E-tailing : factors considered in the strategic marketing of an online store
Du Toit, Adam Jacobus
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The study investigated the cognitive opinions expressed by consumers in an online shopping environment in the sport supplementation industry as well as the influence certain factors identified through literature, had on the decision-making of these consumers. This was done in an attempt to better understand the online consumer in order to improve marketing campaigns within an e-Commerce environment. Primary data was collected by means of a snowball sampling strategy. Respondents were asked to complete an online questionnaire that consisted of 68 questions. 118 respondents initialized the online questionnaire and 102 fully completed it. Initial analysis proved the data to be sufficient for factor analysis where after confirmatory factor analysis was performed. A new framework to measure influential factors in an online environment was established. 6 out of 10 factors were found to contain sub-groups of influence which suggests that certain questions pertaining to those factors need improvement or rephrasing in order to measure the stand-alone factor more accurately. The reliability of all the factors was measured adequately, noting that Service Quality, Product Risk and Vendor Familiarity could be improved by further developing their underlying variables. Overall it was concluded that Price and Convenience were seen as the greatest motivational factors when a consumer decided to shop online, and Vendor Familiarity and Website Usability were regarded as two crucial components in the comfort level portrayed by consumers while shopping online. Trust and Security were also pointed out to be a major concern for online shoppers in a South African context. The findings of this study are of great value to entrepreneurs and businesses alike seeking to expand or increase their product offering into an online environment. Given the research results from this study and future studies on this topic, marketing strategies can be constructed more precisely in order to reach a target audience in an optimum and more productive manner.