Emerald Fulltext Archive Database 1994-2005
Purpose - First, to theoretically justify and empirically test the sequence of effects based on the standard learning hierarchy to explain consumers' online buying-related responses. Second, to analyse the moderating role that consumers' internet expertise can play on the formation of both their affective and buying-related responses towards this medium. Design/methodology/approach - This study poses a conceptual model which is tested by means of LISREL. The data used come from a questionnaire applied to American and Spanish internet users. These two countries have been selected taking into account their differences regarding their degree of internet expertise. Findings - The modelling approach appears to be adequate to explain online consumer behaviour. Moreover, different levels of consumers' internet expertise determines, in general, the predominance of the central or the peripheral route within the formation of their affective and behavioural responses to this medium. Research limitations/implications - This study provides a relevant contribution to the field of consumer behaviour on the internet. It presents an extensive literature review; it introduces new concepts and new relations among them; it successfully adapts classic consumer theories, i.e. the CAB paradigm and the Elaboration Likelihood Model - to the electronic market context; and it has a cross-national vision. Practical implications - It shows how any virtual firm which endeavours to understand consumers' shopping behaviour in its web site should consider these general issues in conjunction with the rest of the specific factors and variables related to it. Originality/value - This is one of the first studies which, on the one hand, theoretically integrates in a model the following concepts: beliefs and attitude towards the internet, trust in internet shopping and online shopping, and on the other, demonstrates that the degree of internet expertise plays an essential role in determining how consumers process and form their affective and buying-related responses on the internet.
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