Undoubtedly the advent of e-Commerce has changed the way we, the customers, shop these days. In Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, in various product categories such as, Electronics, Footwear, Accessories or Books, e-Commerce is increasingly becoming the preferred channel for shopping. Obviously, shopping online saves a lot of time for us, but also is very convenient as we are able to see lot many products on our desks or devices itself, read the product reviews, ratings etc. - these are various parameters which helps us in deciding our purchase.
In earlier days, we used to decide which “Brick & Mortar” shop is giving higher discount or better services or is convenient to shop from, which is near to our place, which has a parking or does not have a parking facility. But now times have changed, with the focus shifting to e-Commerce platforms, their functioning, website look and feel, offers, freebies, delivery time etc, have come into the picture and the parameters to decide on which e-commerce platform to choose has also changed.
Our research “What intrigues you to buy from a specific e-Commerce platform” focuses on this area to find the factors which influence a buyer to purchase goods or services from a particular e-Commerce platform. Our team observed that despite of same prices for a product, customers choose to shop from say Flipkart and not from Amazon. in, probably then there are various factors apart from price which influence customers to purchase from a particular website.
We aspire to research on consumer decisions which influence them to eventually shop from one particular platform and not from other e-Commerce websites. Online shopping is on rise in India and is penetrating deep into tier 3 and rural cities. Below report shows the rate of growth of e-Commerce in different tiers of India. Looking at the great growth and opportunity ahead for Indian e-Commerce industry, it is now a need of time for e-Commerce platforms to work on their brand building and aggressively work on factors that supports customer retention more along with customer acquisition.
In e-Commerce space, there is almost no switching cost involved for buyers and there is huge bargaining power with the buyers which make it imperative for e-Commerce companies to identify the co-relation between purchasing decisions and various factors that customers takes into consideration to make that purchase from a particular platform.
Marketplace e-Commerce players are being funded from VCs, people of India now have an increased faith and fewer apprehensions about shopping online, goods and even services are now being bought online. The competition among e-Commerce players to grab a pie of market is an all time high currently.
With fierce competition around, we were prompted to study the factors that an e-Commerce company keeps in mind to keep their sales momentum going.
We went for a survey to analyze how demographic variables, website features, user friendliness in shopping, customer services, delivery methods and even minute details such as packaging, buying guides, authorised sellers etc. are considered by customers to decide the e-Commerce website from where they wish to shop.
Results and analysis of our survey will help e-Commerce players to observe the areas of improvement to enhance customer experience and stimulate their top line.
The above framework outlines the relationships which governs the perceived trust and finally culminates into participation in the e-commerce platforms. The findings in their research suggest that people are more likely to purchase from the web if they perceive a higher degree of trust in e-commerce and have more experience in using the web. Customer’s trust levels are likely to be influenced by the level of perceived market orientation, site quality, technical trustworthiness, and user’s web experience.
People with a higher level of perceived site quality seem to have a higher level of perceived market orientation and trustworthiness towards e-commerce. Furthermore, people with a higher level of trust in e-commerce are more likely to participate in e-commerce. Positive ‘word of mouth’, money back warranty and partnerships with well-known business partners, rank as the top three effective risk reduction tactics. These findings complement the previous findings on e-commerce and shed light on how to establish a trust relationship on the World Wide Web. Norizan M.
Kassim and Nor Asiah Abdullah (2008) investigate the impact of individual customer perceived quality on customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty in e-commerce companies. The research tries to establish a relation between role of customer satisfaction and trust in the customer purchase intention. The customers’ purchase intentions effects future profit of the firm and thus plays a critical role in managerial decision making. A study by Dianne, Kindra and Dash (2008) attempted to explore the relationship between e-loyalty, website design, trust and satisfaction in an Indian context.
Their study revealed significant preferences for the local website for almost all design categories. Further, the local site instilled greater trust, satisfaction, and loyalty. Data collected for this study were compared with parallel work conducted in four other countries using the same procedures. Sheshadri Tirunillai and Gerard Tellis (2014) proposed a unified framework to extract the dimension of quality from user-generated content (UGC), obtained from online user reviews; Ascertain the valence, validity, importance, dynamics, and heterogeneity.
Use these dimension for strategy analysis. The dimensions of quality are critical from consumer perspective and used by marketers and firms to evaluate brands. The model uses unsupervised latent Dirichlet allocation on a sample of UGC content. Gaps in Research Srini S Srinivasan, Rolph Anderson, Kishore Ponnavalu (2002) identify 8 factors affecting the e-loyalty, there are several variable unique to e-commerce purchase which has not been evaluated in the study. The research as such in a specific manner does not address roles of Brands in e-commerce.
There is also no consensus, in various studies performed, on the theoretical models employed to describe and predict brand behavior to showcase the customer behavior. This lack of a common theoretical framework suggests the need to develop an integrative model of the phenomenon in order to promote systematic investigation of its components and the online shopping process. The survey of related studies has revealed that there is very limited research in indentifying role of brands in the context of e-commerce purchase decisions.
Since customer relationships are built over time, research cannot fully capture the dynamic, interactive and linear nature of so many relationship variables. Moreover, research could be enhanced by expanding the current model. The role of cultural issues could be investigated to add further depth. The existing gap in research justifies the rationale of the study at hand. The present study has been conducted so as to reduce the existing gap in research in this important area.