Motivation and emotion/Book/2016/Online shopping motivation

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Online shopping motivation:
What motivates online shopping?

Overview[edit | edit source]

Figure 1: Online shopping. The internet allows consumers to shop with convenience at anywhere and anytime via any available devises on hand.

Electronics are constantly developing (Huang & Yang, 2010) and the internet now allows consumers to shop with convenience anywhere anytime via any available computer, tablet or mobile device on hand. Online shopping has become a common way for shoppers to purchase a variety of goods, products and services in an environment which supports privacy and confidentiality (Amin, B. & Amin, P., 2013). It enables online consumers to search and control information or messages of what can be seen and heard by others (Amin, B. & Amin, P., 2013). Many researchers explain internet purchasing behaviour by identifying conceptual factors through the exploration of motivations (Huang & Yang, 2010)[explain?]. However, not many online purchase motivations were examined (Huang & Yang, 2010)[explain?]. This book chapter will discuss motivations that may cause the behaviour of online shopping.

Personality Traits[edit | edit source]

Personality traits may be a source of motivation (Huang & Yang, 2010). The Big Five has been used to select employees and determine work performance, however the impact on online shopping motivations has not been properly examined (Huang & Yang, 2010). Studies on online gaming showed a link between the Big Five traits and motivations (Huang & Yang, 2010). Therefore, factors that influence online shopping behaviour may also be determined by testing the relationship between personality traits and individual motivations (Huang & Yang, 2010).

The Big Five Model

The Big Five Model of personality traits includes openness, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Openness represents curiosity and creativity (Boundless, 2016). Individual with high levels of agreeableness has the tendency to be compassionate, considerate, generous and cooperative towards others (Boundless, 2016). Extraversion consists of positivism, assertiveness, sociability and talkativeness (Boundless, 2016). Conscientious individuals tend to show self-discipline, are organised and dependable, as well as being prepared and plan ahead for future (Huang & Yang, 2010). Neuroticism also refers to showing negative emotions such as anger, depression, anxiety in stressful situations and may be known as emotional stability (Boundless, 2016).


Five internet shopping motivations associated with the Big Five personality traits has [grammar?] been selected for examination (Huang & Yang, 2010). Those include adventure, idea, sociality, lack of sociality and convenience (Huang & Yang, 2010). Adventure has been defined as encountering something interesting with the experience of joy while shopping (Huang & Yang, 2010). Idea refers to online shoppers being able to search and understand information in regards to product brands and new trends while experiencing pleasure (Huang & Yang, 2010). Sociality indicates the fact that shoppers are able to socialise with other shoppers with the same interesting [missing something?] and share information (Huang & Yang, 2010). Lack of sociality describes shoppers without the need to bargain with sales assistants and wasting the time of their companions (Huang & Yang, 2010). Convenience may represents a convenient and relaxing environment for shoppers without time, space or weather issues (Huang & Yang, 2010).

Factors Research showed individuals with high levels of openness are likely to shop online to experience adventure and ideas (Huang & Yang, 2010). Individuals who are conscientious shop online for convinience[spelling?] and extraverted individual[grammar?] shop to satisfy the motivation to socialise (Huang & Yang, 2010). Futhermore[spelling?], individuals that[grammar?] shows higher levels of neuroticism were motivated to shop online due to lack of socialising needs (Huang & Yang, 2010).

Online Group Buying[edit | edit source]

Group buying refers to online shopping websites that offer daily deals and promotions when it has reached a substantial number of buyers (Zhang & Tsai, 2015). Online shoppers invites other online consumers to purchase those products together in order to receive discounts (Zhang & Tsai, 2015). Online group buying (OGB) is very popular among Chinese consumers. Four motivations of OGB behaviour has been identified, those included profit, value, emotion and achievement (Zhang & Tsai, 2015). Individuals with perceived homophily (those who likes[grammar?] to share the same interest with other online consumers) and consumer need for uniqueness (those who likes[grammar?] the idea of unique deals that are not available anywhere else) are motivated to engage in online group buying (Zhang & Tsai, 2015). Consumer susceptibility to informational influence (includes enabling opportunities to perform behaviours such as product discussions, obtaining and sharing information) was also found to be positively linked to OGB intention (Zhang & Tsai, 2015). The Optimal Distinctiveness Theory which refers to consumer needs for distinctiveness and the need to belong was supported as motivation for OGB behaviour (Zhang & Tsai, 2015).

Online Compulsive Buying[edit | edit source]

Online shopping websites with daily deals may trigger online compulsive buying behaviour, which refers to excessive online shopping and buying behaviour[factual?]. Websites that contains daily deals tend to motivates[grammar?] online shoppers to engage in compulsive buying behaviour due to hedonic and social motives (Monika et al, 2016). Time pressure is also one of the motivational factors that influence the behaviour as the product may only be available for limited amount of time (Monika et al, 2016). Tension reduction can also be considered as one of the factors, which means having a tension between spending money and fulfilling needs (Monika et al, 2016). Bargain hunting may reduce this tension as consumers can make purchase with sales as an excuse (Monika et al, 2016). In other words, consumers are motivated to use compulsive buying as retail therapy to achieve positive emotions while experiencing depression or anxiety due to tension, especially when prices are reduced (Monika et al, 2016).

Motivations of self-expression may also be fulfilled by shopping on daily deal websites (Monika et al, 2016). The deals the [grammar?] obtained enables consumers to express their own taste, preference, style or value (Monika et al, 2016). Social comparison theory argues that consumers pay attention to social comparison information which causes likelihood of interpersonal influence (Monika et al, 2016)[explain?]. For online compulsive buying, there is no need for consumers to observe others and search for ways to act in social situation in order to feel a sense of belonging (Monika et al, 2016). They can also avoid seeing the reaction of others in regards to their performance (Monika et al, 2016).

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

In conclusion, online shopping motivation can be influenced by a [vague] number of different factors. Personality traits can be associated with the behaviour in general[factual?]. Online group buying may also occur among individuals with perceived homophily, consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence and consumer need for uniqueness. Online shopping motivations may be triggered by positive factors such as improving self expression, tension reduction, fulfilling needs and socialise online to share the same interest. However, it may cause negative impact on self esteem and socialising ability in regards to not being able to socialise and be confident while in the real world[factual?]. Furthermore, online consumers should also be aware of compulsive buying behaviours as deals and reduced prices may be have significant influence on the [what?] behaviour.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Amin, B. Z. & Amin, P. (2013). A conceptual framework to understanding online consumer buying behaviour. International Journal of Online Marketing, 3(1), 47-63. doi: 10.4018/ijom.2013010104

Boundless. (2016). The Big Five Personality Traits. Boundless Management. Retrieved from

Huang, J. & Yang, Y. (2010). The Relationship between personality traits and online shopping. Social Behaviour and Personality, 38(5), 673-680. Retrieved from

Monika et al,. (2016). Compulsive buying in online daily deal settings: An investigation of motivations and contextual elements. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), 691-699. Retrieved from

Zhang, J. & Tsai, W. (2015). United We Shop! Chinese Consumers' Online Group Buying. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 27(1), 54-68. Retrieved from