What makes customers shop online?

Na Li, Ping Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

3 Scopus citations


Electronic commerce customer relationship management (e-CRM) has become a fundamental research area, as business-to-customer e-commerce (B2C) is growing at a phenomenal rate. Among the many issues eCRM addresses, one question is often asked: "What makes customers shop online?" Thorough understanding of this issue will help an electronic store become more competitive. A good number of studies have been conducted to answer this question. These studies seem to take diverse perspectives and investigate various aspects of the phenomenon, yet few have drawn coherent pictures of the dynamics. The objective of this chapter is to draw such a picture. To fit the theme of advances in MIS, we conduct an analytical review of the IS literature on B2C online shopping behavior at the level of the individual. We develop a classification of research variables and a framework to provide an overview of the state of the art of this area and to point out limitations and directions for future research. The results show that one's online shopping intention, behavior, and satisfaction are significantly associated with one's beliefs about and affective reactions to e-commerce/e-stores and one's attitudes toward online shopping. In addition, external environment, demographics, personal characteristics, and e-store characteristics have significant effects on customers' shopping intention, behavior, and satisfaction, either directly or mediated by beliefs, affect, and attitudes. Needed for future research are a common theoretical framework, widely accepted instruments, and consistency in terminology to allow comparing results across studies and to accumulate knowledge. We also call for more research effort in customer satisfaction and affective reactions, which have not received adequate attention despite their fundamental roles in customers' online shopping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectronic customer relationship management
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781315704883
ISBN (Print)9780765613271
StatePublished - May 15 2015


  • Affective reaction
  • Consumer attitude
  • Consumer behavior
  • Consumer belief
  • Consumer intention
  • ECRM
  • Electronic commerce customer relationship management
  • Empirical study
  • Internet shopping
  • Online shopping
  • Satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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