Characterization of online
shoppers with navigation
nez Guerrero, Jose
Manuel Ortega Egea and
a Victoria Roma
University of Almerı
Purpose – Many internet users are not able to navigate through e-commerce web pages and reach
their targets. Navigation problems lead to customers’ disappointment and, as a consequence,
companies fail to provide information and offer direct sales through the internet. The purpose of this
paper is to proﬁle internet users experiencing navigation problems while shopping online using
socio-demographic indicators. The application of usability is proposed as a solution to web site
Design/methodology/approach – Hierarchical segmentation and regression analysis are applied
to a sample of online shoppers with navigation problems.
Findings – Socio-demographic proﬁles of online shoppers with navigation problems.
Research limitations/implications – This paper focuses on customers’ socio-demographic
features. Other indicators, such as attitudes or behaviours, have not been considered.
Practical implications – Understanding the socio-demographic proﬁles of customers with higher
levels of navigation problems is useful for e-commerce companies in order to provide support to user
segments experiencing more difﬁculties.
Originality/value – This paper highlights the importance of usability, which has been somewhat
ignored in the development of e-commerce web sites. Demographic proﬁles of online shoppers
experiencing navigation problems are constructed.
Keywords Electronic-commerce, Distribution channels and markets
Paper type Research paper
E-commerce is growing rapidly largely due to its ability to save time, money, and
access better products or services, without having to go out to a shop. However, it does
not yet pose a threat to brick and mortar shops. Despite the enormous potential of
e-commerce, its share of the total economy remains small: less than 2.5 per cent in the
USA (US Census Bureau, 2006). The lack of consumer conﬁdence in online security and
privacy has been identiﬁed as a major problem hampering the growth of e-commerce.
This issue has drawn considerable attention among researchers (Park et al., 2004;
Pavlou, 2003; Featherman and Wells, 2004; Featherman and Pavlou, 2003).
An important question which has been overlooked relates to customers’ navigation
problems while visiting e-commerce web pages. Because of such navigation problems,
customers are not able to purchase products through the internet and feel disappointed.
Therefore, companies fail to provide information and offer direct sales through the
internet. To maximize the potential of e-commerce, it seems critical to accurately
understand consumers’ navigation problems while shopping online. This paper aims
to proﬁle internet users on the basis of the experienced navigation problems on
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Direct Marketing: An International
Vol. 1 No. 2, 2007
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited