As the Internet and opportunities for online shopping are growing at a
very fast pace worldwide, investigating this phenomenon within a South
African context is crucial considering that it is a relatively new trend in the
country. Typical of new trends and phenomena is the absence of research
and the resultant lack of existing literature about the topic. Few studies
have examined the factors and reasons that entice South Africans to utilise
this modern shopping channel, and even fewer have used an in-depth,
qualitative approach. To assist in filling this void, this study examines
people’s reasons for taking up or not taking up online shopping, from
a South African perspective. A snowball sampling method was used to
identify participants fitting the predetermined sample criteria and in-depth
qualitative interviews were conducted with all participants. Findings are
presented by means of themes identified during the data analysis. These
indicated that saving time, the convenience of products being increasingly
available and accessible, and being able to make price comparisons easily
were the main advantages of online shopping. The main disadvantages
were not being able to touch and feel products, and the absence of a
De Swardt, Maray Annelise(University of Pretoria, 2008-12-15)
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