A Comparison of Online Shopping Behavior of American and German Consumers

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GRIN Verlag, Jan 13, 2010 - Business & Economics - 89 pages
Diploma Thesis from the year 2004 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 2,7, University of Duisburg-Essen, language: English, abstract: “A profound shift in the economy is underway - the industrial age economy is rapidly giving way to the Internet age economy.“1 Four years after the New Economy crash the Internet Economy is booming and hopes that mobile offers will further increase the speed.2 With the number of online sales for goods and services increasing every day3, online shopping - with sales growth rates outpacing traditional retailing purchases - has become one of the fastest growing forms of shopping4. The statement above explains the reason why the term Electronic Commerce has kept both business research and business practice as occupied as barely any other term, in the last years.5 Warren D. Raisch writes about this shift in the economy that “the global development and acceptance of the Internet as the new standard for communication and commerce provides us with a powerful new global Internet-based E-Business network (...).“6 Realizing that we live in a global marketplace with international trade7 additionally pushed by the Internet, companies face a stronger competition and the need to create more value for customers than their competitors. In this context, it is important for companies to realize that, through the Internet, there is a power shift to the customer. Furthermore, as customers will demand and tolerate only delightening buying experiences, it is a necessity to capture and analyze information about buying behavior in the 21st century business.8 When talking about E-Commerce, which is a part of Electronic Business (E-Business), describing the sale of goods and services via the Internet targeting a mass market9, the following two areas have to be differentiated: Business-to-Cus- tomer (B2C) E-Commerce, meaning the settlement of buying contracts between a commercial seller and an end-consumer via electronic media, and Business-to-Business (B2B) E-Commerce, describing the same action but between two commercial business partners. 10 11 In this paper, the focus lies on B2C E-Commerce as this is the most interesting area regarding marketing.12 13 Therefore, to better understand the online purchase behavior of private consumers, in the frame of the following analysis the influencing factors of shopping over the Internet are examined. Since determining the factors influencing online shopping behavior also discovers those factors hindering the usage of the Internet as a shopping platform, suggestions to improve and adjust online offers appropriately can be made.14

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