The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors impacting online shopping behavior in two cultures: United States and China. Online shopping has expanded a large potential market for global business. It is of great significance to understand the particular nature of differences in consumer characteristics with the existence of cross-cultural differences. By applying the Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions, cultural values are measured from the perspective of power distance, individualism and uncertainty avoidance. The fact is that Chinese consumers have relatively negative attitude towards online shopping as a result of higher power distance, a sense of collectivism and higher uncertainty avoidance.
The cultural dimensions indicates that cultural value is referred as the key determinant of consumer behavior variance. Keywords: cultural dimensions, power distance, individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, value Cultural value is assumed to be one of the underlying determinants of consumer behavior by marketing theorists (Henry, 1976).An individual's cultural background can influence the consumption habit and consumption motives set choice criteria of value.
The Internet plays an increasingly significant role in people's lives and the business world. Online shopping, one of the revolutionary change facilitated by the Internet, has become a certain threat on traditional shopping channels such as retail stores (Ko, JungLast, Kim & Shim, 2004). According to Economist (2011), Internet reaches 87% of the total population in United States, with 170 million customers scouring for bargains on the Internet. China follows closely with 145 million online shoppers. In the figure 1 below, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts that the amount of Chinese Internet users will increase to $701 million between in the year of 2015. Furthermore, E-commerce sales as a share of total consumer spending rose to 14.3 percent, from…
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