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What is the research project trying to achieve?
What is the underlying rationale and aim of your research? What in your experience prompted it? Why are you doing it?
What is the study trying to achieve (i.e. is your purpose to explore, describe, understand, explain, predict, change, or something else)? 
Outline how you plan to go about doing your research.
What is the context of your proposed research? Key features, characteristics! Why is it a suitable context? Who will be studied? How many? How will they be selected (i.e. sampling)?
Consider ethics and access to your study sample. Try to anticipate any problem you might have in implementing your method.

Background and Context

The purpose of this report is to present a research proposal about the factors that have an impact on online shopping of Thai students. As described in the study of Jiradilok et al. (2014), an understanding of Thai perception while shopping virtually, can be developed. Researchers want to present the factors, which are responsible behind such changed shopping behaviour among students of Asian background mostly from Thailand and currently studying in Northampton university of United Kingdom (Pratminingsih, Lipuringtyas and Rimenta 2013).

As per the market trend, preference of shopping online is consistently growing. The procedure of traditional shopping is losing its relevance day by day for young generation who are mostly dependent on technology for satisfying their requirements (O. Pappas et al. 2014). The research will help to understand the changing market trend based on Thai students’ preferences of shopping products online who are studying in Northampton university of United Kingdom. The increasing price of clothes, fashion accessories and products of daily use are suspected to be one of the reasons behind choosing to shop online for international students studying in UK. E-commerce companies provide frequent discounts and products are of standard quality too. Students are facing issues while shopping from a retail store due to high price. Hence, a transformation has been noticed in their shopping behaviour. This research will help to understand contribution of different factors influencing students to opt for buying things online.

The aims and objectives of this research is to find out the factors which have been influencing students to shop online concentrating on the case of Northampton university of United Kingdom. Objectives are as follows.

  • To identify different factors which have made the online shopping convenient rather than traditional methods.
  • To find out the factors behind its wide adaptation among the young generation, especially from the perspective of Thai students studying in Northampton University.
  • To suggest the probable measures that the online marketers can undertake to enhance the online shopping experience of Thai students studying in Northampton University.
  1. What are the different factors responsible for making the online shopping more convenient than traditional process of shopping?
  2. Why is the young generation fond of the online shopping the most?
  3. What are the possible ways of improving online shopping experience for Thai Students?

H0: Different factors are not responsible for making the online shopping more convenient than traditional process of shopping for Thai student.

H1: Different factors are responsible for making the online shopping more convenient than traditional process of shopping for Thai student.

Internet has become very popular these days and the number of internet users is rapidly increasing, making internet an inseparable part of day to day life. As per Kozinets (2016), internet is used by everyone in order to search for various information as well as for making online purchases. According to Dabholkar (2015), the shopping behaviour of the customers refers to the study of the individuals in selecting and using certain services and products in order to meet the requirements. It is very necessary for understanding what the customers buy, the reasons behind their purchase decisions as well as how they make use of those products and services. Guenzi, De Luca and Spiro (2016) in this context have stated that the shopping behaviour of the customers is not merely the interaction of the selling and the buying process in between the seller and the buyer. It is of great importance to find out the services and the products that the customers purchase and for what reason they purchase and use them. As per Viio and Gronroos (2016), the only reason behind shopping is not only the necessity but there are also some other factors that influence customer shopping. For instance, it could be done as the friends or families have suggested the same, or because of the seasonal fashions. Hence, customers make purchase because of their basic needs or because of the casual activities. As per Saeidi et al. (2015), a successful firm meets the needs of its customers better than that of its customers. There are certain characteristics of individuals which goes along with the requirements that lead to shopping. They understand the customer behaviour by collecting the information about them and that directs their businesses towards finding a good opportunity in the target market. The process of making a purchase decision in the shopping is just like shopping from the physical stores but the same in online shopping is influences by the online advertisements that are both effective and attractive to the buyers. The customers could now buy their product with just some clicks of their mouse or of their phones. In this way they save both their time as well as their energy. With the same, it is also very easy for them to make a comparison of the prices of the products from one online shopping site to the other one. Also, the availability of the online stores during any time increases customer convenience of shopping. The firms might increase the rate of sales of theirs by understanding the important determinants which influence the behaviour of the online customers.

Changing Market Trends

Furthermore, as per Lemon and Verhoef (2016), the buying behaviour of customers are often made in between the internal and the external factors. The internal factors come from numerous psychological process and they include the attitudes, perceptions, self-image, motivation, learning and semiotics. On the other hand, the external factors comprise of the environmental conditions such as the technology, demographics, the socio-economic conditions as well as the culture and the various public policies. With the same, Vohs et al. (2018) also suggested that the customers have a total of two types of motives during shopping and they are- a) functional and b) the non- functional. It is to note that the functional motives are basically the shopping place, the time and the needs of the customers that could be like the one-stop shopping to save the time, the low cost products, the environmental of the place for shopping like the parking space and the rest other available to choose from the huge variety of products. On the other hand, in the non-functional motives falls the aspects that are more linked with the social and the cultural values like the brand name of stores.

It is also to note that an individual makes the purchase of a product depending on his level of trust in that product or service along with that on the sellers of the online or the physical stores. Online trust is the fundamental element that builds the relationship in between the seller and the customers. According to the present research, the online trust level is lower than that of the face to face interactions done by the customers with the sellers in the physical stores. With the same, the results of the study conducted by Shneiderman and Zhao (2016) suggests that the trustworthiness of the internet or the online merchant and the external environment have a significant influence on the customer trust in the online shopping. Trustworthiness of the online websites is very dependable on the amount of privacy and security that could be provided. For instance, a high level of technical competence could be a significant factor for influencing this trustworthiness (Manu et al. 2015). As it is already mentioned that the merchant could provide a third party verification to the online or the e-commerce websites and when this security and privacy strategies are been used, the customers would think that their online transactions by means of internet are both effective and secure, making the websites much more reliable for them. Furthermore, these e-commerce websites could also serve them with the relevant information and data related to the services of the customers along with the location of their office and the contact details. At the same time, the customers also increase the trustworthiness of theirs because in this way they could feel that the online merchants or the retailers truly exist. Apparently, as per Aguirre et al. (2015), there are a total of ten impacts of relevant factors on the behaviours of the online customers. These ten factors are further categorised into a total of five different variables and they are the antecedents, the attitude, the intention of the online customers, the decision making and the online purchasing. The level of customer satisfaction is separated and it takes place among all the possible stages on the basis of the involvement of the customers at the time of internet shopping. Such a two way relationships can influence each of them individually.

Objectives of the Research

Research methodology refers to the right technique of conducting the research and fulfilling every requirement what has been promised earlier. Methodology helps to understand varied techniques and tools that are used for accomplishing the objectives.  Three methods of investigation can be addressed, such as, exploratory, descriptive and explanatory. Exploratory research considers logical point of view from the initial stage in order to conduct the research whereas, descriptive theory believes in gaining detailed idea of the study evaluating various concepts and theories. Finally, if investigation has been done to establish the relationship between two or more variables then it can be considered as explanatory method of research. Explanatory method will be considered to execute this research, as the relationship between two variables; Thai students and online shopping needs to be developed. Other methods will be rejected as those are not relevant enough.

The perception of Thai students studying in Northampton University will be considered in the course of deciding the important factors which has made online shopping so convenient among the young generation. At least 100 Thai students from the departments of history, music and drama will be selected in random manner. As per the description elaborated in the study of Clemes, Gan and Zhang (2014), it has been observed that Asian countries are growing in terms of technological aspects. Factors will be easier to understand if an idea of an entire Asian country can be taken into account. Acknowledging the impact of technology over the Asian culture the study will be conducted on Thai students to understand various factors influencing their shopping behaviour. E-commerce marketers can consider the learning outcome to improve shopping experience of their potential customers.

While conducting the study, researchers should collect the data considering ethical boundaries. As it will be performed for commercial purpose, authority should make the participants aware of that. Researchers cannot force anyone to share the feedback or cannot disclose anyone’s name without their permission. It can be expected that the entire research procedure will be completed within a timeline of three months.

Centrally primary data collection will be considered to perform the research. The questionnaire of the interview will be close ended and personal shopping experience from 15 students will be taken in elaborate form. As secondary data, annual report of the leading shopping site Flip kart can be taken under consideration to support the data collected from the students. Mostly primary data is going to be suitable, as detail perception of changing shopping behaviour is needed to understand in terms of establishing relationship between the factors and Thai students of the university.

Factors Impacting Online Shopping Behavior

As facts are involved in this study and it is more about concepts and theories, qualitative data analysis method will be appropriate to generate the results. As far as the annual report of flip kart is concerned, that will only support the perception collected from the students. According to Jiang, Yang and Jun (2013), a noticeable change has been observed in customer behaviour after the price of commodities in retail stores has been increased. Therefore, a qualitative report can be made comparing two variables and data collected from both the primary and secondary sources.

It can be expected that by undertaking the participant’s response the factors behind a changing shopping behaviour among the young generation will be understood. The reason what has been assumed behind this change is the tech-savvy nature of youth coming from Asian background. In this course, the study of Clemons et al. (2016) can be taken into account. Researchers must consider the technological revolution across the world and this shopping behaviour can be addressed as an impact of digitalization. Researchers are expecting following factors as follows which are influencing the students like; it saves the time to commute to a shopping place and simultaneously online sites are providing plenty of options unlike stores (Chandra and Sinha 2013). Online shopping sites are convenient to use from any place and especially the students of Asian background have been observed to be more into fashion than other students coming from other countries. However, all the things are based on logical assumption. In order to support that serious proof is required. With the purpose of collecting proper evidence in favour of assumption, this study has been planned to conduct.

Annual report of flip kart will be taken under consideration just to support the data collected from primary sources because data collected by the mode of interview do not always provide authenticity. It can be biased or influenced. Which can work as serious limitation of the study. In order to attain the desired result it is important to include credible sources like annual report of online shopping company, Flip kart.

Activities

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10th to 12th week

Selection of the topic

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Data collection from primary sources

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Data collection from secondary sources

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Creating layout

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Data analysis

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Findings from the data

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Conclusion of the study

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Formation of the draft

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Submission of final work

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Fig: Gantt Chart

(Source: Created by the author)

This research has been planned for commercial purpose. The outcome will guide the business organisations to frame their marketing strategy for future to remain competitive in the market and at the same time achieve sustainability. It is important for the companies to plan and execute strategies according to customer preferences (Amoroso and Ogawa 2013). The outcome of this research will help them to understand the changing shopping behaviour of young generation and according to that future marketing strategy of e-commerce companies will be framed. This research only cover a specific boundary, which is not enough to provide a strong guideline to the companies. That is why; opportunity of future research on this context involving greater demographic areas has been identified to understand its global weightage. Apart from these, students have grown addiction in terms of using the technology for their benefit. Whether they are engaging themselves into shopping out of necessity or addiction that encourages another scope of research. 

Online Trust and Security

References

Aguirre, E., Mahr, D., Grewal, D., de Ruyter, K. and Wetzels, M., 2015. Unraveling the personalization paradox: The effect of information collection and trust-building strategies on online advertisement effectiveness. Journal of Retailing, 91(1), pp.34-49.

Amoroso, D.L. and Ogawa, M., 2013. Comparing mobile and Internet adoption factors of loyalty and satisfaction with online shopping consumers. International Journal of E-Business Research (IJEBR), 9(2), pp.24-45.

Chandra, A.K. and Sinha, D.K., 2013. Factors affecting the online shopping behaviour: a study with reference to Bhilai Durg. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 2(5), pp.160-177.

Clemes, M.D., Gan, C. and Zhang, J., 2014. An empirical analysis of online shopping adoption in Beijing, China. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(3), pp.364-375.

Clemons, E.K., Wilson, J., Matt, C., Hess, T., Ren, F., Jin, F. and Koh, N.S., 2016. Global differences in online shopping behavior: Understanding factors leading to trust. Journal of Management Information Systems, 33(4), pp.1117-1148.

Dabholkar, P.A., 2015. How to improve perceived service quality by increasing customer participation. In Proceedings of the 1990 academy of marketing science (AMS) annual conference (pp. 483-487). Springer, Cham.

Guenzi, P., De Luca, L.M. and Spiro, R., 2016. The combined effect of customer perceptions about a salesperson’s adaptive selling and selling orientation on customer trust in the salesperson: a contingency perspective. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 31(4), pp.553-564.

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

Jiradilok, T., Malisuwan, S., Madan, N. and 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), pp.5-11.

Kozinets, R.V., 2016. Amazonian forests and trees: Multiplicity and objectivity in studies of online consumer-generated ratings and reviews, a commentary on de Langhe, Fernbach, and Lichtenstein. Journal of Consumer Research, 42(6), pp.834-839.

Lemon, K.N. and Verhoef, P.C., 2016. Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), pp.69-96.

Manu, E., Ankrah, N., Chinyio, E. and Proverbs, D., 2015. Trust influencing factors in main contractor and subcontractor relationships during projects. International Journal of Project Management, 33(7), pp.1495-1508.

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

Pratminingsih, S.A., Lipuringtyas, C. and Rimenta, T., 2013. Factors influencing customer loyalty toward online shopping. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 4(3), pp.104-110.

Saeidi, S.P., Sofian, S., Saeidi, P., Saeidi, S.P. and Saaeidi, S.A., 2015. How does corporate social responsibility contribute to firm financial performance? The mediating role of competitive advantage, reputation, and customer satisfaction. Journal of business research, 68(2), pp.341-350.

Shneiderman, B. and Zhao, H., 2016. “In Web We Trust”: Establishing Strategic Trust Among Online Customers Irina Ceaparu, Dina Demner, Edward Hung. In E-Service: New Directions in Theory and Practice (pp. 102-119).

Viio, P. and Grönroos, C., 2016. How buyer–seller relationship orientation affects adaptation of sales processes to the buying process. Industrial Marketing Management, 52, pp.37-46.

Vohs, K.D., Baumeister, R.F., Schmeichel, B.J., Twenge, J.M., Nelson, N.M. and Tice, D.M., 2018. Making choices impairs subsequent self-control: A limited-resource account of decision making, self-regulation, and active initiative. In Self-Regulation and Self-Control (pp. 45-77).

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