Management Research

BU7002 Management Research Methods

1 Title

To determine the online buying behaviour of the customers in India

2 Aims and Objectives

The aim of this research is to evaluate the buying behaviour of the customers on online media in India. To achieve this aim, the following objectives will be accomplished on completion of this study:

  • To determine the factors those have a significant impact on the online buying behaviour of customers: In context of India
  • To assess the impact of the identified factors on the online buying behaviour of customers: In context of India
  • To determine the challenges in promoting online buying behaviour among customers: In context of India
  • To suggest the ways to overcome challenges and promote online buying behaviour among customers

3 Background Context and/or Problem Statement

The increasing use of technologies including internet and smartphones has the raised the number of the buyers who utilize these technologies to purchase the products and services across the globe. Firms utilize the internet for attracting new customers and maintaining the existing customers.

The online customers get a lot of advantages through online way of purchasing cost saving, convenience, no need to moving stores, time saving, etc. that make it favourite to purchase through this mode (Chincholkar & Sonwaney, 2017).

Advertisers also use the online source to determine the needs and requirements of the customers and their buying patterns and habits that make it popular among them for promoting their brands.

In context of India, it is becoming very popular to use the internet by the customers to purchase the products and services. As per an ASSOCHAM-Resurgent joint study, in 2017, 108 million consumers did online shopping while it is expected that in 2018, the number has crossed 120 million customers showing the popularity of the online shopping among the Indian consumers (The Economic Times, 2018).

It means the growth of e-commerce in India is gradually increasing with the increasing opportunities through technological advancements gradually including 3G, 4G, and WIFI connections. The online purchasing provides easiness in purchasing and selling over internet that has also shifted the people from the conventional shopping to innovative shopping.

At the same time, people also have numerous choices to purchase on the internet that helps them to incline towards the online shopping due to getting comfort and convenience (Kothari & Maindargi, 2016).  Apart from this, the people choose the online shopping for determining the product information, analyzing the cost of different products range and knowing the opinions and reviews of other customers on the products and services.

However, Indian is a fast growing emerging Asian market showing opportunities for the e-commerce but current active e-commerce penetration in India is near 28% as it means there are a lot of possibilities for the improvement (Statista, 2018).

Several studies have been conducted for the aspects related to the online buying behaviour but there is limited data on how and why the specific customers inclined towards the online shopping while remaining avoid the online shopping.

There is no sufficient literature on the online shopping behaviour in Indian context by focusing on factors as well as challenges that create for the online shopping in Indian customers. In addition, the existing researches are also not sufficient to address the benefits or factors like perceive ease of use and usefulness of websites to purchase the products and services.

In addition, there are also contradictory aspects in relation to the online buying behaviour in Indian context. So, the undertaken research will fulfil this gap to address all these issues and provide a comprehensive view on the online buying behaviour in India.

This study will provide the factors including perceived ease of use, perceived benefits like convenience, timeliness, cost saving, discounts and offers, etc. that facilitate the customers to purchase the products online.

In addition, it will also identify the impact of these factors on the consumer buying behaviour while purchasing online and also determine the challenges and issues including trust, lack of knowledge of online purchasing, security aspects, internet connectivity, etc.

that prevent them to purchase the products online in India. Apart from this, the present study will also suggest the approaches to the online companies and marketers that can be used to overcome the issues and promote the online buying behaviour among the Indian consumers.

So, it can be stated that this study will include all these aspects to provide the whole insights towards why or why not the Indian customers use the online medium to purchase the products and services.

4 Literature Review

According to Technology acceptance Model (TAM) cited in Sinha, & Kim (2012), there are two factors including perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of the technology that facilitate its adoption among people.

Perceived usefulness is related to the consideration of the users regarding the technology in terms of improving performance, while perceived ease of use is related to the consideration of the user regarding the utilization of new technology with ease.

In relation to this model, Sinha (2010) states that the use of internet for shopping provides the benefits in form of improving performance through cost effectiveness, convenience, and time saving.

It is because the customers are able to make order and payment for purchasing the products and services in less time period that motivate them to purchase the products through online mode.

At the same time, Kothari & Maindargi (2016), confirm the same by saying that it is crucial to use the internet for purchasing products and services because it enables the customers to save money in form of transportation cost, discounts and offers available on website, and comparative pricing of the products to make the purchasing decision.

In relation to this, the economic theory of the consumer buying behaviour mentioned in Kanchan et al. (2015) also depicts that the people purchase the products which provide the maximum value in comparative price.

So, online mode of purchasing is convenient for the customers to make the purchasing cost effective that make them inclined towards the online shopping. The study of Ling et al. (2010) reveals the Indian consumer buying behaviour and finds that the Indian customers are price sensitive as they look for the discounts and offers and cost saving ways while purchasing products.

At the same time, the use of online shopping enables them to purchase the products and services in cost effective way that is a motivating factor them to incline towards the online shopping. On the other hand, the research of Joshi et al. (2018) highlights the perceived ease of use of the online mode to purchase the products and services.

In relation to this perspective, it can be stated that it is easy for the customers to use websites or online ways to purchase the products and services because they do not need to locate to the physical stores for purchasing.

They can make order and payment from anywhere and anytime that makes it easy for them to use the online mode for purchasing. According to Wani et al. (2016), effortless technology is widely accepted and adopted by the people in the country.

Ease of use can be referred as the belief of the end users that internet shopping is possible through the nominal efforts having a positive influence on the attitude, intention and behaviour of the customers.

The same is supported by the findings of Lim et al. (2016) that a technology is believed to be easier to utilize then it is accepted by buyers more easily.  If the technology is difficult to use, then it becomes hard for the users to adopt it.

However, the study of Chincholkar & Sonwaney (2017) provides the contradictory views regarding the adoption of the online shopping among the customers. As per this study, it is difficult for the firms to develop trust among the customers while purchasing online or making payment on purchasing.

So, it can be stated that trust is a significant challenge for these firms to make adoption of the online shopping among the customers. The degree of perceived risk de-motivates the customers to purchase on internet.

The study of Nittala (2015) focuses on the adoption of online shopping among the Indians and reveal that people do not like to purchase online due to security issues in making online payment as perceived risk.

If the products are ordered on mail, internet and phone, they are considered as riskier than the traditional method of purchasing. Dey (2017) identified shopping through online riskier due to inability to look at the products before buying. It de-motivates the customers to purchase through this mode.

Meanwhile, the research conducted by Jukariya & Singhvi (2018) find the lack of knowledge regarding online purchase as the major challenge for the online firms to develop their business in India.

Several people in India do not have good understanding of the internet to use it for purchasing goods and services. But, as argued by Kanchan et al. (2015), lack of proper infrastructure including lacking internet connectivity is the key issue for the customers to adopt the online mode for purchasing goods and services in India.

Without proper network and internet connectivity, it is difficult for the users to use the internet to purchase goods and services. In the views of Kothari & Maindargi (2016), it is required for the firms to provide high security for the customers’ data so they could develop trust among the customers to purchase the products and service online.

5 Research philosophy/paradigm, strategy & methodology:

Methodology

An effective research methodology is significant to gather the required and reliable data to conduct the study appropriately.  For the undertaken study, positivism philosophy will be used as this study topic is objective in nature as the use of this philosophy will be effective to collect and analyze the quantitative data (Saunders et al, 2016).

This study is based on some theories and concepts related to the research topic i.e. consumer buying behaviour as the use of positivism philosophy and deductive approach will be the most suitable for this research to accomplish the objectives.

However, other philosophies including interpretivism philosophy and inductive approach will not be considered by the researcher because of their irrelevancy in terms of subjective aspects of the research issue (Panneerselvam, 2014).

In this study, hypothesis will be generated and provided or rejected by considering dependent and independent variables. For this study dependent variables will include different factors and challenges while the independent variable will include the online shopping behaviour.

Through data analysis, there will be need to determine the relationship between these variables to evaluate the impact of these factors and challenges on the online shopping behaviour of the customers in India.

Quantitative research design will be suitable to reach out the wider audience and achieve the comprehensive findings. The use of quantitative research design will be effective to determine facts and figures that can be used to determine the trend in the online shopping in India with possible opportunities and challenges (Khan, 2011).

At the same time, some hypotheses will also be proved based on the existing theories to determine the impact of factors and challenges on the online shopping behaviour of the customers.

At the same time, survey strategy will be used in this study to collect the views and opinions of the people in India who prefer or do not prefer to purchase products online.

A random probability sampling will be used to select the sample of 80 people (customers) to know their views on factors and challenges and suggestions in relation to the online purchasing. The use of random sampling will be helpful to avoid the selection basis of the researcher and provide the reliability to the responses (Green et al., 2012).

In addition, time horizon for the research will be cross-sectional as this study will be conducted on the single point of time due to time constraints. It becomes easy for the researcher to conduct survey one time.

Data collection and data analysis and writing up

A survey through questionnaire will be used as a primary data collection method to gather the required data and information about the research topic. In this, likert-scale based and close ended questions will be preferred to collect data to test the hypotheses formed.

The survey through questionnaire will be sent to the respondents through email as per the convenience of the research participants. This will help the researcher to self-administer the data to excel and SPSS software to analyze the data efficiently.

The use of this data collection method will be quite effective to make the study quantitative and present it in organized way to analyze through statistical method (Green et al., 2012). It means statistical method of analysis will be used to analyze the quantitative data to determine the impact of factors on online buying behaviour and challenges that may be faced by the Indian consumers in adoption of the online shopping.

The use of survey through questionnaire will be effective to interact with wider audience and determine their views on the factors and challenges in adoption of online shopping (Flick, 2015).

In close ended questionnaire, the use of the multiple options will be suitable to self administer the data set into excel and run a statistical analysis on SPSS software to present the descriptive statistics and frequencies and percentages of the responses (Khan, 2011).

It will be helpful to determine a pattern in the consumer buying behaviour towards online mode in India. All the ethical aspects will be considered while conducting this research. Apart from this, literature review will be developed by using the secondary data available online.

For this, different books and articles related to the research topic will be searched and reviewed to determine the gap in existing literature and conduct the further study for enhancing the theoretical knowledge (Bryman and Bell, 2015).

This data will be helpful to develop the comprehensive understanding of the theories and concepts related to the consumer buying behaviour and adoption of new technologies and use it to integrate with the primary findings to achieve the research objectives successfully.

Whole the thesis will be divided into 5 sections by focusing on introduction, literature review, research methodology, data analysis and discussion and conclusion & recommendations. All these chapters will be written up to accomplish this thesis (Panneerselvam, 2014).

6 Research Schedule/Timetable

Deliverables Proposed start date Proposed end date
Problem identification and develop research proposal 01-Jan-1910-Jan-19
Write introduction part 12-Jan-1918-Jan-19
Carrying out  literature review20-Jan-1905-Feb-19
Frame research methods and survey questions 07-Feb-1915-Feb-19
Distribute survey to the research participants & Collect the data 16-Feb-1928-Feb-19
Analyze the data 03-Mar-1910-Mar-19
Present findings and conclusion 11-Mar-1915-Mar-19
Final draft and make corrections if 18-Mar-1920-Mar-19
Final submission 20-Mar-19

7 Ethical Considerations

It is important for the researcher to consider ethical aspects while conducting the study. For the undertaken research, the researcher will consider all the guidelines suggested by the university to make this study ethical. At the same time, researcher will ensure the confidentiality and privacy of data obtained from the research participants in survey.

For this, all the data will be secured through password (Neuman, and Robson, 2014). Apart from this, researcher will also provide the purpose, aim and objective of the study, use and disposal of the responses and results and conditions for participating in the survey to the research participants before taking their consent for the research participation.

It will help the research participants to decide whether they can participate in the study or not. It means there will be free consent of the research participants to agree for participating in the survey. Researcher will get the consent of the research participants before starting the survey.

For this, a consent form will be asked to fill by the survey participants to participate into the study on their will and allow for exiting the survey any time without telling the reason (Panneerselvam, 2014).

Through this, researcher will avoid the ethical issues related to informed consent. Anonymity will also be considered to hide the identity of the customers. It means no personal data with identity will be disclosed to unauthorized users. It is duty of the researcher to promise anonymity to address confidentiality by managing the private information of the research participants in order to protect the subject’s identity.

There will be no harm to the participant while participating in this study (Miller et al., 2012).  In order to avoid copyright and plagiarism issues, the researcher will paraphrase the materials given online without changing the actual meaning of the content while developing literature review.

At the same time, the researcher will give the credit to the authors of the books and articles by making incitation throughout the thesis to make this research ethical. There may be concern for about the vulnerable groups to make the study ethical or unethical.

Vulnerable groups include captive populations like prisoners, students, mentally ill persons, aged people, and children, learning disabled people, sedated or unconscious. But researcher will avoid these vulnerable groups in the study that makes also this study ethical (Roberts, 2013).

References

Chincholkar, S., and Sonwaney, V. (2017). Website Attributes and its Impact on Online Consumer Buying Behaviour: An Empirical Study of Online Consumers in Mumbai Region. Indian Journal of Science and Technology10(47).

Dey, S. (2017). A Study on Changing Buying Behaviour of Indian Customers. Global Journal of Marketing Management and Research7(1), 1-4.

Flick, U., (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner’s guide to doing a research project. Sage.

Green, J.L., Camilli, G. and Elmore, P.B. eds., (2012). Handbook of complementary methods in education research. Routledge.

Joshi, R., Gupte, R., and Saravanan, P. (2018). A Random Forest Approach for Predicting Online Buying Behavior of Indian Customers. Theoretical Economics Letters8(03), 448.

Jukariya, T., and Singhvi, R. (2018). A Study of Factors Affecting Online Buying Behavior of Students. Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. Sci7(1), 2558-2565.

Kanchan, U., Kumar, N., and Gupta, A. (2015). A study of online purchase behaviour of customers in India. Ictact Journal on Management Studies1(3).

Khan, J.A., (2011). Research methodology. APH Publishing Corporation.

Kothari, P. P., and Maindargi, S. S. (2016). A Study on Customers Attitude towards Online Shopping in India and its Impact: With Special Reference to Solapur City.

Lim, Y. J., Osman, A., Salahuddin, S. N., Romle, A. R., and Abdullah, S. (2016). Factors influencing online shopping behavior: the mediating role of purchase intention. Procedia Economics and Finance35, 401-410.

Ling, T. N., Siong, Y. K., Hock, L. Y., and Kian, T. P. (2010). Online Shopping: Determinants of Consumers Purchase Intention in Malaysia. In Proceedings of International IT and Society Conference (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1-6).

Mackey, A. and Gass, S.M., 2015. Second language research: Methodology and design. Routledge.

Miller, T., Birch, M., Mauthner, M. and Jessop, J. eds., (2012). Ethics in qualitative research. Sage.

Neuman, W.L. and Robson, K., 2014. Basics of social research. Pearson Canada.

Nittala, R. (2015). Factors Influencing Online Shopping Behavior of Urban Consumers in India. International Journal of Online Marketing (IJOM)5(1), 38-50.

Panneerselvam, R., 2014. Research methodology. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd..

Roberts, T., 2013. Understanding the research methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis. British Journal of Midwifery21(3).

Sinha, J. (2010). Factors affecting online shopping behavior of Indian consumers. University of South Carolina.

Sinha, J., and Kim, J. (2012). Factors affecting Indian consumers’ online buying behavior. Innovative Marketing8(2), 46-57.

Statista (2018). E-commerce in India – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/topics/2454/e-commerce-in-india/

The Economic Times (2018). Number of online shoppers to surpass 120 million in 2018. Retrieved from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/number-of-online-shoppers-to-surpass-120-million-in-2018/articleshow/64718407.cms

Wani, T. A., Ali, S. W., and Farooq, T. (2016). Determinants of Online Purchase Intentions: A Study of Indian Buyers.

Bryman, A. and E. Bell (2015). Business Research Methods, 4th edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Saunders, et al (2016). Research Methods for Business Students, 7th edition, Prentice Hall/Pearson

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