Read the brief carefully please answer the question I highlight it and read the Important information as well all the references it should be Academic journal articles no other sources accept Academic Journal articles please do as best as you can Write it in academic way I’m looking to get from 60% to 70% second class. use in text citation each page should have 3 or 4 references at least age read the attachment carefully everything is there it is a Harvard referencing style. the question which the you need to answer it in 2000 words it is in the first page in the attachment second page. the important information you need to follow it and read the marking criteria as well.
Consumer Behavior among E-customers
Development in information technology, especially computers and the Internet, has changed many aspects of life, including how people do business, selling, and buying. The emergence of the Internet is the main driving force behind the rise of e-commerce services, commonly used by buyers and sellers globally (Laudon & Traver, 2016). Countries globally have embraced the power of the electronic platforms for marketing and buying goods and services. E-commerce platforms are beneficial to sellers since they can reach a wide range of customers from anywhere globally, and consumers can access numerous sellers with a wide choice of products and services to purchase. They provide a chance to export products with a high level of efficiency. The emergence of e-commerce has given rise to the concept of e-customer, who is different from the traditional customer who purchased goods and services from brick-and-mortar settings. Regardless of any controversy surrounding the usage of the term, the e-customer is real with significant differences from the traditional customer based on the influences and motivations of individuals to shop online.
To understand the concept of the e-customer, a basic definition of a customer is necessary. Gaile-Sarkane (2008) suggests that the idea of customer emanates from “custom”, which means “habit.” The term suggests a person who is used to doing something as a custom or habit, which is difficult to break. The word indicates an individual who frequents a place, such as a shop, to buy goods and one that the seller maintains a close relationship to gain loyalty. A customer is a person or a household that buys goods or services produced within an economy. However, to purchase a good or service, it must satisfy needs, different for diverse customers. Regardless of the differences, understanding customers and their needs are essential for marketers to sell their goods or services and generate revenue and profits. Effective marketers learn and target customers and their motivations to purchase one product or service over another (Rowe, Chullen, & Kirchoff, 2016). Marketers in traditional and online settings should know their target market and what influences their buying decision and consumer behavior.
E-consumers can also be defined as online consumers since they make their buying decisions and complete their actions on online platforms. The concept of e-customer emanates from the electronic environment in determining a customer as a person who buys products from online platforms instead of the physical shop (Muther, 2012). Many companies have adopted the e-commerce model and seeks customers to buy their products and services. E-customer relationship management is a related concept that suggests the relationship between the customer and marketers that occur electronically. The process involves collecting data about customer behavior, information processing, and customer interactions that involve information technology (Lazakidou, Ilioudi, & Siassiakos, 2008). Considerable information is available to the e-customer since information technology supports the creation, collection, storage, and retrieval of customer-related data. Like in physical or brick-and-mortar settings, marketers should understand the motivations or influences of customers who decide to shop online instead of using traditional means. Therefore, current research compares consumer behavior among e-customer as compared to traditional customers.
Consumer Behavior Theories
Theories of consumer behavior have been used about the traditional customer, but they also reflect the buying decisions of the e-customer. Two of the commonly used theories are the Theories of Planned Behavior and Reasoned Action. The two are related since the theory of planned behavior was proposed to address the shortcomings of the theory of reasoned action in addressing how people make the decision to interact with a product or service through a buying decision (Montaño & Kasprzyk, 2015). The theories’ theoretical premises are that a person’s will and control determine behavior, suggesting that the primary determinant of behavior and action intends to execute a specific action. Intentions indicate how hard an individual is willing to perform a behavior, such as buying a product or service (Dakduk et al., 2017). Therefore, theorists seek to understand the probability of a person to execute a behavior about marketing, whether online or in traditional settings. First, they know the attitude towards a behavior, whether it is negative or positive, determined by the person’s attitude towards the object or target of the behavior. Even in the online setting, customers execute a behavior based on the consequence of the action and the motivation to meet a need.
Consumer Behavior in E-commerce Settings
The emotions and opinions of the e-customer are different from those of traditional customers due to the lack of physical interactions. Customers in the online setting have to adapt and change their behavior in response to the product’s lack of physical contact before the purchase. Besides, the perceptions of the two types of customers regarding the quality of products differ (Eid, 2011). Most e-customers have clear expectations from the product or service they are willing to pay for without seeing. They also rely in information from others’ reviews to determine the item’s quality and ability to meet their needs. Besides the access to information by e-customers, another theory that determines their behavior online is technology acceptance theory, which has a direct relationship with the customer’s intention to purchase a product or service online (Dakduk et al., 2017). Customers who have accepted online marketing as a technology are more likely to buy an item from the environment than those who have not accepted the environment as a reliable source of products or services.
Differences between E-customer and Traditional Customer
Various factors influence customer decisions and behavior in the online environment and differ from the physical setting. Online shopping is evolving technologically, creating the need to comprehend the influences of e-customer decision-making. According to Reichheld and Schefter (2014), companies in competitive markets should learn what the customer is looking for to create loyalty and lasting relationships. The information is critical to customize their products and services to the needs of their target customers. Marketers should realize that customers have a wide range of choices in the online environment. Their loyalty can easily shift from one organization to another if they perceive that their needs are unmet. Unfortunately, the possibility of creating loyalty depends on the interplay of the product, customer, and the environment (Li et al., 2015). For example, the customer should perceive the product quality and convenience to purchase from the online environment. They also utilize user feedback to perceive information access and efficiency when deciding to purchase a product from the online setting, unlike when purchasing from the physical environment.
Research indicates that what motivates the customer to buy online might be completely different from physical stores’ motivating factor. Therefore, the behaving model in the online setting is different from the brick-and-mortar environment. Various factors influence the buying decision, some of which are similar to others different from the physical environment’s motivating factors. Value creations determine the behavior of a customer when interacting with a marketer or seller. “Time, distance, relationships, interaction, and product, as well as efficiency, effectiveness, and strategic” are key factors in the value creation process (Gaile-Sarkane, 2008, 257). The source of value for customers in the online environment differs from those in traditional settings. For example, while the e-customer seeks convenience, the traditional customer desires physical access to evaluate the product before purchasing. Therefore, marketers should learn the differences to ensure that they provide their customers with what they seek when making a purchase decision. They should make all information available for customers to use to make the purchase decision.
Influence from the online community is critical in customer behavior in online settings. The e-customer seeks to review other users in the online environment before deciding to purchase a product or service. Online communities provide user feedback that helps others decide whether to purchase or avoid a product or service (Flanagin et al., 2011). The unique component is the place where e-commerce meets the customer and makes transactions with them. As a result, the e-customer is influenced by a company, brand, or product that delivers the value that it promises the client, from the user’s perspective (Gaile-Sarkane, 2008). Reliability and convenience play a vital role in the online environment than in the physical setting due to the company’s need to create trust with the customer and deliver ordered goods reliably and conveniently. Trust is the critical factor in the satisfaction of the e-customer and the potential to build customer loyalty.
Social motivations play a crucial role in online shopping than in traditional shopping environment. Social experiences outside the home, interactions with other people in the online setting, and authority and status are among the variables informing the shopping behavior of e-customers. The online shopper seeks to raise the standard in the eyes of other individuals and groups, such as colleagues or online communities, which informs their possibility of purchasing the product or service online (Gaile-Sarkane, 2008). Besides, the online environment has a trail of information on buyers, which people use to create social status when they purchase a product or service online. The social and personal motives buying products online provide important information to marketers who can use it to meet their target customers’ needs to improve their potential to buy their products or use their services (Koo, Kim, & Lee, 2008). Such companies are most likely to attract and retain e-customers.
Information processing theory plays a critical role in consumer behavior, especially in deciding about what and where to buy a product or service. Consumer behavior literature focuses on how consumers process information and use it in the decision-making process. According to Hardesty and Bearden (2009), information processing affects product evaluation, search, behavioral intention, and the final decision. While the information processing theory applies to both the e-customer and the traditional customer, it differs due to the differences in the type and source of information individuals use to make the purchase decision. Online marketers generate and manage a lot of information that customers can easily access and make purchase decisions. For example, Gaile-Sarkane (2008) elucidates that e-customer interaction management supports the management of consumer interactions through social media, e-mail, or Web-based processing interaction “channels”. The same means provide e-customers with more information than traditional customers to make purchase decisions.
The information era, which is when the e-customer is born and operates, has two critical dimensions related to the customer. The first dimension is “Richness”, which is the information quality as the customer defines, as defined by bandwidth, customization, accuracy, currency, security, and relevance. Customers in the online community decide how to relate with a company, product, or service by considering the richness of the available information. The dimension differs from the traditional environment since the customer in the physical environment is not so concerned about the richness of information. The second dimension is “reach”, which suggests the number of individuals who share the information (Kim, Ferrin, & Rao, 2008). Unlike in the physical environment, users agree that information access and usage play a key role in the online setting’s decision-making process. The information is useful to the client to make the purchase decision and help the marketer analyze and forecast consumer behavior.
Decision-making in the online environment requires more customer trust and loyalty than the traditional shopping setting. Customers decide to purchase the product without a personal touch, which informs customer trust, satisfaction, and loyalty. Research reveals that customers buy more from online platforms that have served them in the past and proven to have a good track record (Hidayat, Saifullah, & Ishak, 2016). Besides, those shopping from a platform for the first time are apprehensive and lack complete trust until they have made an initial purchase, and the company delivers. Therefore, to affect customer decision-making, companies have to build customer satisfaction and trust (Kim, Ferrin, & Rao, 2008). Customers seek various types of information to decide whether to interact with a company, such as privacy and security, customer service quality, website user interface quality, and quality of information. Unlike in the traditional environment in which the customer visits the store to physically check the product of service, in the online setting, the customer seeks the information from the website, app, or social media to make the final decision. Information seeking and processing are more critical to e-customers than traditional ones.
The online shopping experience has become critical to customers and marketers due to the growth in information technology, especially computers, and the Internet. Customers in the information age are seeking convenience in most of their interactions and experiences, including experience. As a result, e-commerce has become increasingly popular among customers globally. The increase in e-commerce platforms has generated research interest to understand what motivates customers to buy from the platforms instead of the physical stores. The e-customer concept is real and differs from the traditional ones. They are inspired by the need for convenience and reliability and the social pressure available online. They seek and access vast amounts of information from traditional customers when deciding to buy a product or service. They seek trust and satisfaction to build loyalty and keep returning to the seller for more products or services. Thus, marketers should use the information to create products and services targeted to the e-customer needs. They should research customers’ needs and desires in the online environment and motivate them to buy online instead of physical stores.
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