Factors influencing the types of products and services purchased over the Internet
Ian Phau and Sui Meng Poon
Following the commercialisation of the Internet in the USA, many Asian countries have since begun promoting the use of the Internet by setting up state-run Internet service providers (ISP) and implementing policies to encourage educational institutions and business to go online. The market forecast is that Singapore will experience a sharp increase in Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) usage towards the end of the century. It is expected to increase from 198,773 users in 1998 to 1,341,050 users in 2001 whereby 17.3 per cent and 34.3 per cent respectively will buy via the Net. The overall electronic commerce would also increase from US$20.97 million to US$855.43 million for the same period of time. As consumer confidence grows with the familiarity of electronic commerce and secure online transactions, we will see an increase in overall e-commerce expenditure for the Asia Pacific region. The study also predicts that the overall electronic commerce trade will reach US$16,538.18 million in 2001 for the Asia Pacific region. However, the attitudinal effects of in-home shopping via the Internet have received little direct research attention so far. Related research has dealt primarily with the more traditional direct modes of shopping, such as mail/phone shopping (Settle et al., 1994), or more restrictive forms of electronic shopping such as videotex and television shopping (Eastlick and Liu, 1997). As electronic commerce over the Internet increases, it will become more important that Internet marketers or cyber mall operators have some basis to better market their products or services over the Internet. The more the Internet shopping malls' marketers understand the underlying reasons for differences in the consumer choices, the more effectively and profitably they can serve their markets. As such there is an inherent need to investigate the...