Internet penetration and access to the World Wide Web is growing at a rapid pace in South Africa. Progressively Internet users have become online consumers, buying books, music, insurance, electronics, furniture, groceries, jewellery, travel and other products and services online.
The focus of this research was to identify the factors that make up the online shopping experience and to understand how these factors correlate with online shopping satisfaction in a South African context. Understanding the relationship between the online shopping experience elements and customer satisfaction with online purchases is essential to online retailers, as well as to traditional retailers looking to enter the environment of online sales. The online shopping experience consisted of the following six elements:
Online customer service
The elements that make up the online shopping experience were conceptually linked to online customer satisfaction. An Internet-mediated survey was conducted through convenience sampling methods and with the additional help of a reputable research company a large sample was acquired.
The results of an exploratory factor analysis proved that online customer service was too closely correlated to the other experience elements. Online customer service was, therefore, left out of the multiple regression analysis that followed.
The results of the multiple regression analysis identified trust, the marketing Ps, usability and interactivity as statistically significant determinants of online shopping satisfaction. Trustworthiness showed the strongest positive relationship with online shopping satisfaction. Aesthetics proved not to be a statistically significant determinant of online shopping satisfaction.
It is recommended that future research concentrates on further conceptualising the shopping experience elements. Increased knowledge and understanding of the various elements that make up an online shopping experience may prove valuable.
The online shopping environment in South Africa is young and in a rapid growth stage. The implication for managers is to focus on trust and the marketing Ps as significant determinants of online shopping satisfaction in this environment. Security issues and traditional marketing elements (specifically price and promotions) should be the focus of online retailers in South Africa.
The better online businesses understand the determinants of online customer satisfaction, the better they can present their retail websites to reach organisational goals.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2015.