Consumer behaviour in online shopping - understanding the role of regulatory focus.
The behaviour of consumers on the Internet is increasingly a focus of marketing research. In particular, consumers’ behaviour in online shopping, from adoption motivation to post-usage behaviour, has become a major focus of research in the field of marketing, especially within consumer behaviour. Yet it has been acknowledged that while aspects such as adoption and usage motivation are now better understood, there are many questions that remain unanswered, and this warrants continued research effort. In line with the above, this research addresses an issue in online consumer behaviour that is currently under researched and which relates to the role that the consumer’s regulatory focus trait plays in their manifested behaviour in online shopping. The research argues that it is important to understand the role of regulatory focus in online shopping because this psychological trait has been shown to affect other aspects of human behaviour such as in response to advertising, dieting and sports. Drawing upon research from consumer behaviour and the wider fields of marketing and psychology, this research proposes a number of hypotheses relating the consumer’s regulatory focus to her perception of online shopping, motivation for online shopping, and actual usage behaviour in a structural manner. The resulting structural equation model is then tested using empirical data obtained from 306 Internet shoppers in the United Kingdom. The results of the research confirm that regulatory focus has an influence on consumer behaviour in online shopping by affecting their perception, motivation and usage of online shopping. The research makes a unique contribution by demonstrating that regulatory focus is a valid and robust predictor of online shopping behaviour and behavioural outcomes, a conclusion which is relevant to both marketing research and marketing practice. Finally, the research identifies and recommends areas for future studies.
Principal Supervisor: Professor Bill Donaldson
Peter is currently a Lecturer at Aberdeen Business School. See his staff profile for information on his role, research interests, projects and publications.