Online Shopping Motives - An Empirical Investigation of Consumer Buying Behavior in Germany’s Main Online Retail Segments

  • Silvia ZahariaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11588)


In the perpetual battle for increased revenues, online retailers need to understand what actions to take in order to turn non-buyers into buyers. This study researches the online shopping motives of German online shoppers and their online buying behavior in the main online retail segments: marketplaces, generalists, fashion, consumer electronics, beauty and toys. 19 German online retailers (representing approx. 70% of German online sales) were analyzed.

The research is based on extensive qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative research. The shopping motives construct was conceptualized and operationalized as a multidimensional construct with nine motivational categories. The data from the quantitative survey were analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and nine shopping motives within 16 total dimensions were established: recreational orientation (social & inspirational shopping), convenience orientation (search & possession convenience), striving for independence, risk aversion (privacy, product, delivery & retailer-related), price orientation (= smart shopping), assortment orientation (variety seeking & specialization), advice orientation (company owned & third party), sustainability orientation (= ecological) and quality orientation (= visual appeal).

The differences between the online shopping motives of buyers and non-buyers in each of the six online retailing segments were investigated as pair comparisons using the Mann-Whitney-U test. The result is that there are significant differences in the online shopping motives in all researched industries. Most differences exist in the beauty industry where 14 of the 16 dimensions of shopping motives differ significantly. The fewest differences are in the marketplaces segment. Only five of the 16 dimensions of shopping motives differ significantly here.


Online shopping motives Recreational orientation (social & inspirational shopping) Convenience orientation (search & possession convenience) Striving for independence Risk aversion (privacy, product, delivery & retailer related) Price orientation (smart shopping) Assortment orientation (variety seeking & specialization) Advice orientation (company owned & third party) Sustainability orientation (ecologically) Quality orientation (visual appeal) 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences NiederrheinKrefeldGermany

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