Online Buying Behaviour: Across Cultural Study

Between England and Turkey

1)    Summary

      This research proposal aims to analyse the online buying behaviour between England and Turkey. This paper attempts to determine the factors that influence the buying behaviour of consumers across these countries and the differences of their buying behaviour. In this research proposal, the aim, objective, rationale of the study will be discussed. Literature review and overview of the design and research approach are also provided.


2)    Introduction

            Online shopping or buying online has been considered as the newest trend for changing consumer behaviour. Accordingly, the purchasing behaviour of the consumers will depend on the marketing strategies that the online shopping industries will use. Because of the emergence of new information technology, such as the internet, online shopping has fast becoming more popular amongst Internet surfers.  It is said that beliefs, attitudes, and shopping preferences of Internet buyers or customers around the world could depend on important macro and micro-level variables. If this is the case, then Web site content should be attuned according to the type of individual visiting a site (Fortin, 1999). Having a profile of global Internet users constitutes a first step needed to build Web site content appropriate for different buyers. Since online industries are able to reach target market without cultural boundaries, they can provide products and services to different countries. Thus, this aim to test the propositions that Internet buyers’ beliefs, attitudes and Internet behavior will vary among global regions, and between countries within a world region, as well as depend on the amount of time they spend on the Internet.

            Having been able to realise this stance, the researcher has observed a great need by online shopping service providers to understand the habits and preference by customers. Attempting to find and analyse the differences among the buying behaviour of online shoppers such as those from England and Turkey.  Primarily, the main goal of this research proposal is to investigate across cultural online buying behaviour of people of England and Turkey.


3)    Background

Internet usage is as diverse as the medium itself. Most people use it for visiting amusement websites featuring music, film and television. Other people use it for eroticism or pornography website while others use it for online shopping. Online shopping is the fastest growing Internet use today. GVU (1998) reports that there are 40% of total users who have been using the Internet for shopping and that number of online shoppers has reached 20 million which is still expected to increase.

This widespread use of the Internet is supported by the results of NUA Online Surveys (2002) which reported that as of September 2002, there are 605.60 million online. It showed that the European region has the most number of users with 190.91 million online while the Middle East has the least number of people online with just 5.21 million users. The other results are as follows: coming in as second is the Asia/Pacific region with 187.24 million users; Canada and United States of America running third with 182.67 people online; Latin America with 33.35 million users and Africa with 6.31 million.


E-commerce and the emergence of new markets

There are varied definitions of e-commerce but they all suggest in some way of the usage of electronic means to conduct business. Perhaps one of the most concrete definitions is given by Eckersley, Harris and Jackson (2003) which states that e-commerce is either a free or paid exchange of information translated into goods and services using electronic means in any stage of the supply chain, be it within the organisation, between businesses, between businesses and consumers or even between the government and private sectors. Moreover, Laudon and Laudon (2003) specifically noted examples of the means of conducting e-commerce as the Internet, networks and other digital technologies.

The word commerce in the term strengthens the definition that the concept is part of a range of activities wherein no direct payment involved within the supply chain. The supply chain expresses the distribution of goods, services and information flows between the players within or among the industries (Eckersley, Harris & Jackson, 2003). An example of this is a furniture manufacturer where the supply chain involves parts, raw materials or services supplied by other companies. If the manufacturer exercises total control and optimises its supply chain, then it will reduce all transaction costs which will then turn into a competitive advantage for the company because it is at the core of the chain.

Since e-commerce is a growing phenomenon in the business, many companies now feel that there is a need to have Internet presence even if not as a business format (Leckenby & Hong, 1998). This can be attributed to the increase in customer perception that a lack of Internet presence represents obsolete business methods and this can lead the consumer to choose other products instead (Peeples, 2002). In addition to this, most purchasing decision may be based on the information provided by the websites whether or not the actual final transaction was done online. This trend has changed the way businesses considered the Internet. It wasn’t just an inexpensive way to reach new target markets because to complete the buying process, there is still the need for traditional advertising and promotions. Thus, the practice is to include the websites to give consumers the chance to access additional information for the product. In this perspective, the Internet gave new meaning to companies as a useful and effective method of disseminating information to aid in the buying process. However, e-commerce does not guarantee profit because despite its popularity, there are still others who do not buy into shopping online. An example of this is the decline of online purchases in 2000 because of the widely publicized Christmas delivery failures in 1999 (Watson, 2001). With the uncertain dynamics of e-commerce, companies then need to formulate a business strategy which can easily adapt to these changes.

There are many studies that have been conducted analysing consumer buying behaviour but there are only few studies that attempt to study the buying behaviour of England and Turkey.  


4)    Literature Review

Customers are said to be loyal when their buying behavior remains consistent to one type of item and completely ignore the pleas of competitors. Indeed, it is a known fact that customer loyalty is beneficial to businesses (Bailey and Schultz, 2000). Customer buying behavior is yet another factor that affects consumer choices and trends. Recognizing consumer behavior’s essentiality to business, marketers attempt to develop means on assessing or measuring how a customer behaves (Bailey and Schultz, 2000). Consumer buying behaviour is said to be different in business-to-business context in a way that consumer buying behaviour tends to have varying attitudes regarding the needs and purpose of buying while the business-to-business approach is an approach which is more on supplier-company relationship.

Business to business is one of the categories of online marketing that has been characterized as profit-oriented whose aims is to obtain information and retain information that uses different type of motivation in which it has a shorter route of channel in terms of distribution.  In B2B it seeks to realize transactions that necessitate performed financial and commercial activities via the internet while in consumer buying behaviour in tends to follow their desires based on customer self-need. For instance, in buying new sports shores, the individual customer tends to follow their personal attributions than the business attributions.

Accordingly, consumer buying behavior is concerned with the buying of products and services by households and individuals for personal consumptions. For instance, when the individual buyer purchase their daily needs or commodities like foods, clothing and others.  Herein, the main influence of consumer behaviour includes personal aspect, social, cultural and psychological factors.  On one hand, business to business buying behavior is a type which is referred to as industrial buyer behaviour or organizational behavior. Accordingly, business-to-business buying behavior engage in a decision making process in which a company establish the need for purchase goods and services and determine, assess and select among alternative brands as well as suppliers. For instance, if the company would want to acquire small businesses that have good reputation in the market, they will buy all the rights of the products.  Herein, unlike in consumer buying, business to business buyers and sellers tends to negotiate and impact each other in identifying the form of the final business transaction and other elements of the interaction.

Another study made by Beck and Lynch (2001) has attempted to address the question of how differences in beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and Internet buying behaviour can vary in different regions and levels of Internet usage. Their study showed that it is not enough for a company to put their business online to make it a global company without researching the continually changing consumer behaviour of online shoppers. Due to the plethora of differences between cultures and countries, many customers may not be willing or able to interpret the context or culture of the message that a company puts across. Creating an online local feel for a company is a hard task considering the number of languages and cultures of international consumers, but a necessary one for survival and growth of the business.

Other studies have addressed the existence of a typical global Internet consumer, a direct contrast to the diversity that Beck and Lynch (2001) studied (Alden, Steenkamp and Batra, 1999; Hannerz, 1990). These studies provide support to abovementioned characteristics about age, gender, occupation and salary. They also advocate that the typical global consumer emerged from the onset of the global market.

5)    Design

6)    Research Problems

      The emergence and astonishing growth of the internet is easily one of the most important developments in societies around the globe. The World Wide Web, specifically, is the core mechanism or powerful technology that facilitates any electronic commerce transactions and provides marketers outstanding capabilities such as unlimited global reach with the elimination of obstacles created by geography, time zone and location (Bandyopadhyay, 2001). Along with the change brought by the internet in the way business and marketing is done is also the existence of the diverse buying behaviour of individuals across regions. The analysis of the online buying behaviour of these people (England and Turkey) can be important findings for online marketing techniques that can be used by different industries.


7)    Research Aims and Objectives

            The main goal of the research is to determine the habits and profiles of customers of online shopping from England and Turkey. The study attempts to achieve the following objectives:

1.      To know the perception of the people from England and Turkey regarding their shopping preferences.

2.      To know the website preferences of the respondents in their online shopping?

3.      To determine the relationships between certain profiles and the spending habits can be useful to target value added customers

4.      To assess ways on how to improve better the online shopping at an affordable and efficient services. 


8)    Research Questions

The study is conducted to analyse the online buying behaviour of people from England and turkey. Specifically, the dissertation aims to answer the following queries:

1.                    What are the shopping preferences of the customers of online shopping in terms of the types of services and goods?

2.                    How important do you think is the requirement of the web site to you convince they are safe and secured?

3.                    What is presently missing and needed in online shopping?

4.                    What is the relationships between certain profiles and the spending habits can be useful to target value added customers


9)    Limitations of the Proposal

This research endeavour will focus primarily in the investigation of the online buying behaviour of individuals from England and Turkey. The study examined the differences of the buying behaviour of this people in terms of buying through the internet. This research will cover the topics on the intensive differences among the attitudes, cultural aspects and influences for these individuals. The information that will be gathered for this study will be derived from primary and secondary resources. The primary source of data will come from a self-administered survey questionnaires prepared by the researcher, which will be distributed to the participants of the study. The respondents of this study will be selected from England and Turkey, The secondary sources of data will come from published articles from social science journals, theses, and related studies on consumer behaviour and online shopping.

Time will be the greatest limitation to this research, which may hinder long-term outcome objectives. Environmental factors, such as socioeconomic factors, are beyond the control of the researcher and can create many variables within the research. As this study will be utilizing a small sample of participants, the results may not effectively represent the general population.


10) Methodologies

For this study, data analysis will be done step by step. Every piece of information will be analysed carefully, and the text will be sub-divided into meaningful units. Information will be condensed to formulate answers to the researcher’s questions. Once the data was collected and collated, the final task will be the interpretation of the results. The study emphasizes that a great deal of caution will be considered in drawing conclusions from the data

               Primary data are the result of survey questionnaire provided to the respondents. Secondary data, on the other hand are based on the literatures related to the case. Myers (1997) enumerated sources of written data which include published and unpublished documents, company reports, memos, letters, reports, email messages, faxes, newspaper articles and so forth. The primary data frequently gives the detailed definitions of terms and statistical units used in the survey. These are usually broken down into finer classifications. The respondents were requested to answer the inquiries in the survey-questionnaire, each grading the statements using the Likert scale.  The equivalent weights for the answers will be:  

Range                                                Interpretation

0.00 – 1.49                                        Very Important

1.50 – 2.49                                        Important      

2.50 – 3.49                                        Neutral

3.50 – 4.49                                        Not Important

4.50 – 5.00                                        Not very important


            In the Likert technique, a set of attitude statements are presented, where subjects of a study are asked to express agreement or disagreement using a five-point scale. The degree of agreement is given a numerical value ranging from one to five, thus a total numerical value can be calculated from all the responses.



11) Bibliography



Alden, DL, Batra, R & Steenkam, J 1999, ’Brand positioning through advertising in Asia, North America, and Europe: The role of global consumer culture’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 75-87.

Bailey, S., & Schultz, D. (2000). Customer/Brand Loyalty in an Interactive Marketplace. Journal of Advertising Research, 40(3), 41.

Beck, JC & Lynch, PD 2001, ‘Profiles of Internet buyers in 20 countries: evidence for region specific strategies’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 725-729.

Bienstock, CC 1998, ‘Distribution considerations in marketing to high-tech consumers’, In AC Reddy (ed.), The emerging high-tech consumer: A market profile and marketing strategy implications, Quorum Books, Wesport, CT.

Creswell, JW 1994. Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Eckersley, PM, Harris, L & Jackson, P 2003, E-business fundamentals: managing organisations in the electronic ages. Routledge, New York.

eMarketer 2001, ‘The eGlobal report 2001’, eMarketer, viewed February 22, 2008, <>.

GVU 1998, ‘WWW user’s survey of 1998’, Georgia Institute of Technology, viewed February 22, 2008, <>.

Laudon, KC & Laudon, JP 2003, Essentials of management information systems, 5th edn, Prentice Hall, New York.

Leckenby, JD & Hong, J 1998, ‘Using reach/frequency for Web media planning’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 7-20.

NUA 2002, ‘Internet Survey: how many online’, NUA ClickZ, viewed February 22, 2008, <>.

Peeples, DK 2002. ‘Instilling consumer confidence in e-commerce’, Advance Management Journal, vol. 67, No. 4, pp. 26-31.

Watson, M 2001, ‘Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’, Fortune, January 2001, viewed February 22, 2008 <>.


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