Trade-offs in online purchase decisions : two empirical studies in Europe

G. Odekerken-Schröder, M.G.M. Wetzels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The Internet offers firms a new way to market their products and services and to interact with their end-consumers. While many firms have developed websites, very little is known about the trade-offs consumers are willing to make when making online purchases. With millions of websites competing for attention, online firms need to know in what way consumers make purchase decisions online. Consumers mainly evaluate websites on the basis of choice and convenience. In this paper, we present the results of two European studies that examine what consumers actually value in an online environment. In study 1, we assess choice-related trade-offs in terms of number of product categories, variety of products within a given category and product-related information. Conjoint analysis revealed that product-related information represents an important decision-making variable. In study 2, we assess convenience-related trade-offs in terms of logistics, fulfilment and security. Conjoint analysis revealed that fulfilment is the most important variable related to online handling. Finally, our study clearly indicates that firms have to distinguish different consumer segments on the basis of their preferences. This knowledge enables online firms to use their resources more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-739
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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