Understanding the impact of mobile technologies on consumer behaviour and shopping experience

DISSERTATION – RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Research Title

Mobile technology impact on consumer behaviour and shopping experience – a quantitative research among smartphone users

 Research Topic

Understanding the impact of mobile technologies on consumer behaviour and shopping experience.

Research Problem:

Smartphones and mobile technology are a growing part of the shopping experience.  According to a research conducted by Deloitte (Deloitte, 2014; Google, 2013), the smartphone penetration in the UK increased from 62% in May 2013 to 70% in May 2014 and continues to grow every day. Most of the users are heavy users, looking at their phone several times a day and doing all kind of activities, from reading emails to playing games and accessing social media (Deloitte, 2014; Google, 2013).

Smartphones have transformed consumer behaviour and the shopping experience, with 73% of consumers researching products or services on their mobile phones (Google, 2013). Still, the level of m-shopping and m-payment seems to grow slower, with only 39% of smartphone users having made a purchase on their mobile (Google, 2013) and 33% of smartphone users willing to use mobile in-store payment solutions in the future (Deloitte, 2014).

While there has been extensive research done on the topic of m-commerce, the topic is still under development, as most of them have been done some years back and mainly focused on the factors affecting the adoption, acceptance and use of mobile shopping (Aldás-Manzano et al., 2009; Bigné et al., 2007; Jih, 2007). Furthermore, recent information on m-commerce and m-payment are provided by consulting and IT organisations (Google, Deloitte, SAP, Adobe), lacking an in-depth analysis of the impact mobile technology has on the consumer behaviour and shopping experience.

 Research Questions:

This research will focus on quantitatively investigating some aspects of mobile technologies as part of the consumer behaviour and shopping experience (exact target and interviews source to be decided later on depending on time and cost restrictions). The aim of the research is to add to the current knowledge related m-shopping and m-payment behaviour, with the objective of bringing answers to the following research questions:

 

RQ1 – How is mobile shopping being perceived by smartphone users?

RQ2 – How do smartphone owners interact with their mobile phones as part of the shopping experience?

RQ3 – What is the level of mobile payment integration into the mobile shopping experience?

RQ4 – Which are the main barriers to m-shopping and m-payment adoption?

 

Methodology:

In this dissertation a quantitative approach will be used.

The data collection will be conducted by means of a web-based questionnaire, distributed via email to Durham Business School Global MBA students and posted for public use on social networks (such as Facebook, Tweeter and LinkedIn). Further snowball sampling will be permitted to increase the available interviews. While it will not allow for collecting a national representative sample, it will give a good picture of the target, considering smartphone penetration is high and increasing.

The questionnaire will be comprised primarily of closed questions, as these are easier to answer in a self-administered and more straightforward to analyse. A combination of single/multiple answers questions, grid questions and 5-point Likert scale questions will be used to evaluate the consumer behaviour and shopping experience related to mobile. The respondents will see each question on a separate screen one at a time.

The questionnaire was initially pre-tested with a small sample size of 5 smartphone users and slight changes were made to the design and wording.

Potential Problems:

  • SPSS skills will need to be improved in order to conduct the proper data analysis.
  • Access to respondents to be evaluated depending on time available and costs (purchasing representative online responses in Europe are expensive and budget restrictions would not allow for a relevant size of the database). Sample to be obtained from combining several sources, among which MBA students, social media users and their acquaintances (snowball sampling).

 References:

Joaquín Aldás-Manzano, Carla Ruiz-Mafé and Silvia Sanz-Blas, (2009),”Exploring individual personality factors as drivers of M-shopping acceptance”, Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 109 Iss 6 pp. 739-757

 Enrique Bigné, Carla Ruiz and Silvia Sanz, (2007), “Key Drivers of Mobile Commerce Adoption. An Exploratory Study of Spanish Mobile Users”, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, Vol 2 Iss 2 pp 48-60

Wen-Jang (“Kenny”) Jih, (2007), “Effects of consumer-Perceived convenience on shopping Intention in mobile commerce: an Empirical study”, International Journal of E-Business Research,

Vol. 3 Iss. 4 pp 33-48

 Google, (2013), “Our Mobile Planet: United Kingdom. Understanding the Mobile Consumer” [online]   http://think.withgoogle.com/mobileplanet/es/downloads/   

 Deloitte, (2014), “Mobile Consumer 2014: The UK Cut. Revolution and evolution” [online]

http://www.deloitte.co.uk/mobileuk/

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