Santa’s coming soon and who’s been naughty or nice may affect online shopping trends this Christmas.

A study published this year identified factors deterring students from online shopping (2012, M. Zendehdel & L. Paim).

Privacy, security and subjective norms were found to significantly influence the online shopping behaviours of young people.

While perceived security risk is known to influence consumers, it has shown particularly important for online markets. Risk perceptions are informed by uncertainty and online environments present greater uncertainty than previous commercial activities. Additionally, the study suggested online shopping involves matters of security and privacy unseen in traditional markets, such as researchers collecting data about consumers for studies like this one…

One earlier study into online shopping discovered that consumers will buy from online stores they didn’t feel positively towards, so long as the transaction presented low risk.

This study also found a significant link between subjective norms and student attitudes towards online shopping. It is suggested that opinions of those close to students, such as family and friends, strongly influence their willingness to explore online shopping. Subjective norms are defined as “the perceived social pressure to perform or not to perform the behavior” (2012, M. Zendehdel & L. Paim). The findings also showed a significant relationship between perceived risk and increased negative attitude towards online shopping in students: if secure transactions are not guaranteed, student online purchases tended to decrease.

The researchers recommend online stores develop a positive word-of-mouth reputation in order to grow brand awareness and encourage social reinforcement of online purchasing.

Additionally, online businesses should identify and resolve risks for consumers then develop and communicate security measures taken for how personal information is protected.

For students, the implementation of such measures means greater safety and comfort if they opt for an online shop, rather than walk around the block to shop until they drop.

Perceived risk of security and privacy in online shopping: A study of Malaysia context, 2012, Marzieh Zendehdel & Laily Hj Paim, Life Science Journal, Vol. 9, Iss. 4

Online Advocate/Australian Higher Education/Community Health/Youth Mental Health. Follow me on Twitter @writerinsight

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