Steven Bellman, Gerald L. Lohse, and Eric J. Johnson Predictors of Online Buying Behavior What personal characteristics predict whether or not people buy on the Net? Look for a wired lifestyle and time starvation, not demographics. Consumers worldwide can shop online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Some market sectors, including insurance, financial services, computer hardware and software, travel, books, music, video, flowers, and automobiles, are experiencing rapid growth in online sales . For example, in Jan. 1999, Dell Computer Corp. was selling an average of $14 million of equipment online per day , and Amazon.com has become the third largest bookseller in the U.S., despite being in business only since 1995 . With projections that the Internet will generate consumer and business-to-business sales in excess of $294 billion by 2002 , online retailing raises many questions about how to market on the Net. Shopping there is far from universal, even for those already online for other tasks. To help identify the factors influencing online shopping, the Wharton Forum on Electronic Commerce (ecom.wharton.upenn.edu) sponsors an ongoing research project begun in 1997 called the Wharton Virtual Test Market (WVTM). It seeks to
Communications of the ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Dec 1, 1999
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