The concept of internet marketing and e- consumer behavior has been deeply examined over the years. User friendly technology like the Internet has altered the mode people communicate, work and execute commercial activities. Internet technology, mainly the World Wide Web (www) as an electronic medium of exchange provides new opportunities to industries to take up the Internet as their substitute marketing tools.
Information technology is quickly altering the way people do business all over the world. In the business-to consumer segment, sales through the web have been increasing radically over the last few years. Customers, not only from developed countries but also from developing countries are adopting new shopping channel. IT has significant roles to play not only in businesses but also in daily activities of individuals. Internet based services keeps on growing in ‘business-to-consumer’ and ‘business-to-business’ environment. Every year the number of organizations that use internet for marketing purposes increases. In the same way, number of consumers who use the internet not only for gathering information but also for purchasing goods is also increasing. Consumer looks for information in a website or may search for products to buy.
In the era of IT, consumer behavior is the way of interacting with an online market, communicating with the business and approaching towards decisions, which are influenced by the presentation of the marketers.The convenience of the Internet and lesser costs of making transactions have given rise in customers bargaining power and intense global competition.
IT affects everything like producing products, transportation, row materials, consumer prices, time and workers. It will make the product reach to the consumer, in good quality, and desired quantity fast and at a low cost. Technology has extended producing opportunities and media offering as well as providing an entirely new way to look at existing marketing. This has resulted in changes in how marketers show information to clients as well as how and when customers receive the information to capitalize on this ever-changing environment marketing.
FLOW OF e-BUYING
FACTORS OF INFLUENCE e-BUYING
1. MULTI UTILITY OF IT
Multi utility of IT plays a vital role in consumer purchase behavior. Results of this factor states that consumers perceive that IT have multiple uses as reflected by the nature of variables loaded on this factor. Consumers think that sufficient information about the product is available on internet. It is easy to make payment online as various options are offer to consumers. To make the online purchase attractive various discounts are given by the organizations from time to time. Moreover the orders made by consumers to purchase can be booked easily. Online shopping has made the consumer techno savvy. Thus, consumers are of the view that to purchase by using IT has multi utility.
2. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
All the variables loaded on this factor have positive loading and indicates that most firms are using information technology to satisfy the customers as customer satisfaction is the ultimate motto. Basic structure of this factor suggests that customers are getting satisfaction over the purchase made by them using IT. By doing so they are in direct touch with the companies thereby having direct relationship. It also enables the customers to contact such companies any time and get information about pre purchase, products and post purchase so that they can purchase the product of their choice without cognitive dissonance. Thus, it can also be postulated that firms use IT as medium to maintain the relationship with customers, to satisfy their customers and get periodically feedback about its products/services.
3. SAVE COST
Nowadays consumers are of the opinion that information technology help in reducing cost and create awareness about latest products. They perceive that in comparison to traditional shopping online shopping is more beneficial in terms of cost associated with purchasing. Further they get more information and awareness regarding new products easily without any cost of searching elsewhere. Keeping in mind the nature of variables loaded on this factor it is named as save cost.
4. EFFECTIVE BUYING DECISIONS
The another important factor in the favor of using IT is effective buying decisions in terms of enhancing the confidence among customers, facilitating customers in their decision making, encouraging customer to purchase new products, etc. Thus, consumers purchase through online mode because of such encouragements, which is good for the companies as well.
5. REASONABLE PRICE
Consumer attitudes towards purchasing through online mode are further fueled by reasonable price as they can save cost of transportation to go to market. Consumers can make a comparison of prices of various products offered by companies and can decide to purchase the products having reasonable price. Even it is found that prices are comparatively less than traditional shopping. Thus, it can be inferred that reasonable price is one of the impact of IT due to which customer purchase products/ services frequently.
6. EASY OF USE
Purchase through online mode make the consumers efficient as they can save a lot of their time. It is also easy for them to get the product of their choice by making comparison among various products. Therefore, it can be said that IT has increased the efficiency of the consumers by saving time and cost that can be used elsewhere.
7. TIMELY DELIVERY
Another booster in the support of using IT in purchasing products/ services online is delivery of products well in time to customers. Online companies have strong supply chain enables them to make the product available to consumers well in time. Thus, it can be concluded that customers are highly influenced by IT as they get timely delivery of products/services.
8. MAINTAINING RECORDS
The variable loaded on this factor have very high positive loading and indicates that for consumers who go for shopping online, it is easy for them to maintain the records of bills and purchases, etc. Consumers give order of purchase online, get bills and all other related information online, thus maintaining records become routine. Moreover, there is no risk of losing the bills as it is not in physical form and data can be handled and stored easily for further use.
9 NO INTERMEDIARIES
As consumers are in direct touch with online companies therefore, products are directly delivered to consumer. Such direct contact between companies and consumers reduces the length of distribution channel leaving no or least scope for intermediaries. As a result it may save the time and cost for the consumers as well as companies. It also helps the consumers to make effective planning i.e. what to order and when to order so that they can get delivery of products at required time and place.
The fast expansion of Internet exercise and programmatic enhancement in the circle of IT has modified the way stock are acquired and marketed, resulting in an exponential expansion in the number of online buyers. Because of the numerous benefits of IT use to purchase products/ services, now more and more people prefer online shopping over conventional shopping. Present investigation reveals that consumers have overall positive image towards use of IT while making purchase. Consumers view IT as multi utility, customer satisfaction, save cost, effective buying decision, reasonable price, easy to use, timely delivery, maintaining records and no intermediaries which open the way of direct marketing. Thus, the value of IT as a prospective source of competitive advantage is clearly realized. Therefore, it is the need of hour for marketers to understand what motivate consumers to purchase online and what discourages them from doing so. The answer of this question will certainly help the corporate to expand their business beyond boundaries.