Shopping online and/or in-store? A structural equation model of the relationships between e-shopping and in-store shopping
Searching product information or buying goods online is becoming increasingly popular and could affect shopping trips. However, the relationship between e-shopping and in-store shopping is currently unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate empirically how the frequencies of online searching, online buying, and non-daily shopping trips relate to each other, after controlling for sociodemographic, land use, behavioral, and attitudinal characteristics. Data were collected from 826 respondents residing in four municipalities (one urban, three suburban) in the center of the Netherlands, using a shopping survey. Structural Equation Modeling was used to give insight in the mutual dependencies of the endogenous variables, and in direct and indirect effects between variables. The findings suggest that complementarity or generation between e-shopping and in-store shopping seems to be more likely to occur than substitution. The more often people search online, the more shopping trips they tend to make. Frequent in-store shoppers also buy frequently online. Shop accessibility has a negative effect on the frequency of online searching; the more shops are nearby, the less often persons search online. However, shop accessibility influences the frequency of online buying positively; the more shops are nearby, the more often persons buy online. Urbanisation level affects e-shopping indirectly via Internet use: urban residents shop online more often than suburban residents do, because urban residents use the Internet more often.
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