Retail Format Choice for Smartphone Purchase: Online Versus Offline
Purpose – The purpose of this exploratory study is to identify and examine the buying motivation factors along with socio-demographics characteristics of smartphone buyers with respect to the retail format choice i.e. online and offline.
Design/methodology – The study includes responses from 533 individuals who had purchased smartphone in last one year. Binary logistic regression is employed to create a predictive model to predict the retail format choice of consumers based on the demographic and shopping motivation factors. Other behavioral aspects of smartphone purchase with respect to both set of customers is established using chi-square analysis.
Findings – The predictive model correctly classified 74.7% respondents based on retail format choice for smartphone purchase. Price, offers and discounts, product variety/availability of models, convenience, ease of product comparison and accessibility are the key motivational factors for online consumers. In case of offline buyers’ factors like need for touch, salesperson assistance, after-sales service, trust and reliability are the key differentiators.
Research limitations/ implications - This study explored various factors and incorporated them into the predictive model, but there could be other factors which are yet to be explored. The scope of this study was limited to one state in India. Similar studies can be conducted across geographies and other product categories for generalizability.
Practical implications - Retailers and brands may find information on shopping motives in terms of retail format choice behaviour to be significant and valuable in developing strategies for channel diversity and expansion. Hence, this exploratory study can be of great importance from a marketing, sales and distribution perspective.
Novelty - As scarce literature exists on the prediction of store choice behaviour, this paper successfully attempts to provide a predictive model on retail format choice (Online or Offline) for smartphone purchase by differentiating channel users in Odisha, India.
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