Author: Claro G. Gañac
Year: 2018, Volume 28 No. 1
Technology and the Internet have changed every facet of human life on the planet. It has spawned online marketplaces where consumers anywhere around the world can shop 24/7 throughout the year. This empirical study aimed to explain the meteoric rise of Internet shopping not just because of the leaps-and-bounds advances in technology but also by intrinsic predisposition of consumers to engage in exploratory buying and consumption. The Internet has brought about a shopping environment with high inherent avenues for exploratory behavior. It is the proposition of this study that online shopping has encouraged exploratory information acquisition, heightened evaluation involvement, and impulsive buying to enhance the optimum stimulation level (OSL) level of consumers. It utilized the generic purchase decision model as a framework to measure Internet-domain exploratory shopping behavior. Descriptive research using online survey was conducted among 388 netizens to explore the proposed relationship. Principal component analysis on the OSL and exploratory buying behavior constructs confirmed the internal consistency of the empirical measurements. The study found that OSL traits of variety seeking, sensation seeking, and innovativeness have significant statistical correlation with actual exploratory consumer behavior. Variety-seeking OSL exhibited the highest correlation coefficient exceeding 0.50 with exploratory information acquisition and purchase behavior. Sensation-seeking showed the weakest linkage with exploratory buying behavior across the spectrum of information acquisition to purchase behavior, while consumer innovativeness exhibited the highest correlation with impulsive buying behavior. Income did not exert a significant direct or moderating effect on OSL traits regarding exploratory consumer behavior.