors like personality, motivations, knowledge, past experience, feelings, etc and organisational factors such as brand, advertising, promotion, product, price, service, quality, etc.
Figure 2: Factors Influencing Consumer Behaviour
(Source: Cazier and Louis, 2009, pp. 721)
As per Belk (2011), the Howard Sheth Model focuses on the rational brand attitude depicted by the consumers when incomplete data and inadequate abilities arises that affect the behaviours of the buyers. The model explains the behaviour of consumers over the time towards the particular brand of the company. The model highlights on the behaviour of the buyers and its outcomes on the choice of brands. Anderson and Kerr (2008) discussed that the model is based on the three levels of making decision:
Extensive Problem Solving
The consumer will be focusing on looking for the information in relation to the various brand that is available in the market before making any decision for buying the products. Therefore, at this stage the customers might not be having enough basic information about the particular brand and may not prefer any products or services. Thus, with the help of online service, the consumer can get required data about the brands.
Limited Problem Solving
This level highlights on the knowledge of the customers towards the markets for making purchases. Therefore, the customers may have least or partial idea about the market that can affect their buying decision. Thus, the customers may have to search for the comparative brand information in order to prefer the brand of the company that can help the customers to take decision for buying the product online.
Routinised Response Behaviour
In the words of Keller et al. (2011), the customers are pretty much aware about the different brands available in the markets and the customers can segment the brands and products that best suits their desires and requirements. Thus, the customers can effectively make the decision that can help them to select the products that are reasonable and easily available online.
Bearden and Teel (2007), stated Howard Sheth Model holds four major variables that is linked to input variables that focuses on the elements of the brands, symbol for marketing of products or services and the social environment. Therefore, the consumers can focus on the product on the variables of input. The output variables are concerned with the attention of the buyers towards brand, information about the brand, perception of customers to brand, the intention of the buyer for purchasing the brand and the behavior of the consumers while buying the product of the particular brand. The hypothetic constructs deals with the psychological change in the consumer while making decisions for buying the product online. The exogenous variable that focuses on the traits, religion and pressure of time on the consumer that shapes the buying decision of the customers.
Figure 3: Howard Sheth Theory of Consumer Behaviour
(Source: Alvarez and Casielles, 2008, pp. 59)
Allentuck (2007) opined that the Engel Kollat Blackwell Model explains the customers’ behaviour that helps in solving the problem of the customers while making decision for purchasing the products. Therefore, Engel Kollat Blackwell Model comprises four levels that guide the consumer buying behaviour in making decision.
Lee et al. (2011) explains that the model focuses on the five major decision making process that deals with the problem recognition, look out for substitutes brand, exchange evaluation for purchasing product, choice and outcomes. Therefore, the customers can effectively analyse all the above decision process for selecting between brands like Apple or Samsung or any other brands.
Figure 4: Engel Kollat Blackwell Consumer Behaviour Model
The customers can gain related information about the products from various sources that can be marketing or non marketing. Thus, the consumers can make a decision on the basis of information gathered for the particular brands that can meet the need of the customers effectively. As per Bateman (2007), the consumer can also gather information externally for knowing the best brand or product that is available in the market. Thus, the consumers can comprehensively make decision for choosing the product that best fits the price and quality that are required by the customers.
Chen (2008) discussed that this level of the model throws light on the exposure, attention, perception, acceptance and retention of the customers in relation to the information that are gained by the consumers from the markets for making buying decision for the products and services. Therefore, the customers can use the information for generating the effective outcome for selecting the brand online that can meet the need of the customers and satisfy them.
Variables impacting the decision process
In the terms of Belk (2011), the individual and environmental factors can affect the different stages relating to the decision process. The individual attributes may hold motives, values, lifestyle and personality of the consumers, whereas; the social influences can include culture, family and reference groups. Anderson and Kerr (2008) stated that the influence of situation can also influence the customers in making effective decisions for buying the product of particular brands. For instance, the financial condition of the customers can have an impact on the behaviour of the consumers for taking the decisions for online selecting the brands.
As per Dave (2008), the theory of Planned Behaviour focuses on the factors that guide the human purchase behaviour for the products. He stated that the behaviour that is generated by the consumers can be intentional. The marketer has to analyze the consumer behaviour that shape their buying decision in order to market the product in successful manner to the consumers through online. Therefore, the theory of planned behavior can be helpful in assisting the researcher in understanding and clarifying the behaviours that may not be controlled by the individual customers. Furthermore, the current theory focuses on three models that help in evaluating the behaviour of the customers.
Figure 5: Theory of Planned Behaviour
(Souce: Lee et al. 2011, pp. 396)
Allen and Wilburn (2009) illustrated that the attitude can be related to the specific behaviour and act of the customers towards the products either in positive way or negative way. The products that suit the requirements of the customers can be accepted by the customers otherwise the customers can reject the product. Therefore, the positive attitude of the customers can benefit the online marketers of product that can assist them to provide best quality products to the customers and gaining satisfaction from the consumers.
Baker and Saren (2010) discussed that the normative component can be blend of normative beliefs and subjective norm that can influence the attitude of the buyers. The subjective norm can be in compilation to social pressure that can make the consumer whether to involve in the behaviour or not. The normative beliefs of the consumers can be composed of the expectations of family, friends, etc of the consumers that can affect the buying activities of the customers.
Perceived Behaviour Control
In the terms of Athanassopoulos et al. (2010), the perceived actions can be managed for enacting the actions for shopping online. Therefore, the customers can effectively analyse the level for controlling the behaviour. Thus, the beliefs of the customers can effective for making efficient decision for performing the behaviour that can lead to the satisfaction of the customers and customers can make effective decisions for purchasing the product or service online.
According to Bellenger and Kargaonkar (2009), the online auction is the recent addition in the world of internet that provides better shopping experience to the customers and to the business for selling their products to a large number of customers at ease. The online shopping website provides ample benefits to the consumers in searching out the product, evaluating the product or brands, purchasing the desired products and using the products effectively. The online selling company can gain higher sales through providing products online that can increase the earnings of the company and increasing the large customer base for the products. Fornell (2007) mentioned that the customers can bid for a single product to multiple products that are available on the website of the company and that best suit the expected price of the customers. Therefore online auction can provide many opportunities to the bidders for making purchases of the product that are put on the sale on the website by the company. In the context of Cahill (2007), the company can adopt advertising, email marketing and social media marketing for attracting the customers for the products that are placed for sale. Therefore, effective advertising and transferring right message through social media can influence the customers to make the decision for the product that can meet the budget and requirements of the customers.
According to Allentuck (2007), the experienced bidders prefer to bid for the product late in the online auction in order to avoid the bidding war. Therefore, the bidders may gain advantage over other bidders as the experienced bidder can evaluate the capacity of the bidders that can provide support to experience bidders for winning the auction. Chen (2008) stated that the online auction can also provide facility of using proxy bidding on behalf of the consumers. Thus, the online auction is effective in making decision for generating the right product and winning the bid. The online shopping website can help the customers in allowing them to make a reduction in the effort in taking effective purchase decision in the auction. The consumers can enter into the online auction with the maximum amount that they are willing to release for the particular item in the process of bidding. Thus, the information of the customers can be kept secret from the other bidders such as buyers or sellers.
The customers can provide feedback on the performance of the product on the web page of the company that can help the company in knowing that whether their products are able to satisfy the customers or not. Therefore, the feedback information can be used by the company for developing better strategy for identifying the right corrective measure for meeting the demand of the customers and providing satisfaction to the consumers. In the words of Bitner et al. (2010), internet technologies can be strong vehicle that can be applied by the company in gaining and disseminating the information in regard to product decision and taking appropriate steps for improving the satisfaction level of the consumers. Thus the company can be able to build their brand image effectively and the trust of the customers can also be enhanced towards the brand.
The continuous increase in the advancement of the technology has provided a number of options to the customers to shop online for the various products (Dave, 2008). The social media have been talking of the generations that uses the media for gaining the required information about the products, price, availability and reviews over the products that they tend to acquire. Therefore, it can be challenging for the number of marketers for influencing the customers to make them buy their products online. Thus, the marketers have to understand the buying pattern and behaviour of the customers in relation to the particular products. The marketing retailer has to build up the effective retail environment that can provide strong and satisfactory web experience to the customers. The online retailer of product and services has to collect the information about the mindset of the target customers towards buying the product from local stores in order to attract the customers for buying products that can be cloth, accessories, mobiles, etc. through using an online shopping website of the company. Therefore, the online service provider company can be able to generate profit that can help them to reach more customer base and large masses, young or adult (melody.syr.edu, 2014).
As per Chang and Chen (2009), the online service supplier company has to recognise the need of the customers for providing best value for money to the consumers. Therefore, the company has to influence the satisfaction that can be arising from the customers on the web. The brand of the company can lose their opportunities if the numbers of customers are not able to figure out the required product or the information about the brand anywhere in the company’s website (Nasri and Charfeddine, 2012). The customers can have negative impact on the selection of the brand if the USPs of the product is not clearly defined or technical details are not provided then the customers can look for other website of the company that clearly meets the requirement of customers.
According to Hausman and Siekpe (2009), the consumers has a little perception and trust of online merchants that can affect the online buying decision of the customers as the customers are not able to physically inspect the product before making the purchase. He also mentioned that the past experience of the purchasers with online shopping can significantly affect the purchasing decisions either in positive or negative manner. The negative experiences can raise the risk perception level that can hamper the business in holding the customers and online businesses can find it difficult to attract initial customers. Wu et al. (2010) stated that the online spending will show a growth by 62% in the year 2016 as the customers can be more confident and comfortable with online shopping. Therefore the online company can be able to capture rich profits and meeting customer expectations.
The components of the consumer behaviour can be discussed as:
Figure 6: Components of Consumer’s Buying and Decision Behaviour
(Source: Lee et al. 2011, pp. 187)
The factors deals with the after sales service that can either satisfy the customers or dissatisfy them that can lead to influence the buying perception about the product of the company and their website. For instance, if the customers buy a mobile of a particular company from the online shopping website and if the customers find any defect in the screen of the mobile after delivery than providing service to the customers on right time can win the heart of the customers that can be helpful for building the image of the company or visa-versa. Therefore, the positive response from the company can build a larger customer base for shopping online from the company’s website (people.umass.edu, 2014).
The brand of the company has to develop and reinforce the need in the mind of the customers that can motivate the customers to buy the product online. The company has to advertise their brands and products that can capture the attention of the consumers online that force them to trade online for the that particular products. Therefore the online shopping website has to understand the psychology of the consumers that can be related to bargain safety, security of transaction of customers and the level of price sensitiveness of the consumers in order to provide the best shopping experience to them that can motivate other customers to buy the products online from the same web portal.
According to Lee et al. (2011), the online website of the company has to be clearly presented that can be related to name, design, colour, etc that can provide the required information to the customers about the product that they tend to purchase. Therefore, the right information can influence the behaviour of the consumers in shopping and selecting the products online. Apart from that Laroche (2010), mentioned the customers can shift to other shopping website if they are not able to gain desire information that can affect the business of the company in large.
Baker and Saren (2010) stated that the influence of the other customers or people can affect the buying decision of the individual customers. For instance, the customers can collect information from the other customers about the best price and best website that offers the quality product that can be helpful for the customer in making decision for buying the product from the website that can assure best value to their money. The reference groups, membership groups, family, friends can influence the individuals in buying the products and selecting the best online shopping website for receiving the desired products.
The cultural environment can significantly influence the customers buying decision process. Cahill (2007) discussed that Website Company has to take into consideration the cultural factors of the particular market that they might be targeting for supplying the product online. Thus, the perception, habits, behaviour and expectation of the consumers has to be analysed that can stimulate them for online shopping. On the other hand Bitner et al. (2010) opined that social classes can also impact the buying decision of buyers that can be in the form of social hierarchy that can comprise values, lifestyles, interests and behaviours of the individual customers. Therefore, the website has to be designed that can meet the desires and consumption pattern of the customers. Thus, the lower class, middle class and upper class can use the shopping website effectively that can match with their interest and buying power.
As per Allentuck (2007), the cultural trends can also influence the buying behaviour of the individuals. For example, increasing trend of social media such as Facebook can affect the behavior and shopping attitude of the youth consumers as young people are more acquaint with the social media that can help the company in advertising their product effectively on the social media that can attract the attention of the youth for buying the product online.
The purchase and decision behaviour can be influenced by the features of each customer. Every individual may have different consumer habits, hobbies, lifestyle, and activities that can make them to take a decision for selecting the product online and according to their preference. As per Bateman (2007), the purchasing power can also assist the consumers in knowing that whether they can be able to match up with the price of the products that are offered online. Thus, the customers can move to that website that can provide the best price with quality product.
The particular chapter was successful for the researcher in observing and extracting the information and knowledge about the changing behaviour of the customers in decision making for purchasing the product over the internet. The consideration of consumer behaviour is very much important for the company in order to influence and attracting the customers located all over the world and providing the best delivery and maintaining the quality of the product. In this chapter various theories of consumer behavior has been implied that is helpful in evaluating the perception and attitude of the customers towards the online shopping. Therefore, the customers can be comprehensively stimulated for using the website for buying the goods and services.
The research methodology as a section will be helpful in examining the best and suitable approach that can be taken up for the successful completion of the research study. The research will be focusing on the consumer behaviour towards adopting the Website of Amazon Company that is Amazon.co.uk for online trading of product and services. Through the use of research methodology procedure, the researcher can be able to structure an effective outline of the research process (Bernard, 2011). Thus, the philosophy, approach and design has been opted by the researcher for explaining the research process.
The implementation of the research methodology will guide the reader and researcher in understanding the buyer’s behaviour to Amazon in the competitive online market. The limitation of the research will be highlighted by the researcher. As stated by Crouch and Pearce (2012), in spite of occurrence of some difficulties, the researcher has provided a brief explanation of the research methodology process in the correct manner in order to analyse the attitude of the customers to Amazon.
The method outline highlights the processes of research. It will assist in knowing the basic format of the research process via that the researcher can effectively carry the research work. As per Jackson (2008), the research process can be comprised of philosophy, approaches and designs that can be useful for the nature of research work. The researcher has followed the post-positivism research philosophy and the deductive approach to for better explanation of the research study. The descriptive research design has been selected for depth analysis of the research topics. The researcher has also focused on the limitation and ethical prospects of the research in order to carry the research in successful manner. The primary and secondary application can be very supportive for better analysis of the topics of the research work.
Laroche (2010) proposed that the research onion can be effective tool for analysing and evaluating the each research topics. The academic students can get benefit from the research onion while conducting the research process in the correct manner. The every layer of the tool can be helpful in generating and building the correct results of the research process. The research can be sub divided into philosophy, approaches, designs, strategies, time horizon, techniques and procedures.
Figure 7: Research Onion
(Source: : Saunders et al. 2009, pp. 52)
The above figure of research onion can be helpful for the researcher in understanding the each section of the research tools so that effective research and results can be gained.
As discussed by Brannen (2009), the research philosophy is the step that can assist the researcher in carrying the research study in effective manner. The research philosophy is considered as a concept that can guide the researcher or readers in getting a clear picture of the research topics. According to Cooper and Schindler (2010), the philosophy is normally based on the research hypothesis that takes in account epistemology, axiology and the phenomenology. Therefore, these all aspect highlights on the knowledge, facts and ethics of the research study.
Figure 8: Research Philosophy
(Source: Cameron, 2009, pp. 146)
In the above case, the research philosophy is the segment of research paradigm that can help the researcher in evaluating all the possible facts and findings in an appropriate way. The main pillars of the research philosophy are stated to be Positivism, Realism and Interpretivism. Dul and Hak (2012) pointed that the positivism focuses on the knowledge of the research work while the realism highlights on the real facts that can be applied to research work.
On the other side, Interpretivism reflects on the logic that can be applied in the research study. Therefore, the researcher has gone in opting post positivism research philosophy for effective analysis of the research work. The post positivism arises from the positivism research philosophy that can help the researcher in analyzing and cross checking the research in order to get a clear image of work.
The researcher has followed the post positivism for properly evaluating the research job. The Positivism and Interpretivism focuses on the knowledge and logical factors of the topics and realism takes control of the real facts. Therefore, post positivism has been selected that can help in the advance analysis of the collected data in accordance with philosophical aspects.
The researcher can gain advantage for making a selection of the research approach that can help in constructing the research from the information that has been collected from the external source. The research approach can be of two aspects that is Inductive and Deductive (Corbetta, 2009). The inductive approach can be carried by the researcher if the researcher figures out that the followed models and theories are not enough for doing the current research work.
Figure 9: Research Approach
(Source: Bergh and Ketchen, 2009, pp. 738)
Apart from inductive, the deductive approach throws light on existing theories and models and its implementation that helps the researcher in better and brief description of the topic and in conceptualized manner.
The researcher has adopted the deductive approach for analysing and determining the best way for conducting the research. In the particular study of consumer behaviour to online auction through Amazon, the researcher will be focusing on the complexity in understanding the behaviour of customers. Thus, the researcher have opted the deductive approach so that the linking can be done in an effective way with existing theories and models.
Figure 10: Research Design
(Source: Bryman and Bell, 2011, pp. 384)
Harrison and Reilly (2011) pointed that the research design is normally based on the procedure for acquiring information on the basis of contemporary aspects. Therefore, the research design can be classified into three terms: In terms of exploratory research design, it focuses on the different thoughts and ideas that help the researcher in exploring the societal factors for analysing the study. On the other side, the explanatory design reflects on the occurrence of incidents in the society, whereas the descriptive design focuses on the brief analysis of the research work.
Descriptive design has been selected by the researcher for evaluating and analyzing the information in better ways. The descriptive approach will help in focusing the consumer attitude for shopping online in a brief manner. The exploratory design has not been implemented as it focuses on the longitudinal concept of the study and that was not effective for the carried research topics. Therefore, due to time constraint, descriptive approach has been adopted for deep analysis of the subject.
The primary data and secondary data can be useful for carrying the research work that can be collected through various sources such as online surveys, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc. for gaining the right information for the research study.
The researcher has followed the primary data for effective analysis of the study. The study focuses on the behavioural aspects of the consumer to Amazon for online trading of product and services. Therefore, the researcher has used the primary data for surveying the customers and the manger of Amazon to get an effective result.
Qualitative data can be adopted by the researcher as it can provide ample support in presenting the research work and related headings in briefer manner that can help the reader in better understanding the particular topics (Laroche, 2010). Thus, the qualitative data can provide theoretical concept that can help in better understanding of topics. The Quantitative data are based on the statistical data that can help the researcher in reporting the data in the correct way. Therefore, the researcher has used the quantitative data that are based on primary data by conducting survey on the managers of Amazon.
As per Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. (2011), population refers to the amount of people involved either directly or indirectly in the process of research work. Hence, the population is the total customers and managers of Amazon that has been considered.
Probability and non probability sample are the parts of sampling techniques. Therefore, probability sample has been considered for justifying the research study and getting a clear idea about the research job (Dul and Hak, 2012).
The primary data are the method adopted by the researcher for analyzing the study. Therefore, the quantitative research technique will consider 60 customers of Amazon with the help of the online questionnaire application form that can provide information about the behaviour of customers. On the other side, managers of the Amazon will be regarded for the qualitative research techniques that can be in number of 6.
The researcher has to take care of the code of ethics for carrying the study.
The researcher may have to fall into some restriction that can hamper the good flow of the research work.
The researcher was locked with the limited time that was provided for conducting the research work. Thus, the topic was not discussed in deeper form.
The limited budget for the research work has also affected the research work. The application of SPSS software was also absent due to lack of capital.
The current chapter represents the different tools that have been adopted for better analysis of the respective topics. For framing the appropriate research methodology, the researcher has focused on the best research technique that can present best results. The tools that are adopted are more effective for understanding consumer’s behaviour of Amazon.
In this specific chapter, the researcher will be conducting data analysis of customers of Amazon. The qualitative and quantitative analysis will assist the researcher doing the data evaluation that can enhance the quality of the research information and quality analysis and conclusion can be gained effectively. As per Gilbert A Churchill (2009), the data analysis can provide support to the researcher in applying the theoretical learning in the practical field. However, Jansson-Boyd (2009) opined that there can be complexities and limitations that can be associated with the data analysis in terms of data maneuvering, a deficit of genuineness and others. Therefore, an effective cross check can be obtained through conducting data analysis in the research study. The role of consumer behaviour will be examined in the current chapter with the help of feedback generated from the respondents in relative to the company, Amazon. On the basis of the information collected, the researcher will focus to develop the information in relation to the topic and thus, the findings will be analysed that can provide a true value in the data collections. The customers and managers of the Amazon have been considered for the data acquisition procedure in order to receive detailed and correct information.
In the current segment, the consumers of Amazon will be taken into account for conducting quantitative analysis that can help the researcher in understanding the effect of consumer behaviour to the online shopping. In the quantitative part, 60 respondents were queried as others were not included in the sample as their application was not accurately filled.
1. How long you have been associated with Amazon as a prominent customer?
No. Of Respondents
Last one week
Last one month
Last one year
More than two years
More than five years
Table 2: Association of Customers with Amazon
In this analysis, 12% of customers are associated with the company for last one week. Almost 30% customers are attached with Amazon for more than two years and 20% customers are comprehensively engaged with Amazon. Therefore, it can be seen that the company is effective in satisfying the customer through their service.
The response of the customers shows that the Amazon is comprehensively providing online services to the customers and they are satisfied with the product offered by the Amazon. Thus, the customer base has increased in the past one month to 22%. The customers of Amazon include both adult and young age group that reflects the young age customers are influenced by the shopping behaviour of the old customers from Amazon that has helped the company in gaining the large customers from all over the place. Therefore, the company has to provide the details of the product regarding price, features, reviews about products, etc. that can help the customers to gain information about the product.
2. Do you often log in to Amazon website?
Table 3: Log in period of Customers to Amazon Website
The table depicts that around 45% customers often login in Amazon website for the search of the product. 30% customers visit sometimes to a shopping website whereas 12% customers do not visit the company’s web site. Around 15% of the shoppers, login into the website for getting the product details.
The presented figure reflects that customers more often, visit the website of Amazon for gathering the details about the product that are placed on the shelf of the Amazon in order to make a purchase decision. The services provided by the company such as quick delivery of product, reasonable price, easy payment options and secure transaction that made the customers to often login the website for desired products. The customers who do not visit the Amazon website can be selecting other company’s website that can meet their demand.
3. What are the factors that affect your decision making during online sales?
Table 4: Factors affecting Consumer Decision in choosing Amazon
The researcher has found that 28% of the consumers are opting Amazon because of their better service quality, 30% respondents reflect that due to effective customer relationship management has forced them to choose Amazon while 25% opined that price of the product is reasonable and 17% says that the brand value of the company has made them to select the Amazon.
Through the analysis, the researcher has discovered that the company is effective in maintaining customer relationship management that become the basis for taking decision by most of the customers. The company is focusing on the feedback from the customers and providing the best solution to them that can be related to the product price, availability of product and defect in the product that delivered that helps in building strong relationship between the company and the customers. On the other side, quality of service, price of products and brand value affects the decision making behaviour of customers.
4. Do you agree that payment option of Amazon is secure and safe for online purchasing?
Table 5: Safety and security of online payment option on Amazon
The results shows that almost 81% are satisfied with the payment option of Amazon and the customers feel safe and secure in their transactions with the Amazon. 12% of the customers disagree with the safety and security attached to the payment option of Amazon while 5% completely feels that payment options are not safe and secure.
The findings reflected that the payment option such as a debit card, credit card, escrow, cheques, payment on delivery, etc that are provided by the company for transaction are completely safe and secure. Therefore, the customers might feel safe while trading with Amazon and the customers can have the feeling that their private information is secure in the website of the company. On the other hand, the customer that feels the payment option is not sheltered can be due to that they might have a conception that virtual transaction may not be safe or they might have been cheated by other shopping website earlier.
5. What are the factors that you consider when visiting the Amazon website?
Speed of Delivery
Terms and Conditions
Table 6: Factors considered for Visiting Amazon
The researcher finds that 20% customers consider the delivery speed of products while 32% feel that the customer service of Amazon is motivating factor for the customers and 30% respondents have a thought the profile of the company stimulate them to visit the site for the products that is required.
Through the analysis, it can be drawn that the customer services of the company inspire the customer to visit the website for searching and ordering the required product. The after sale service of the company is very much effective in making the customers to visit the website again. The image and reputation of the company in the online market are high that makes the customers to decide upon the Amazon for ordering the products on Amazon. The terms and conditions such as no taking account of complaints after 1 week of delivery of products may affect the decision of the consumers to buy the products on Amazon that can make them to visit another website for buying the products. Therefore, it can be viewed that different customers have various thoughts in selecting Amazon for purchasing the products. Thus, the company is trying their best to enhance their company profile, providing better consumer service, easy terms and conditions and better and faster delivery procedure that can satisfy the customers to commerce with Amazon that brand and image of the company can be increased.
6. How far you agree that protection of private information is safe with Amazon while purchasing online?
Table 7: Protection of Private Information of Customers with Amazon
It is clear from the figure, 35% of the customers are satisfied that the Amazon is safe in keeping the private information of the customers. 25% strongly agree while 33% disagree that the personal data of consumers are safe and secure. 17% respondents are neutral about the private information safety.
Through this analysis, it can be concluded that the 60% of the customers comply with the company’s in keeping the personal information that can be billing detail, phone number, bank account number, etc. Therefore, it can be stated that more than 60% customers feel safe with the policy of the company in maintaining the record of customers and not sharing with any third party. Thus, it reflects that the company is trying their best in keeping personal information about shoppers safe and secure. As the online world market is changing, it becomes the prime duty of Amazon Company to secure the personal details of the customers that can attract more number of customers towards Amazon. The low trust level of the customers in the online stores of Amazon has made the customers to think that their information may not be safe with Amazon and their data can misused that can affect their personal life. Therefore, the Amazon is effectively trying to create a trust in the consumers’ mind that their personal data is safe with the Amazon and they can purchase the product from Amazon comprehensively.
7. Do you think that website security of Amazon has to be improved?
Table 8: Website Security of Amazon
The researcher has determined that the 10% of the customers thinks that website security of Amazon has to be improved. Most of the respondent that is more than 65% believes that the website of Amazon does not require any improvement or changes. The researcher found that 5% of the customers strongly agree that the shopping website of the company has to definitely need an improvement.
As per the findings, it can be evaluated that the online shopping website of Amazon is very much secure that provide a great shopping experience to the customers and the computer system of the customers is also safe from Amazon website as the company’s website does not have any virus that can destroy the computer or mobile of the customers. Therefore, the customers can easily use their computer or mobile device for making order for the products online from Amazon shopping website. Therefore, it assures the data of the customers can be kept safe.
8. Are you satisfied with the delivery system of Amazon?
Table 9: Satisfied with Delivery System of Amazon
It can be figured out from the table that 30% of the respondents are highly satisfied with the delivery system of the company. 37% are satisfied while 12% respondents are dissatisfied from the delivery system of products of Amazon.
The researcher has found that the delivery system of Amazon is effective in satisfying the customers. The company takes care that the quality of the product is maintained while delivering the product to the customers that can create a good impression about the company in the customers. Therefore, controlling the quality can make customers to buy more products that are displayed on Amazon and that customers can attract other customers to visit the Amazon for the products. The customers that are dissatisfied with the delivery system of Amazon, have a belief that they did not receive the product as per the scheduled period and also the quality of the product is affected during shipment because of that 12% of the customers are dissatisfied from the delivery process of the Amazon.
9. Does Amazon provide you detail information about the product?
Table 10: Detail Information about products from Amazon
It has been determined that 37% consumers agrees and 32% respondents strongly agree that the Amazon provides complete details of the product that they trade. The researcher found that nearly 15% customers do not believe that all the information about the products are displayed. Therefore, the findings show that the more percentage of customers have a belief that Amazon declares of the product information.
From, the findings, it can be analysed that the company, Amazon is providing the full details about the range of the product, range in prices, availability of products in stock, ordering period for products such as order for any product within 15 hours, colour and size of the product, a discount on the product, etc that becomes convenient for the customers to make a selection from the large sections of products. Therefore, company is putting their best effort in supplying the full disclosure of the products on the website in order to provide easy shopping for the customers and thus the customers can take effective decisions in choosing the product and making orders.
10. Does the Amazon website offer you a great shopping experience?
Table 11: Great shopping Experience by Amazon website
The researcher has found from the findings that 38% of the respondents agree that they feel happy by trading with Amazon. Therefore, more than 60% consumers are satisfied to purchase items from the Amazon. On the other side, over 20% consumers feels that they do not enjoy shopping with the Amazon. Thus, it can be reflected that more percentage of consumers have a better shopping experience than the percentage of unsatisfied customers.
The researcher has analysed on the basis of findings that the Amazon provides good purchasing experience to the customers that please them largely. The safety of payment, refund policy of the company, quick response from the website, etc. encourages the customers to buy the products on Amazon that attracts the more customers and satisfy them. The researcher found that some of the customers have negative view as they think that warranty and claims is not favorable, the shipping cost is high because of that the customers is not willing to opt Amazon for purchasing products. Therefore, they have a view that Amazon does not provide a satisfactory shopping experience.
This subsection of data analysis highlights the qualitative explanation of the specific research topic that is framed by the mangers of Amazon. The qualitative segment takes hold of the managers as the best sample as the Amazon’s manager can be able to clearly portray the behaviour of consumers towards online shopping from Amazon website. Therefore, the topic of the research study can be effectively discussed and analysed through a qualitative study.
1. Why online selling is important for customer in recent years?
The manager 1 of Amazon opined that the online shopping can provide quick access to the customers for the desired products that can save the time and energy of the customers in comparison to traditional shopping. The customers can get full details of the product or service at one place with the right amount of price that can help the customers in deciding to purchasing the particular products. Therefore, attracting the customers, the company is focusing on maintaining the quality of the product till the product is dispatched to the customers. Moreover, the consumers can easily make payment through debit card, credit card, payment on delivery, etc as per their convenience.
2. Has online auction played an effective role in influencing the customers’ decision making?
As per manager 2, the online auction gives many options to consumers for selecting products to opting payment method. Therefore, the consumers can make effective decisions for buying the products such as books, music player, electronic goods, etc at the reasonable market rate. The manager 5 of Amazon proposed that the customers can send their queries to the company’s website related to the product either for buying the new product or for product replacement. Thus, the customers can order the product from anywhere in the world with the best shipping facilities.
3. What are the major factors that attract customers to buy the products from Amazon?
The manager 3 of Amazon pointed that the customers are effectively attracted through better customer service that motivate them to buy the product online. The other factors that stimulate the customers for online shopping are profiles of the company, easy terms and condition of the company, speedy delivery of the product and tracking the record of the shopping of valuable customers. Therefore, the customers can select the required product from large sections of products at ease and comprehensively. According to manager 4, the after sales service, secure website, packaging of the goods influence the customers to opt for the online purchase.
4. What are the steps adopted by Amazon for initiating online branding within the organisation?
According to manager 2 of Amazon, the employees of the company are effectively focused towards enhancing the brand of the company in the eyes of the large customers. The manager of the company provides efficient training and development of the employees in order to take order of the customers effectively and provide best delivery service to the customers that can satisfy the consumers located in different regions. The manager 4 has mentioned that the company successfully address the queries of the customers that can be related to products or services and briefing them the full details about the product information from price, availability of product to payment options, etc. Therefore, the company is able to build its reputation all over the world and meeting the needs of the customers.
5. What are the future strategies of Amazon to cater large masses?
As per the view of managers of Amazon, the company is planning to expand the customers by providing better online shopping experience and security of the website that can keep the record of private information on the customers’ safe from being getting misused by others. The company has a strategy to challenge the large offline customer retail mega shops as it holds higher purchasing power and effectively manage the cost of delivery and cost of maintaining website in order to gain higher income and value for the money of the customers. The Amazon has plans to set up fulfilment centers that can help the customers to search for the product effectively.
In this specific chapter, the researcher has observed that most of the customers of Amazon are satisfied with the services provided by the company. The whole discussion has been focusing on the understanding the nature of consumers towards online shopping of products or services. As evaluated from the primary study, Amazon is able to provide quality and best service in meeting the demands of the customers. Amazon is trying their best in the competitive online market to maintain their customers and tackle their competitors in order to increase the brand value of the company. The particular chapter, highlighted on the response of customers and managers in order to explain the role of consumer purchase behaviour towards online market and on Amazon. The data that is collected focuses on the consumer actions that influence the online market of Amazon. Therefore, the company is effectively providing details about the products on their website that becomes easy for the customers to search for the desired goods that can satisfy the customers and provide best online shopping experience.
The whole research study has focused on the concept of understanding the consumer behaviour in the process of decision making for shopping online. The online auction beneficial facility shapes the behaviour and attitude of the consumers in selecting the online market for purchasing the product and services that can save their time and energy. In this particular research work, the researcher has concentrated on the consumers of Amazon for knowing the behaviour of the shoppers that can influence the earning and the status of the company in the competitive online market. The researcher has focused on the primary sources of data for figuring out the true information about the actions of customers that can increase the business of online market and of the company, Amazon as well. The great online shopping experience is comprehensively related to the customer buying behaviour and decision that effectively lead to strong bonding between the customers and Amazon.
On the basis of the data acquired, the researcher will try to recognize the connection developed between the objectives of the study and the practical relevance. Therefore, for increasing the credibility and the success factor of the work, the researcher has correlated the data.
It has been observed from the Table 4 that the company uses various techniques to influence the consumer behaviours in attracting the customers to shop online. The company provides better service quality online in supplying the product and services. The better service quality positively motivated the customers to buy the products on Amazon that they trade online. Based on the survey, the researcher has discovered that maximum numbers of customers are influenced by the effective customer relationship management that a company maintains with their consumers. The pricing that is offered by the company on the various products is also managed by the range of customers that helps the company in increasing their status and market value strongly between the competitors.
The manager has discussed that the better packaging of products while delivering the products to the consumers have influenced the customers to buy the products online. The after sales service has been effectively adopted by the company in providing satisfaction to the customers that is helping in building trust of the customers on the company, Amazon. Therefore, the company is able to attract the pool of customers for online shopping from the Amazon.
The researcher has found from the Table 2 that the customers are attached to the company for more than five years that signifies that the customers are getting the best service from the company, Amazon. The association of the customers with the Amazon has inspired the other or new customers to shift their buying behaviour from traditional marketing to online marketing. Therefore, the customers are gradually improving every month to buy the products on Amazon that is helping the company in gaining the brand value in the eyes of the customers that wants to shop for the product online.
The managers of Amazon has opined that the customers are inclined towards the products of Amazon as the company provides speedy delivery of the products to the customers and at the right time and without damaging the products that is ordered by the customers. Therefore, the customers have a better experience of shopping from Amazon. The other manager pointed that the company disclose all the related information about the products and all the products are displayed that is available with the company that provide great support to the customers in selecting the product and deciding the best payment option as per their preference and convenience. Thus, it can be linked that the customers are having a great shopping experience while trading with the Amazon that is helpful for the company in attracting the large customer base and increase the earnings of the company.
The researcher observed from the Table 5 that the customers are satisfied with the services provided by the company. The company has effectively provided safety and security to the customers in the payment for online shopping that create a trust of the customers on the Amazon that support the company to make high sale to the large range of customers. From the Table 7 it has also been clear that the company efficiently protects the personal details that is related to the bank account or mobile numbers to third parties that provide safer shopping to the consumers on the Amazon. Therefore, the company is able to provide safety and security in the online auction that provide a great experience to the customers while shopping online. The company also provides website security that protects the data of the customers and from the hackers too, and the website of the company is free from any malware or spyware. Therefore, providing the website security can increase the sales of the company and gaining a large number of customers that can help in the growth of the company. Thus, the customers can easily shop online at the Amazon without having any fear of getting loss of data or getting cheated by other parties. The standards of website security have to be raised that can ensure the customers to buy the products on Amazon with ease and also attracting plenty of new customers to shop at Amazon.
On the basis of the data analysis and outcomes of the research study, the researcher has listed down effective recommendations that can assist in increasing the customers to shop the products from online market by minimizing the differences between the issues and the outlined solutions. As per the topic of the research study, the researcher has pointed certain measures that can provide great support in better online shopping for the consumers and bring customers for the Amazon.
The scope of the study was not completely achieved due to the presence of some restrictions. Therefore, the research topic can have been impressively illustrated through the study of one more company that provide online services such as Ebay that can be helpful in comparing the company with Amazon. Thus, it can be helpful in knowing the behaviour of consumers towards two different companies. The understanding of online marketing strategy of the company can be helpful in carrying out the research and knowing the process of consumer decision making for online shopping can be of great support in the completion of research in the successful manner.
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For quantitative part: Consumers
A list of Questionnaire: For Customers of Amazon
Contact No. Email ID:
You are sincerely requested to complete the questionnaire to the best of your knowledge and belief. Your response is extremely important for this survey and of great help. I assure you that your personal details and response will kept confidential.
Your participation is solemnly solicited.
3. What are the factors that affect your decision in opting Amazon in comparison to other rivals?
5. What are the factors that you consider when visiting Amazon website?
6. How far you consent that protection of private information is safe with Amazon?
As part of my University curriculum, I am looking forward to conduct an interview to analyse the effectiveness of customer behaviour of Amazon.
The interview questions will be designed on the basis of the identified research problems and no personal questions will be asked. The conversation during the interview will be kept confidential and will be used for this research only. The anonymity of your personal details will be maintained. Hence, you are requested to spare around 25-30 minutes of your valuable time and take part in the interview.
Your participation in the interview will provide me useful information to enhance the quality of my research.
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