Add an E-commerce Channel for Catalogers: Outcomes from Consumers' Perspective

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With internet and catalog as two main alternative channels, there is phenomenal growth in direct order marketing. Most research related to consumer choice of shopping channels emphasizes channel attributes and/or consumer characteristics. Since many retail formats, including online retailing, have emerged in recent years, knowledge of how consumers respond to channel addition must be understood. This article explains consumers' responses to catalogers' internet channel addition by introducing two outcome variables from consumers' perspectives. It is proposed that how consumers respond to catalogers' internet addition is on the basis of the relative benefits of internet shopping over catalog shopping. More specifically, this study investigates the influence of such perceived benefits on consumers' intention to substitute catalog shopping with internet shopping as well as on the generation of new demand from motivating existing customers to buy more and non-customers to become first-time buyers. Key results show that consumer perceived benefits of internet over catalog shopping have significant influence on channel substitution and new demand generation. Three perceived benefit factors (shopping ease, price, and shopping convenience) were positively related to the demand increase generated by the internet channel addition to catalog. All six perceived benefit factors (product display, shopping ease, product navigation, price, product selection, shopping convenience and the enjoyment of internet shopping) were positively related to consumers' intention to substitute catalog shopping with internet shopping. People who perceive higher benefits of internet shopping over catalog shopping are more likely to substitute catalog shopping with internet shopping. Enjoyment of internet shopping was positively related to all six perceived benefits factors except product selection. In the meantime, people who enjoy catalog shopping perceived less benefits of ease of shopping and product navigation efficiency brought by internet. The enjoyment of catalog shopping had a negative effect on the channel substitution. Furthermore, consumers' trust on catalogers' websites is positively affected by both the enjoyment of catalog and internet shopping and the amount of previous exposure to the catalogs. And such trust has a positive effect on generating new demand for the catalogers through the internet channel addition.




This article is the authors' final published version in Journal of Website Promotion, Volume 2, Issue 3-4, 2007, Pages 77-102.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/15533610802174961. Copyright © Informa UK Limited