Bricks or Clicks? Consumer Attitudes toward Traditional Stores and Online Stores

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-21
Journal / PublicationGlobal Economics and Management Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


Determining what consumers value, and how online stores compare to traditional stores on valued attributes is a necessary first step in understanding the relative benefits of e-commerce. In this paper, we measure consumers’ valuation of online stores compared to traditional stores by measuring the consumers’ perceptions of the performance of online stores on 18 attributes, as well as the importance of each of those attributes. These individual perceptions and preferences from a web-based and paper-based survey of 224 shoppers are combined in a self-explicated multi-attribute attitude model. The findings show that, overall, all product categories in our survey of online stores are less acceptable than traditional stores. Online stores are perceived as having competitive disadvantages with respect to shipping and handling charges, exchange/refund policy for returns, providing an interesting social or family experience, helpfulness of salespeople, post-purchase service, and uncertainty about getting the right item. The advantages that online stores have in areas such as brand-selection/variety and ease of browsing do not entirely overcome the disadvantages listed above.