Factors influencing online purchase intention: the case of health food consumers in Thailand

Leelayouthayotin, Lackana (2004) Factors influencing online purchase intention: the case of health food consumers in Thailand. Other thesis, University of Southern Queensland.

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Abstract

The advent of the Internet, accompanied by the growth of related technologies, has created a significant impact on the lives of people around the globe. For marketers, one of the most significant impacts has been the emergence of virtual stores that sell products and services online. Consumers can now purchase goods and services virtually anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without geographical and temporal boundaries. While many marketers acknowledge the importance of using the Internet in their marketing mixes, little research has empirically tested the critical factors that influence an individual's decision when buying products or services online. Based on the gaps found in the literature, this study was designed to investigate factors that encourage and discourage purchase intention of consumers when buying health foods online in Thailand. The study also examined the relative importance of such factors. Thus, the research problem investigated in this thesis is: What are the important factors influencing consumer's online purchase intention of health foods in Thailand? The specific objectives of this research were not only to identify and explore the relative importance of factors, but also to develop a model to investigate the factors influencing purchase intention of consumers when buying health foods online in Thailand. This research was designed in three stages covering both exploratory and explanatory research. The exploratory stage covering stage one and two, started by reviewing the existing literature relating to behaviors and attitudes when consumers buy products online. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis (1989) was selected as a theoretical framework to build a conceptual model for this study. In addition to the two original constructs in the TAM model, namely, perceived usefulness (POU) and perceived ease of use (EOU), the literature review suggested three additional constructs. These were perceived risk (PR), customer experience (CE), and product and company attributes (PCA). Four focus groups were conducted in stage two to gain consumer insights in order to understand, refine and develop the final model and hypotheses to be confirmed and tested in the explanatory research. Finally, the modified TAM model and eleven hypotheses were proposed to explain and test the behavioral intention of health food consumers when buying health foods online in Thailand. In the explanatory stage, which forms the major portion of this research, an online survey was conducted with responses from 786 consumers taken from the Cerebos customer database. All respondents had used both health foods and the Internet during the past 12 months. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to explore and test the suitability of data collected from the survey. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was chosen to confirm the measurement model in this study because it offered a mechanism to validate the relationships between constructs and indicators by using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and tested the relationships among constructs by using path analysis. All five constructs in the model exhibited high levels of reliability, validity and produced the final measurement and structural models. Nine out of eleven hypotheses were accepted and two were rejected. In addition, six propositions were also found in this study. Similar to prior research, the results in this study indicated that perceived usefulness (POU) was a powerful determinant and the strongest predictor of behavioral intention. It was the only construct that showed a significant positive and direct effect on purchase intention with no indirect effect involvement. Customer experience (CE) was the second most important factor in this study. The customer experience itself, did not have any direct effect on purchase intention but demonstrated a significant positive and indirect effect on purchase intention. Perceived risk (PR) was the third most important factor in this study. Similar to customer experience, perceived risk did not have any direct effect but it demonstrated a significant negative and indirect effect on purchase intention. Perceived ease of use (EOU) and product and company attributes (PCA) were found to have little effect on behavioral intention in this study. Similarly to previous studies, the two original constructs in the TAM model, perceived usefulness (POU) and perceived ease of use (EOU), were found to be mediating factors of other constructs in influencing purchase intention (PI), in this study. In summary, forty effective measurement items were identified and confirmed to be associated with fourteen factors under these five constructs in the structural model. Variety of choices was the most effective item of measurement for perceived usefulness (POU), while modern personality, product assurance, trusted company and simple order procedure were found to be the most effective measurement items for customer experience (CE), perceived risk (PR), product and company attributes (PCA), and perceived ease of use (EOU), respectively. All of these factors demonstrated statistically significant high factor loadings on the relevant constructs. The findings from this research provide useful information for corporate management, and marketers in prioritizing and allocating their resources in terms of manpower, investment, marketing effort, and time to improve the impact of these constructs, all of which will ultimately enhance the possibility of consumers buying health foods online. Results from this study are beneficial to Web developers in designing attractive and effective Web sites or homepages to draw consumer's attention when buying products online. Cost of using the Internet should be reduced to make it more competitive and affordable to wider population. In addition, these findings are also useful to the Thai government in designing and drafting an Internet policy to enhance the scope and development of e-commerce and online business in Thailand. This dissertation concluded by identifying opportunities for future research. These were addressing the delimitations of scope, further testing and validation of the measurement scales, measurement of actual buying behavior, adding demographic and psychographics variables into the model, conducting longitudinal observation, and last but not least, the application of the modified TAM model to other consumer products in the Thai context.


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Item Type: Thesis (Non-Research) (Other)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) (Pre-2008) thesis. The DBA as accredited from 1998 to 2007 was a professional doctorate with both coursework and research dissertation components.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:16
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: online consumers, internet purchasing, e-business, online marketing, health food consumers, Thailand
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/149

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