When conducting research, there are two different approaches to take. The researcher can apply the deductive reasoning, which is the logical process of getting a conclusion from something that is already known to be true. The inductive approach, on the contrary, is the logical process of, on the basis of observation of facts; establish a general proposition (Zikmund, 2000). According to Kirkeby (1990), there is a need for an additional research approach. Induction and deduction cannot give us qualitative new knowledge, which is knowledge that is not of a kind that we already have. The solution to this dilemma is the concept of abduction. The abductive approach is somewhat similar to the inductive ap-proach, and is used as a method to create new terms and methods through the analysis of facts (Kirkeby, 1990). In this thesis, the aim is to map out the behavior of women concern-ing their Internet shopping, as well as analyzing the factors that may increase their frequen-cy of Internet shopping. Since there is limited information about women‟s Internet shop-ping in the age group of 40 to 55 this study takes an abductive approach to the research because there is a possibility that a general proposition can be established about the target group and their purchasing behavior online.
Research can take several different forms; it could be explanatory, descriptive or explorato-ry. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2007) explanatory studies are studying a problem or situation to explain the relationship between variables. Robson (2002) explains descriptive studies as describing a correct profile of events, situations or persons. (Cited in Saunders et al, 2007) Robson (2002) mean that exploratory studies is a way to find out what is happening in a particular situation, to assess phenomena and ask questions in a new light. (Cited in Saunders et al, 2007). This study used all three methods in different ways; howev-er, the focus was on the explanatory form. When mapping out the behavior of women concerning their Internet shopping, a descriptive form was used, since the aim was to de-scribe the target group‟s attitudes toward Internet as a purchasing channel. This was achieved by using a questionnaire. The explanatory form was used when finding and ana-lyzing the factors that might increase the group‟s Internet shopping, and to explain why the target group behaves in a certain way. This was conducted through the use of a focus group. The exploratory form was used in the pre study, which aimed at gathering basic in-formation concerning the area of interest, and as a base for the questionnaire. However, the purpose of the thesis is descriptive and explanatory.
When collecting data for empirical research, there are generally two different research strat-egies to apply; the quantitative approach, which includes all data collection techniques that generate or use numerical data. The qualitative approach on the contrary, is mainly used as a synonym for all data collection techniques that generates or uses non-numerical data. It can therefore refer to data that is not only words, but also other non-numerical data such as video clips, observations and pictures (Saunders et al, 2007).
This study includes both a quantitative and qualitative approach due to the nature of our purpose, which is both descriptive and explanatory. When mapping out the behavior of women in the age of 40 to 55 concerning Internet shopping, the quantitative approach was used. By using the quantitative approach, a larger portion of the population can be investi-gated, than could have been by only using a qualitative research. Using a quantitative ap-proach enabled the results to be conceptually generalized, which mean that the findings could be applicable in the sense of the critical case. The purpose also aims at finding fac- tors of how to increase the usage of Internet as a purchasing channel for home textiles, as well as to find the reasons behind the attitudes and behavior of the target group. To answer this part of the purpose a qualitative approach was taken by using a focus group. It would be difficult to uncover factors by using a quantitative approach because there is a need to go in depth into the subject. The intention of the qualitative research approach was to un-cover factors that can motivate and influence the target group to increase their purchasing online.
Choice of data collection
To answer the purpose of the thesis, both primary and secondary data had to be collected. Primary data is data collected especially to answer the purpose and research questions of the current study. This data must be gathered by the researcher of the study at hand and can be done by observation, interviews or questionnaires. Secondary data is data that has been collected earlier, to fulfill the purpose of some other study. This data can be gathered from books, articles, reports and many others sources (Saunders et al, 2007). How primary and secondary was collected to this study will be described in the two following sections.
Primary Data Collection
In this study, primary data was collected through standardized interviewer-administered questionnaires. However, data was also collected through a focus group where several par-ticipants could discuss a specific subject more in depth. Before the questionnaire was com-piled, a pre study was conducted.
There are four types of interviews that can be conducted; personal interviews where only a single person is being interviewed, focus groups where several people are being interviewed at the same time, telephone interviews where the interview is conducted through a tele-phone conversation or convenience interviews where the interview is conducted in a place with many people (Christensen, Engdahl, Grääs & Haglund, 2003). In order to design the questionnaire, a pre study had to be conducted to attain relevant information. The pre study was conducted in the form of personal interviews with open answer questions, which also is a type of qualitative sampling. To conduct the qualitative part of the data collection, a focus group was used to find out how to increase the usage of Internet as a purchasing channel for home textiles. A focus group is characterized by having several participants at the same time discussing a specific subject. The group discussion is lead by a moderator. The aim with the focus group is to create a discussion where unpredicted reasoning can be detected (Christensen et al, 2003). It would have been difficult to uncover factors of how and why Internet shopping can be increased by only using the quantitative approach. By having a qualitative approach too, the study can go more in-depth within this subject. The decision to use a focus group was based on the belief that a discussion between several res-pondents would let more feelings and thoughts arise, than if the same questions would be discussed with only one respondent in an ordinary interview. By listening to each other, the respondents in the focus group could come up with ideas they would not have done in a one-to-one setting.
There are two types of questionnaires, interviewer-administered and self-administered questionnaires. When conducting an interviewer-administered questionnaire an interviewer needs to be present, while in the self-administered questionnaires the respondents com-plete the form by themselves (Christensen et al, 2003). For this data collection the decision was to use an interviewer-administered questionnaire, since it would decrease bias resulting from respondents who might have skipped one or more questions, which would have made the analyzes less credible. In addition, if any questions or difficulties arose an expla-nation could be given and thus reassure that the correct information was collected.
Secondary Data Collection
To be able to build a frame of reference and gather information about the background to the problem there was a need for secondary data. The main source of secondary data con-sisted of scientific articles that were found in several databases available through the Uni-versity Library, such as; Emerald, Google scholar, ABI/inform, and Scopus. Books from the library, statistics from SCB and reports from Handelns Utredningsinstitut were also used in the secondary data collection.
The target group for this study is women in the age of 40 to 55, since they are a demo-graphic group, which do not conduct much purchasing online, combined with having strong purchasing power. This combination makes the mentioned target group especially interesting to investigate. This target group also was a special interest to Hemtex since they autumn 2008 opened a web site targeting women in this age group.
Sampling of primary data can be divided in two groups, probability sampling and non-probability sampling. In probability sampling, each case has an equal chance of being se-lected. To use probability sampling the researcher needs a sampling frame, that is; a list of all cases in the population, and must select cases randomly. When a sampling frame is not available, non-probability sampling is one alternative method for sampling. Non-probability sampling includes; quota sampling, purposive sampling, snowball sampling, self-selection sampling and convenience sampling. The latter means cases are selected haphazardly and are most appropriate when for example interviewing customers at a shopping centre for a marketing survey. Gathering respondents will be continued until the sample size has been reached (Saunders et al, 2007). In this case, a sampling frame was not available, which meant that probabaility sampling could not be used. Instead the researchers‟ decided to use convenience sampling, which is a type of non-probability sampling since it seemed suitable as the questionnaire would take place in a shopping mall.
1.3 Hemtex information
1.6 Research questions
2 Frame of referenc
2.1 Previous research
2.2 Technology Acceptance Model, (TAM)
2.3 Applying TAM in B2C E-commerce
2.4 Framework for consumers’ intention to shop online
3.1 Research approach
3.2 Choice of data collection
3.4 Pre study
3.5 Questionnaire design
3.6 The focus group
3.7 Data analysis
3.11 Trustworthiness and dependability8
4 Empirical findings
4.1 Empirical findings of survey
4.2 Empirical findings of focus group
5.1 Research question 1
5.2 Research question 2
5.3 Research question 3 .
5.4 Research question 4
5.5 Concluding analysis with a focus on the modified TAM’s
5.6 Recommendations for marketers
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E – c o m m e r c e A study of women’s online purchasing behavior