Consumer Behaviour

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Consumer Behaviour and e-marketing Strategies in UK

Consumer Behaviour and e-marketing Strategies in UK

Problem Statement

The consumers” buying behavior has been always a popular marketing topic, extensively studied and debated over the last decades while no contemporary marketing textbook is complete without a chapter dedicated to this subject.

Purpose of the study

This paper focuses on identifying and classifying the Web experience elements: the marketing tools and actors under the control of the e-marketer that can influence or shape the online consumer's behavior during the virtual interaction. The Web experience is in this sense a new, additional input in the traditional buying behavior frameworks found in marketing textbooks (Kotler, 2003).


A distinction is frequently made between high and low involvement purchasing, implying that in practice the actual buying activity can be less or more consistent with this model, depending on the buyer's perceived purchasing risks. High or low degree of involvement is also a question of buyer experience; products purchased for the first time, in general, require more involvement than frequently purchased products (Boyd et al., 2002).

Next to identifying the steps of the buying process and the potential role of marketing in each stage, marketers are eager to comprehend how purchasing choices and decisions are made, how consumers are likely to react to innovation and how to predict the outcome of the customer-vendor interaction (Davis et al., 1989; Ajzen, 1991; Legris et al., 2003).

Literature Review

Online buying behavior

Understanding the mechanisms of virtual shopping and the behavior of the online consumer is a priority issue for practitioners competing in the fast expanding virtual marketplace. This topic is also increasingly drawing the attention of researchers. Indicative of this is the fact that more than 120 relevant academic papers were published in 2001 alone (Cheung et al., 2003). Given the continuous expansion of the Internet in terms of user numbers, transaction volumes and business penetration this massive research endeavor is not surprising. More than 20 per cent of Internet users in several countries already buy products and services online (Taylor Nelson Sofres, 2002) while more than 50 per cent of US net users regularly buying online (Forrester Research, 2003).

These developments are gradually transforming e-commerce into a mainstream business activity while at the same time online consumers are maturing and virtual vendors realize the importance and urgency for a professional and customer-oriented approach. Yet the Internet meltdown at the end of the 1990s and plenty of more recent anecdotal and empirical evidence indicate that many online firms still do not completely understand the needs and behavior of the online consumer (Lee, 2002) while many of them “… continue to struggle with how effectively to market and sell products online” (Joines et al., 2003, p. 93).

As in the case of traditional marketing in the past, most of the recent research and debate is focused on the identification and analysis of factors that one way or another can influence or even shape the online consumer's behavior; a good deal of research effort is focused on modeling the online buying ...
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