Title page for ETD etd-11252008-120107

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author De Swardt, Maray Annelise
Email maraydeswardt@yahoo.com
URN etd-11252008-120107
Document Title Factors influencing the choice to shop online : a psychological study in a South African context
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr C Wagner Supervisor
  • Internet
  • South Africa
  • offline shopping
  • aspects influencing online shopping
  • reasons for shopping online
  • products least purchased online
  • products purchased most online
  • constructions
  • site recommendation
  • advantages of online shopping
  • qualitative research design
  • regularity of online shopping
  • social constructionism
  • online shopping
Date 2008-09-05
Availability unrestricted

As the Internet and online shopping is growing at a very fast pace worldwide, investigating this phenomenon within a South African context is crucial considering that it is a relatively new trend in this country. Typical of new trends and phenomena is the absence of research already conducted, resulting in a lack of existing literature. Very few studies have examined the factors and reasons that entice South Africans to utilise this modern shopping channel, and even less have used an in-depth, qualitative approach. To assist in filling this void, this research study examines people’s reasons for taking up or not taking up online shopping, from a South African perspective. A snowball sampling method was used to identify participants fitting the predetermined sample criteria and in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with all participants. The theoretical approach used in the analysis was social constructionism. Findings are presented by means of constructions identified during the data analysis, and these indicated that saving time, the convenience of products being increasingly available and accessible and being able to make price comparisons easily are the main advantages of online shopping. Main disadvantages were not being able to touch and feel products, and the absence of a salesperson. Limitations of the research are discussed, along with recommendations for online retailers and future research.

© University of Pretoria 2008

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