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Online buying perceptions in Spain: can gender make a difference?

Abstract

Internet has led to radical changes in commercial relations and especially in consumer buying habits. Considering the peculiar characteristics of Internet shopping, it is difficult to engender consumer online trust and consumer face an adverse selection problem when having to choose the best web site to buy from. This problem may be mitigated by signaling the high-quality and good behavior of the e-vendor or by consumer satisfactory experiences. As gender can make differences in the decision-making processes of individuals, the purpose of this study is to find out if there are gender differences regarding the effect of three specific signals of quality—service quality, warranty, and security and privacy policies– on e-satisfaction and e-trust, and on the relation between satisfaction and trust. The research questions were tested using information gathered from Spanish online buyers and using structural equation modeling. Results suggest that suitable gender-based signaling strategies could conceivably be prepared in accordance with the target population, which holds interesting implications for both the academic and the professional world.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    The different products or service mentioned by our sample are: entertainment, books, music, TV and movies (36.1%), travel (19.1%), services of e-bank or insurance (9.4%), information technology equipment (9.7%), clothes (5.4%), education (5%), journals (4%), gifts (5.2), electrical appliances (3.2%), food (2.5%) and others (0.4%). Although it was foreseeable that consumers would choose their preferred web sites which they already trusted and with which they were satisfied (thereby reducing the scale variation), it should be taken into account that respondents had to be online shoppers, which is why this data collection method was selected.

  2. 2.

    A chi-square test shows no significant differences between the profile of our sample and the profile according to information provided by the Spanish Association of E-Commerce [(Gender: χ2 = 4.0, d.f. = 3, p = 0.261); (Age: χ2 = 30.0, d.f. = 25, p = 0.224); (Educational level: χ2 = 20.0, d.f. = 16, p = 0.220)].

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Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank the support by Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (Spain) to a research project on online buying and selling (reference SEJ 2007–63378).

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Correspondence to Nadia H. Jiménez.

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Responsible editor: Hans-Dieter Zimmermann

Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 5 Results of the exploratory factor analysis

Appendix 2

Table 6 Web site characteristics. Reference literature and descriptive items
Table 7 Trust and satisfaction scales. Reference literature, descriptive items and scale validity

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San Martín, S., Jiménez, N.H. Online buying perceptions in Spain: can gender make a difference?. Electron Markets 21, 267–281 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-011-0074-y

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Keywords

  • E-commerce
  • Signals
  • Satisfaction
  • Trust
  • Gender

JEL classification

  • M31