The Impact of Online Shopping to Consumer Behaviour Essay Example

Table of Content


The majority of people are using the Internet for different purposes and reasons like reviewing the prices of a product, placing an order, selecting services and products, or making payments. Online shopping behaviour can be described as the process of buying services or products through the Internet. In this process, when a need to buy a service or merchandise arises, the potential consumer go online and look for information associated with his/her need. Sometimes the consumer gets attracted by information regarding services or products related to the felt need. Therefore, he/she search for alternatives and select the one which suitably meets their need. According to Mittal 2013), the impact of e-commerce on consumer behaviour can be grouped into internal (motivation, perception, semiotics, self-image) and external (social-economics, technology, demographics) factors. In Javadi et al. (2012), they provided a more comprehensive insight with regard to online consumer behaviour through identification of effects of different external behavioural intentions, attitude and beliefs as well as social influence and perceived risks. Particularly, their study findings offer a comprehensive insight into the factors that drive people to make online shopping. Mittal (2013) examined the process of making purchase decisions amongst the customers, whereby they established that information search is was the most crucial factor that enables customers to search for the suitable services or products that satisfy their needs and desires. There is a strong relationship between online shopping behaviour and purchase intention (Lim et al., 2016). More importantly, the purchase intention was mainly influenced by the perception of the media, family and friends.


  • To offer an provide an in-depth understanding of the consumer behaviour when using the internet
  • To identify the compound effects of different external behavioural intentions, attitude, beliefs, social influence, perceived risks.
  • To offer a comprehensive insight into the factors that drive online purchasing and the attitudes of consumers to e-commerce.
  • To demonstrate how online shopping affects consumers.


The research will utilise a qualitative research methodology, whereby data will be collected from two participants through semi-structured interviews. Research, according to Zhao (2015), can be described as a systematic and positive procedure with the object for explaining, discovering or correcting the theories, events, facts, actions, or data with the aim of drawing a conclusion based on the analysis.

Mode of Data Collection

Qualitative interviews will be utilised as a mode of gathering data because they are a systematic way of listening and talking to people. In this case, data will be gathered from the participants through conversations. The interviewer will utilise open questions and will record the views offered by the interviewee with regard to the research topic. As pointed out by Kvale (1996), interviewing is a means of data collection and allows the interviewer/researcher to gain knowledge from the participants. The objective of the qualitative research will be to understand the meaning of what is being said by the interviewees. The interviews will be used to get the story behind the online shopping experiences of the participants. In this case, in-depth information regarding the research topic will be pursued by the interviewer. In the interviews, the researcher is deemed to be part of the measurement instrument; therefore, the interviewer has to be trained adequately with regard to how they will respond to any contingency (Jamshed, 2014). The study will utilise semi-structured interviews, which will be scheduled beforehand at a designated location and time. The semi-structured interviews will be organised around numerous predetermined open-ended questions while the other questions would surface as a result of the dialogue between interviewees and the interviewer.

The Semi-structured interviews will be conducted only once for each participant and would take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The participants will be interviewed separately in order to enable the interviewer to deeply examine the personal and social matters (DiCicco-Bloom & Crabtree, 2006). As pointed out by Gill et al. (2008), semi-structured interviews normally involve numerous key questions which would facilitate the interviewer to define the areas that should be explored; thus, allowing for the divergence of the interviewer or interviewee to pursue a response or idea insightfully. The semi-structured interview will be used because it allows for the information elaboration or discovery, which is crucial to respondents. Before the interview takes place, the interviewer will inform the respondents in advance about the details of the study. More importantly, they will be given assurance with regard to ethical principles, like confidentiality and anonymity. In so doing, the respondents will have the idea of what they should expect during the interview process; thus, increasing the probability of honesty. Furthermore, the interviews will be conducted in areas with no distractions and the location and time of the interview will be communicated to the participants. Creating a rapport with the respondents before the interview process is beneficial because it normally leads to a positive effect on the interview’s subsequent development.

Outline of Research Questions

  1. How long do customers spend time on the internet per day?
  2. What are compound effects of different external behavioural intentions, attitude, beliefs, social influence, and perceived risks?
  3. What factors are likely to influence the customers’ online shopping intention and shopping habit?
  4. What elements promote and block online purchasing?
  5. What factors stimulate customers to buy products online?

Interview Schedule


Hello, Thanks for participating in this interview.

As I said through the phone, I am doing this interview for partial fulfilment of my research report. I want to know more about online shopping and if it has any effects.

The interview will take approximately half an hour

Are you delighted to participate in this interview today?

More importantly, you are allowed to withdraw from the interview if the questions asked create tension or make you uneasy

Is it OK with you to record our conversation?


  1. Top of Form

Question One: There are many online shopping websites, which one of these have you visited or used already?

Question Two: Which place do you access the Internet mostly?

  • Other, please specify

Question Three: People use the internet for many reasons, what is your reason?

  • Entertainment (specify)
  • Shopping
  • Education

Question Four: On average, how much do you spend for shopping per month in Australian Dollar (in general)?

  • AUD 50 — £100
  • AUD 100 — £150

Top of Form

Question Five: How much do you spend on online shopping per month in Australian Dollar?

  • AUD 50 — £100
  • AUD 100 — £150

Top of Form

Question Six: What makes you do online shopping?

Question Seven: How can you rate your internet connection?

  • Very Good
  • Excellent

Question Eight: Tell me the type of internet connection you prefer or the one you are using

  • Mobile devices
  • Broadband
  • Others, Please specify

Question Nine: How often do you visit the online shopping sites?

  • Every day
  • Once-a-month
  • Once a year

Question Ten: Name some of the challenges or limitations you encounter when using online shopping sites?

Question Eleven: With the view to these challenges, will you continue buying from these e-commerce websites?

  • Yes, specify why
  • No, specify why not

Question Twelve: In your own view, what is the most suitable marketing approach to market an e-commerce website?

  • Newspapers
  • Social media
  • Billboards
  • Television
  • Others, please specify

Question Thirteen: Which payment method do you prefer to use when making an online purchase?

  • Postal Draft
  • Debit / Credit Card

Question Fourteen: Does the online shopping websites offer good communications means?

Question Fifteen: What are some bad experiences you have come across while using the e-Commerce websites?

Question Sixteen: What factors are likely to influence your online shopping intention and shopping habit?

Question Seventeen: What elements do you believe can promote or block online purchasing?

Question Eighteen: Tell me some of the factors that stimulate you to buy products online


Thank you for your time.

Would you like to add anything else or do you have any questions?

Thank you for taking part in this research.

I have without a doubt learned a lot

Good bye.

Commentary on Ethical Issues

As pointed out by Allmark et al. (2009), the issues of confidentiality and privacy play an important role in the interview research. Although it is imperative for the respondents to be acquainted with the ‘rules’ of privacy as well as confidentiality before participating in the interview, the issue of confidentiality cannot be assured totally. For that reason, the study will utilise a model of process consent, whereby the consent is reaffirmed by the interviewer all through the interview process. This will help discard the danger of participants participating in the research without sufficient information. The interviewer will ensure that the possibility of intrusion into the participants’ autonomy is by all means eliminated. The study does not involve an intervention which could significantly harm the participants. Still, the interviewer will clarify in writing the people who would access the initial data and also how the collected data will be utilised. According to Sanjari et al. (2014), informed consent is a crucial facet of research ethics. Therefore, it is imperative for the qualitative researchers to specify beforehand the type of data that will be gathered.

The informed consent principle emphasises that it is the responsibility of the researcher to inform the participants completely about various aspects of the study using understandable language. For this reason, the interviewer will offer clarifications on a number of issues: the potential role of the participants, the nature of the study, the researcher identity as well as the financing body (if any), the research main objective, and how the study results would be published and utilised. To protect the participants’ information, the interviewer will remove the identifier components, amend the biographical details, and ensure that the gathered data is secured. It is the responsibility of the researcher to protect the study participants from possible harmful consequences which could influence them because of participating in the study. Therefore, a documented proof of consent in a signed and written form will be presented to university’s research ethics committee. In so doing, the participants’ information will be secured and protected from the public.


Allmark, P. et al., 2009. Ethical Issues in the Use of In-Depth Interviews: Literature Review and Discussion. Research Ethics Review, vol. 5, no. 2, pp.48-54.

DiCicco-Bloom, B. & Crabtree, B.F., 2006. The qualitative research interview. Medical Education , vol. 40, no. 4, pp.314–21.

Gill, P., Stewart, K., Treasure, E. & Chadwick, B., 2008. Methods of data collection in qualitative research: interviews and focus groups. British Dental Journal , vol. 204, no . 6, pp.291-95.

Jamshed, S., 2014. Qualitative research method-interviewing and observation. Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacy , vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 87–88.

Javadi, M.H.M., Dolatabadi, H.R., Mojtaba Nourbakhsh, A.P. & Asadollahi, A.R., 2012. An Analysis of Factors Affecting on Online Shopping Behavior of Consumers. International Journal of Marketing Studies, vol. 4, no, 2, pp.81-98.

Kvale, D., 1996. Interviews. London: SAGE Publications.

Lim, Y.J. et al., 2016. Factors Influencing Online Shopping Behavior: The Mediating Role of Purchase Intention. Procedia Economics and Finance, vol. 35, pp.401 – 410.

Mittal, A., 2013. E-commerce: It’s Impact on consumer Behavior. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp.131-38.

Sanjari, M. et al., 2014. Ethical challenges of researchers in qualitative studies: the necessity to develop a specific guideline. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 July 2017].

Zhao, K., 2015. Research On Consumer Online Purchasing Decision And Its Influencing Factors In China. Thesis. Turku, Finland: Turku University of Applied Sciences.