Virtualization of Indian retail market- Study of factors attracting Indian customer towards online shopping

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1 Virtualization of Indian retail market- Study of factors attracting Indian customer towards online shopping Pringal Soni Research Scholar Department of Business Administration University of Rajasthan Jaipur, India Abstract This paper presents the comparative study of factors influencing consumer behavior towards online shopping in Indian context. Online marketing becomes the key to open the lock of success for companies and online presence of the organization becoming inevitable. With many technical revolutions like affordable internet 3G connection, Data Modems, Smartphone s with internet connectivity, the number of customer buying products online is increased. The average time spending and connectivity with internet increased many folds. Here in this paper our objective is to study the factors which are responsible for attracting customer to shop online. The study is descriptive and analytical in nature. We choose a sample size of 150 Indian consumers from non probabilistic sampling. As they were heterogeneous on same parameter, we divided them into different strata through stratified sampling. To know the views and purchasing habits of online buyers, Primary data are collected from mailing questionnaire. The data were recorded using a Likert scale. Analysis and interpretation of the data were done by the Statistical Program for Social Science (SPSS). Keywords: - Online marketing, Internet marketing, online shopping. 1. Introduction Modern technical advancement in mobile and internet technologies brought lots of changes in the ways of marketing by retail firms. No matter how strong the brand name become, it s the way of marketing which makes their product soaring new heights or touching toes. Online shopping in India which is at a nascent stage is poised to witness significant growth in the next few years, with the industry likely to touch USD 34.2 billion by A new trend of selecting Internet for different marketing function has come up. Consumers are fully loaded with gadgets like I-pone, laptop, ipads with 24 hour internet connections. A new IBM study of 26,000 global consumers released at National Retail Federation convention found that customers are diversifying the way they shop for and acquire goods. They become increasingly open to buying both online and in-store depending on their needs at the time of purchase. Today s consumer is intelligent and opportunistic, navigating between brick and mortar store and online websites, interchangeably to meet their shopping needs of the moment. These advancements, Created a need of adopting new ways of marketing for retailers. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 116

2 Retailers have to create a consistent, convenient shopping experience across each consumer touch point, whether it is in store or online or website of a third party. In recent 2 years because of advancement in mobile phone technology and telecommunication sector, access to internet becomes very easy and affordable. Internet can be accessed through USB modem and mobile SIM and Wi-Fi in mobile phones. Total Internet Subscribers (excluding Internet Access by Wireless Phone Subscribers) become million 18. Along with it, It is estimated, that around 27 million (in India) are active mobile Internet users. These advancements leverages the use of the internet and online marketing for selecting internet as a marketing channel for marketing functions. Out of the approximate 125 million internet user base in India, the female population accounts for almost 40%, according to a joint study by apex industry body Assocham and ComScore. The study has observed that one out of every 10 Indians is online thereby making it about 10% online user penetration in India. "Interestingly, about 75% of the online audience between the age group of years, India is one of the youngest online demographic globally 24." The IBM study also found that nearly half of online purchases in studying categories resulted from showrooming, a burgeoning trend in which consumers browse goods at a store, but ultimately buy them online. In China, 26 % admitted to showrooming, compared with 13% in India and 7% in the United States 23. (Table No 1) ( Hundreds of websites currently are operating as e commerce host and many more to join yet. The significant growth in internet users in India reflects the evolving nature of the market and the Indian consumer. Scope in e-commerce is huge because of a large population base, changing consumer lifestyle and lack of infrastructure for retail malls and stores. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 117

3 More and more customer are becoming technically savvy and loaded with technical gadgets like smart mobiles, laptops, I pads. Internet connection becomes so pocket friendly and affordable to everyone. All these factors are clear indication of a boom in online selling figure and a new trend in Indian retail market. 2. Need and Motivation of The Study Indian retail industry is experiencing a swing in past trends and figures. Along with customer becoming more sophisticated and smart, retailers are investing in solutions that improve efficiency, better customer experience and business optimization to secure return on investment. This is also a way to differentiate from competition. Technological innovations enabled them to expand faster and provide them a better shopping experience. Adopting online selling is one of the practices adopted as a result. Thousands of enterprises have adopted this practice and number is increasing day by day. Different advertisement from online host companies like flipkart, Cleartrip, Ebay can be seen in different media channels. WebPages are flooded with alluring offers and discounts. These changes are result of change in preference of Indian customer, who now started considering shopping online as an option with in store shopping. As its just beginning, online selling carries the potential to become a game changer in Indian market. With these dynamics, a need to understand the factors which facilitate the decision of customer to shop online is felt. The study endeavors to find the factors which are most responsible to divert customer for online shopping. 3. Research Objectives and Hypothesis The study aims to find out the most important factors, which influence the customer to online shopping instead of in store shopping. Advancement in internet technology and increasing penetration of internet made us constructing following two general hypotheses as mentioned. The Null hypothesis (H 0 ) for the study is:.h 0 : the factors which help customers to take decision to shop random and uncorrelated. The alternative hypothesis for the study is: H A : the factors which help customers to take decision to shop are specific and correlated. 4. Research Design For our Primary research Objective to understand the The views of Indian consumer towards online marketing, we have done analytical research. We gathered data from the sample by questionnaire. Samples with account of hundred (150) were selected from Jaipur city in Rajasthan state. Considering coverage of relevant occupation, age group, social class and benefit sought, samples were selected by probabilistic sampling. As the samples were heterogeneous on these parameters, they were divided into different strata through stratified sampling. As the objective was confided to know the perception of people who use the internet, only those samples were selected who were using the internet. Students of age group and Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 118

4 adult of age group were selected as they are the most prominent one to use the internet. These samples were spread in different occupation like students Professional, Govt. Servant, Self employed and corporate executive. The secondary data was collected through books, journals and data published by TRAI and other website whose reference is appended. a. Segmentation and Sample design. TABLE-2 GEOGRAPHICAL F1 Region Jaipur Rajasthan F2 Density Urban/Metro DEMOGRAPHIC F1 Age S S F2 Occupation S1 S2 S3 S4 Professional Businessman Govt. Employee Student F3 Gender S1 S2 Male Female BEHAVIORAL F1 Occasion Regular Special F2 Benefit Price Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 119

5 Busy F3 User Status Potential Regular Ex User F- Represent the factor on the basis of which segmentation is done. S- Represent strata. Primary data has been collected through well-structured questionnaire, and the relevant data has been collected. 5. Determination of Data Analysis Method In the first part of the study, Factor analysis (Beri 2009) was done to find out the important factors that make consumer to shop online. To find out the most important factor, a list of factors is made and each respondent was asked to rate them according to their importance in their decision for online shopping, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the least and 5 being the most important). These were the factors which were alluring customer to shop online. We listed the attributes of the particular factor and respondent were asked to rate them according to the importance in their buying decision on the scale of 1 to 5. Factors responsible to attract consumer to shop online. 1. Unawareness/ unavailability of seller in a niche market: - In in-store shopping, customer has to inquire about the availability of the product with the seller. Sometime he does not know that where he will get the product. This condition may arise because of absence of seller in approachable location or awareness about his presence. In this case customer prefers to shop online, where he can book the product via a few mouse clicks. 2. Variety:- Customer may shop online because of a large variety of product are available with distinct price range and brands. 3. Quality Assurance: - With the proper description of manufacturer, seller and brand, customer is assured about the quality of product he gets. 4. Convenience: - Online shopping is very convenient in comparing to in store shopping, in respect to the effort required to select and purchase the product. 5. Time saving: - Busy schedule and hectic lifestyle become one of the prominent reason to divert customer to shop online. 6. Influence of advertisement: Molding to changing dynamics of the market, online host companies started advertising in different media channels. This becomes one of the factor to switch the customer to online shopping. 7. Price: - With saving on a different important front like physical infrastructure, middle man commission, online host companies can pass on this saving to customer in the Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 120

6 form of slashed prices. This becomes a very important factor to allure customers for online shopping. 8. Proper Product Information:- All authenticate and detail information about products is provided for every product. This eliminates false promises and disguise of negative points from sales representatives. Along with this customer can compare all options in single screen on all fronts. This facilitates customer to make a right and informed decision. 9. Instant offers and discounts: - while surfing online customer encounter with lots of lucrative offers and heavy discounts. This allures him to make an instant decision to place an order. Factor analysis was used here to understand the interdependence amongst the factors. Bartlett s test of spherecity was used to test the hypotheses. KMO statistics was also used to measure the appropriateness of the factor analysis. In the second part of the study, various motivators were studied by using percentage analysis. The respondents were asked to name the motivator from the given list which motivates them to do online shopping then shopping in store. 6. Data Analysis The data collected was analyzed with SPSS 15 for factor analysis which shows the Kaiser- Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy was.510, Which was greater than 0.5 (Table-3). The KMO value justified the adequacy of data for the research. The Bartlett test of sphere city also suggested that there were low chances of obtaining results if the null hypothesis was true. Hence we reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis i.e. the factors which help customers to take decision to shop are specific and correlated. The significance value of 0.00 suggests that there is a correlation of variable with each other. TABLE-3 KMO and Bartlett's Test Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved Bartlett's Test of Sphericity Approx. Chi-Square Df 36 Sig..000 Table 4 and 5 represent eigen values associated with each linear component (factor) after extraction and after rotation. Out of nine linear components, SPSS identified four, whose eigen values were approx one and table shows the percentage of variance shown by them. It shows that there is a significant drop in eigen values from the 5 th component onwards. Hence

7 the first fourth components were considered, which together constitute % of total variance. TABLE-4 Total variance Explained Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Component Total % of Variance Cumulative % Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings TABLE-5 Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings Total % of Variance Cumulative % Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. After extracting the eigen values, Varimox rotation was applied to selected variables. The factor loading of nine variables is then observed and the variables were clubbed into four factors. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 122

8 TABLE-6 Rotated Component Matrix a Component Seller Info Variety Quality Convenience Time-saving Advertisement Price Product info Offering Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation converged in 6 iterations. Factor 1: The factors which load highly on component one are concerned with cost incurred by the customer. That s why we might label them as a cost factor. Price Offering Factor 2: The factors which load highly on component two are concerned with convenience to customer in the shopping. That s why we might label them as shopping convenient factor. Convenience Time Saving Product Information/Comparison Factor 3: The factors which load highly on component three are concerned product variety and their comparison between available options. That s why we might label them as product factors Variety Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 123

9 Quality Factor 4: The factors which load highly on component four are concerned with visibility and information of seller in the market. That s why we might label them as Sellers information factor. Seller Reach/Info Advertisement The above can be consider as the magnet for attracting customer online as according to the value the extent to the customer they can be named as 1. Cost Factors: - As sub factor Price of product and offerings to customers (Discounts and other) are closely related actually related to the cost of product to the customer. 2. Convenience Factor: - Convenience of shopping without going out, Saving valuable time and getting detailed product information and on screen comparison between available option are three sub factors. They all are concerned with the overall convenience and a better shopping experience with a customer, so they are grouped together and named as a convenience factor. 3. Product Assurance: Availability of a wide variety of brands and range to choose from and assurance of quality are concerned with the product, so they are clubbed together in one group and named product assurance. 4. Seller visibility: - Awareness about the presence of the seller and information related to offers by advertisement are related to seller introduction. Both sub factors are grouped together and given named seller visibility. The nine factors are clubbed in four categories considering the similar nature of sub factors. These four categories are then analyzed to find their influence in attracting customer to shop online. 7. Findings In the changing dynamics of the market tough there are so many factors which directly and indirectly influence the decision of buying the product and services online. A careful study of the market data reveals that benefit related to the cost of product become the most important factor for online shopping by consumers. As online host companies can save of many fronts when compared to retail stores, they can afford to pass on these savings to the customer in terms of price. A new trend of show rooming (trend in which consumers browse goods at a store, but ultimately buy them online) is also seen in the Indian market. Recent increase in internet connections new technologies like 3G data services and Data modems, Smart Phone, mobile marketing increased the average time spent on surfing. The customer comes across with a lot of irresistible discount and offers in terms of price that provokes him to place an order. Convenience of shopping sitting at home, saving valuable time, getting detailed product information and comparison of available option on a single screen. These become few important factors come second in line to influence customer for shopping online. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 124

10 Availability of a wide variety of products and brands, quality assurance (Backed by warranty and guarantee, Money back, customer helpline) proved themselves as third most important factor for online shopping. Unavailability and unawareness about the seller in approachable niche market, Influence of advertisement regarding seller s services, offers, availability of product and services online becomes the fourth most important factor to allure customer for online shopping. 8. Suggestions As the dynamics of the Indian retail market are changing and internet very fast becoming the preferred market place, it's become necessary for companies to be active on the internet Today the customer has become very sophisticated and smart, needs maximum values for money along with a better shopping experience. A company has to be ready for both fronts. Price and offers become the most important factors which can attract customers to a great extent and convenience factors like cash on delivery, free shipping, and customized attention make the buying decision more compact. More and more people are accessing the internet through mobile so a mobile version of the site as well as promos should be initiated by the company. Companies should start initiate promoting the websites and web addresses as it becomes the official address and biggest point of sales for them. 9. Conclusion The dynamics of Indian retail are changing. A number of online selling companies are hatching up. Consumer become very smart and price savvy. He keeps shuffling between in store and online shopping. A good shopping experience and value for money becomes the initial motivation for choosing shopping destination. With the advancement in internet technology, the connectivity of customer to internet becomes very easy. With lot of pros with comparison to in store shopping, customer started purchasing online. Price and offer s become the first most important factors to attract customer to shop online. The customer also seeks convenience in shopping, which he gets as in terms of shopping sitting at home, saving time, wide variety, prompt delivery, cash on delivery, money back guarantees, well established customer service centers. These reasons become enough to attract him for online shopping. They become the second most factor to allure customer for online shopping. Retailer need to mold themselves to adopt new technologies and provide their customers a perfect shopping experience. As online selling is only in the initial stage, the scope in India is very wide. New technological advancement become a boon for online selling companies and portals which in turn getting a better response for their internet advertising and online purchasing figures increased many folds. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 125

11 10. References 1. Naresh K Malhotra etal, (2009). Marketing researchfifth edition, Pearson education. Delhi 2. David Whitley (2001), E commerce- Strategy techniques and application, Tata McGraw Hills, New York. 3. C.R. Kothari (2004), Research Methodology, Second edition, New age international, Delhi. 4. Andy Field (2005), Discovering statistics using SPSS, Second edition, Sage publication, New Delhi. 5. Bellman, S., Lohse, G., & Johnson, E. (1999). Predictors of online buying behavior. Communications of the ACM, 2 (12), pp A. Ant OzokJuneWei, An empirical comparison of consumer usability preferences in online shopping using stationary and mobile devices: results from a college student population, Electronic commerce research, Springer Netherlands, pp , Volume Bellman, S., Lohse, G. And Johnson, E. (1999) Predictors of online buying behavior, Communications of the ACM, 42 (12), KanwalGurleen, (2012).Consumer s perception towards online shopping- the case of Punjab, International Journal of Management & Information Technology, Volume 1, No Parsuraman A. (2002). Marketing to and Serving Customers through the Internet: An Overview and Research Agenda.Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. 30(4), Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Todd, P. A. (1997). Consumer reactions to electronic shopping on the World Wide Web. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 1, Peterson, R. A., Balasubramanian, S., &Bronnenberg, B. J. (1997). Exploring the implications of the Internet for consumer marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25, Huang, M. (2000) Information load: its relationship to online exploratory and shopping behavior. International Journal of Information Management 20: Adjei, M. T., Noble, S. M., & Noble, C. H. (2010). The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behavior. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. 14. Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Fine, A., & Goldstein, A. (2004). The impact of Internet interactivity and need for closure on consumer preference. Computers in Human Behavior, Balabanis, G., Reynolds, N., &Simintiras, A. (2006). Bases of e-store loyalty: Perceived switching barriers and satisfaction. Journal of Business Research, Barkhi, R., Belanger, F., & Hicks, J. (2008). A model of the determinants of purchasing from virtual stores. Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, Becerra, E. P., &Korgaonkar, P. K. (2011). Effects of trust beliefs on consumers online intentions. European Journal of Marketing, 45. Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 126

12 Web References 1. The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report (Sept 2012), retrieved from Link,( orts%20-%20sep_2012.pdf) 2. Annual report for Indian telecom sector. ( 3. Statistics for internet user s in India ( 4. Internet Telecommunication union website 5. Internet and mobile association of India, ( 6. Online Shopping Gains Traction In India: Study, ( 7. Females account for 40% of total internet users in India: Study, (2012, Oct 27). The Times of India, ( 27/internet/ _1_online-travel-agents-online-retailers-travel-category). 8. Online shopping in India could touch $34 billion by (2012, Dec 16), The Economic Times, Retrieved from ( 18-com-ceo-e-commerce-consumer-lifestyle). Global Wisdom Research Publications All Rights Reserved. 127

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