Consumer Motivations for Commercial Web Site Use: Antecedents to Electronic Commerce

Consumer Motivations for Commercial Web Site Use: Antecedents to Electronic Commerce

Thomas F. Stafford (Texas Woman’s University, USA) and Marla Royne Stafford (University of North Texas, USA)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-76-6.ch014
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The purpose of this chapter is to explore theoretical background and previous research on new media uses and motivations as an avenue to understanding consumer motivations to use commercial Internet resources. This chapter will explore the communications theory of uses and gratifications, and will report and discuss the implications of a descriptive research process that establishes the domain of consumer motivations for Web site use. Building from a series of on-line focus groups conducted with the HotWired Internet site, the research discussed in this chapter includes the construction of an inventory of descriptive terms used to indicate the various areas of utility and enjoyment represented by the on-line experience. The objective of the chapter is to expose the reader to a theoretical perspective that is useful for understanding how consumers are motivated to use the Internet, by exploring and describing what consumers enjoy and seek in the on-line experience of Web sites. Knowledge of what consumers seek from a medium (uses), and what they enjoy about a medium (gratifications) prepares the reader to understand and utilize the tremendous communications and marketing resource represented by the World Wide Web. Research from previous studies of new media introductions provides a unique historical perspective available for grounding the conceptualization of the Web as a communications and marketing channel. The theoretical perspective developed from this research has been robust – applied over time to the introduction of television in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as well as to the innovations of video recording and time-delayed media exposure and media control through electronic remote devices.

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