The proportion of Internet users who will purchase different types of product online will vary dramatically according to product type, as we saw at the start of Chapter 1. The propensity to purchase online is dependent on different variables over which the marketer has relatively little control. However, factors which affect the propensity to purchase can be estimated for different types of products. De Kare-Silver (2000) developed a framework known as The Electronic Shopping Test in which he suggests that the criteria for purchase include product characteristics, familiarity and confidence and consumer attributes. Typical results from the evaluation are: groceries (27/50), mortgages (15/50), travel (31/50) and books (38/50). De Kare-Silver states that any product scoring over 20 has good potential, since the score for consumer attributes is likely to increase through time. Given this, he suggests companies will regularly need to review the score for their products. The effectiveness of this test is now demonstrated by data for online purchases in different product categories (Figure 2.19, page 70).
Mini Case Study 2.1
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As with any web site, SaleHoo has a number of features that will help you in buying products from around the world. Once you have an account on SaleHoo, which only costs a one-time fee, you can establish up to twenty named searches for products. After that, any time those items become available, you’ll be alerted.