Factors Influencing the Intention of International Students to Shop Online in China

Factors Influencing the Intention of International Students to Shop Online in China

Isaac Kofi Mensah (School of Economics and Management, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, China)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJEBR.2020070102


This article explores the factors for determining the intention of international students to shop online in China. The data for this study was acquired through a questionnaire. The UTAUT was used as the theoretical framework for this study and the data analysis was conducted using SPSS. The results indicated that while performance expectancy was significant in influencing the intention to shop online, effort expectancy does not. Also, while social influence does not determine the intention to shop online, it was however significant in predicting trust in the Internet. Furthermore, perceived risk, internet self-efficacy, and culture were all significant predictors of the intention to shop online. Perceived service quality and trust in the Internet were not significant determinants of the intention to shop online. The implications of these and other findings of this study are discussed.
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China is the second-largest economy in the world, and it is considered as one of the leading giants in the development and growth of the electronic commerce (EC) market in the world. It is projected that online retail shops will increase from 17% of the total retail sales volume in 2017 to about 25% by 2020 (Statista, 2019). The high penetration rate of the Internet in China is a huge contributing factor to the success of e-commerce in China. The availability and growth of the internet have provided numerous advantages and benefits to consumers to enjoy shopping online. It has also changed the way modern consumers now engage in the purchase of goods and services. The internet has become one of the most influential tools which have engulfed the daily routines of human life to the extent that almost all human activities are conducted through this virtual environment (Chang, Hsieh, & Tseng, 2013). Through the Internet, the consumer is able to shop whenever he or she wants without any physical limitation, opportunity to compare prices and products and enjoy efficient and timely delivery of products and services are some of the benefits that the consumer can enjoy online.

Studies have attempted to have an in-depth understanding of the factors determining the attitudes and intentions of consumers to shop or engage in Internet shopping. The consumer attitude towards online shopping is dependent on certain online shopping factors such as functional and utilitarian features like ease of use and usefulness or their emotional and hedonic features (Childers, Carr, Peck, & Carson, 2001; Menon & Kahn, 2002). In an endeavor to find out the factors associated with consumer attitudes towards online shopping in Thai and foreign consumers, it was discovered that age and education were related to online shopping, while benefits perception and psychographics determined attitude toward online shopping whilst attitudes toward online shopping was also positive towards purchasing intentions in terms of money spent, average time spent and frequency of purchasing (Cheawkamolpat, 2018). In another study, which compared younger and older consumers, it was revealed that the major factors driving both the young and older adults’ consumers to shop online include performance expectancy and social influence (Lian & Yen, 2014).

The objective of this current study is to investigate the factors influencing the intention of international students in China to shop online. With China’s huge development and growth in electronic commerce and the fact that China is now home to several international people including students, it will be inevitable for these international people to engage in online shopping. Hence understanding the factors driving foreign nationals in China to engage in online shopping will be proper in order to tap into this segment of the market. This is one of the few studies which have examined the intention of foreign nationals to shop online in China. The findings of this study have contributed to enriching the e-commerce literature with regard to foreign nationals’ adoption of online shopping in China. The following research questions will be explored:

  • 1.

    What factors influence the intention of international students to shop online in China?

  • 2.

    What are the significant effects of these factors on the intention to engage in online shopping in China?

The rest of the paper is organized as follows: the review of relevant literature, research theoretical framework, the hypothesis development and the depiction of the research model, research methodology, presentation of data analysis and discussion, conclusion and limitation of the study.

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