This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Antecedents of Older Consumers' Internet Shopping for Apparel Products: Perceived Risk and Benefits and Shopping Orientation




Dabhade, Anjali

Type of Degree



Consumer Affairs


Despite the growth of the Internet, one segment which marketers have overlooked is older consumers. With the rapid growth of the older consumer population and the potential the Internet holds for them, it is a subject worth consideration. The purpose of this research is 1) to examine the relationship between older consumers’ beliefs regarding online shopping risks and benefits and their attitude towards online purchase of apparel products, 2) to examine the relationship between older consumers’ attitude and intention of online purchase of apparel products, 3) to explore the influence of older consumers’ shopping orientation on their beliefs and attitudes about online shopping, and 4) to explore differences between baby boomers and elderly consumers in terms of the relationships proposed in objectives 1-3. Ajzen and Fishbein’s theory of reasoned action was used as a theoretical framework for this study. Data from a national sample of 293 baby boomer and elderly consumers were collected using a mail survey. Result from this study revealed support for the significant relationship between older consumers’ convenience seeking orientation and perceived time and convenience risk, and that between their brand consciousness orientation and perceived hedonic enjoyment benefit of online apparel shopping. I addition, older consumers’ time and convenience risk had a negative influence on attitude toward purchasing apparel online. This study also revealed differences between baby boomers and elderly consumers. Baby boomers’ shopping orientation significantly influenced their perceived risk and benefits various ways, while such relationships were lacking among elderly consumers. In addition, no significant relationship was observed between perceived risk and attitude for elderly consumers, while for baby boomers, the more their perceived risk related to product performance, the less positive their attitude toward online apparel purchasing. For baby boomers, the benefit of convenience and comfort of shopping offered by online shopping was a significant predictor of their attitude, whereas elderly consumers’ attitude was influenced by their perceived benefit associated with product and price offerings available online. Findings of this study are expected to offer strategic implications which retailers can use to develop their online services to potentially reduce risks and increase benefits that are specific to the current and the future older consumer.